I read somewhere that the mark of a healthy friendship is the feeling of vim, vigor and enrichment both parties bring to the coupling and come away with after an encounter. You know what I mean: you hang out for awhile and walk away feeling energetic, full of ideas and downright tingly (And no, you didn’t have zeeg-zeeg).
I guess I’m just a lucky person because my core friends of many years – you guys know who you are – bring this to the table each time we meet. Recently I’ve met a few other people of similar ilk who I genuinely feel blessed to have crossed paths with (And no, I didn’t have granola for breakast this morning).
One is a fellow journalist type person who I could sit with hour after hour as we drain cups of coffee, discuss politics and world events, gossip and bare the darker shades of our backgrounds, sorrows and intimacies in increments.
The other is Tamar. I wrote about her last week after we met for coffee. Apparently this is to be our weekly ritual but we won’t call it “Tuesdays with Tamar” because she says it’s too ominous. “Wait, Tuesday was Morrie’s day. Can’t we make it Thursdays with Thamar?” she asked.
Tamar has moxie. She’s petite, dark haired and well groomed East Coast/Upper West Side with a touch of Atlanta thrown in to soften the edge. She’s warm, generous – “What size are you? I have a fantastic skirt you can have” – and with a far-reaching heart she devoted to implementing America’s Head Start Program much of her adult career.
Part Israeli but never lived in HLC (Holy Land Central), she decided in recent years to spend half her time here and the other half in the U.S. “it’s the only way to stay sane,” she says.
If it isn’t obvious, I like hangin’ with her because the time flies, our exchange is lively and she’s the type of lady you know is good for her word. Part of the reason she extended the U.S. version of this year’s country-split is because she wants to spend time with a friend who isn’t feeling all that hot these days.
Best of all, Tamar is just plain funny. She joined a gay synagogue not because she’s a lesbian but because “it’s more interesting”, she calls her split country travel “bi-hemispheral living”, she uses the word “dingbat” (which I haven’t heard since Archie harrassed Edith back in the 70’s) and she says outrageous things that make you wonder: “Did she really do that?” (sorry, no can share).
For those who have seen The Incredibles, she’s a very toned down, human version of Edna Mode. Can you imagine?