Category Archives: BFFs

My BFFs and my relationships with them.

Friends and Politics

This year’s presidential election leaves me feeling disappointed, frustrated, and afraid.

These feelings are not for the United States. I have faith that our country has enough freedom fighters and systems in place that it will be okay.

For me, these feelings surface as I try to understand how some friends could vote for a man who spewed such hate. It is easy enough to scroll past facebook “friends” and their political posts. But what I am having such a hard time resolving is how real friends, people who I love, could get past or ignore such hatred.

At the age of 48, just through natural attrition, I am surrounded mostly by people who love me and have my back. I have always been aware of political differences among my friends. Everyone has a right to vote for who they want. But there was an element of real hate in this campaign. And as it got more hateful, I began asking myself, how did I become friends with people who can so easily dismiss racism?

I am a Filipino immigrant, whose husband is a descendant of slaves, and whose children are bi-racial. In my hesitancy to speak up about anything controversial in daily conversations, did I give the impression that I had no opinion about race? Or that I (or my family) had never experienced any racism?

It’s always been too frustrating to have to explain why something is racist or offensive. When I hear comments like “people are too sensitive” or “all lives matter,” I can never find the right words. I always wish there was someone who was more intelligent or well-versed to explain that racism still exists. Racism is not just something manufactured by overly sensitive people who can’t get over the past.

It scares me that some people in my small community say they love diversity in one breath but also look forward to being able to “not be so politically correct all the time.” What can that possibly mean? Are people looking forward to freely saying offensive things again? Because it felt awful to be called a “chink” back in the day. I pray that’s not the direction we are headed again.

As a stay-at-home mom, I can easily limit my contact with the outside world. I could deactivate my social media accounts. I could surround myself with people who only think the way I do. But that cannot be the answer.

I have to have faith that these friends who love me, really do love me. I believe they are good people. Any difference of opinion really is just that…a difference of opinion. But maybe that’s the problem. Maybe I haven’t been vocal enough expressing myself when I’ve disagreed with the discussions on race. Maybe my silence gave the impression that I agreed…or worse, had no opinion.

So moving forward, I have to find my voice. I have to make it absolutely clear when something is offensive, hateful, or hurtful. I must speak out against hate. Now is not the time to be silent.

 

Coffee with Kathy

I met Kathy years ago when our boys were in Kindergarten.   She was always smiling, waving, and walking around in 4-inch heels.

I tried to avoid her because she was always asking when our boys could have a playdate.  I’d say, “Let me check our schedule,” and pray I wouldn’t run into her until the next week.  I didn’t know her.  Did she have guns in the house or a weird uncle in the back room?  I didn’t want any part of it.

So I made up this rule for my son — he had to be in three activities with a kid before we could even consider a playdate. Eventually, the boys were together in school, peewee football, and then baseball.  I ran out of excuses.  That’s how Kathy and I became friends.

Kathy with me on a class trip in 2009.
Kathy with me on a class trip in 2009.

It’s hard for me to make friends at this age.  Who has the time to really get to know a person and get past the differences?

Kathy and I are opposites in many ways — our personalities (she’s extroverted); our parenting styles (she’s loosey goosey); our homes (she’s neat); and of course, her ability to walk in 4 inch heels…

But, I found we are alike in ways important to me.  She is fiercely committed to her family and loyal to her friends.  

Despite Kathy’s full-time teaching schedule and three kids (all with after-school activities), she always makes time for coffee dates.  She has great timing, too.  Just when I start to feel too blue, I get a text saying, “Coffee this week?”  

We meet during her lunch period at a Starbucks near her school.  We tell stories, laugh, and then back to work.  It’s truly amazing what a quick coffee break with a friend can do.  

So your assignment today is to make a coffee date with a friend.  Extra credit for giving someone a chance to be your friend. 🙂

 

Lunch date with my girls

One of my many fears is that I am becoming a recluse.  So every week, I make plans to see a friend.  Today, I ventured into the city to meet these two gals – Estela and Anita.

Estela and Anita meet me for lunch!
Estela and Anita meet me for lunch!

Estela is my sister.   Anita is my sister from another miss and mister.  We always meet at this place called Ayza  because they never rush us and their chocolate martinis ain’t no joke.

I’ve read several articles that write about the importance of women friends…and I truly believe in making the effort to maintain these friendships.  Here’s a well-written post by Rachel Anne Ridge that expresses this idea:

http://www.homesanctuary.com/rachelanne/2014/03/not-a-girlfriendy-girl.html

It’s so easy to get caught up in work, the kids, husbands, etc.   But I find that when I make time to be with these girls, it really makes my day 🙂

How easy is it for you to maintain close friendships?  Please share with us your efforts.