Au revoir, mon amie.

My friend, Janet is leaving this morning. We have spent almost three weeks together. Janet and I have known each other for 45 years. Janet used to be my friend's older sister until she got to be my friend. Janet had a driver's license when we didn't. She had a job and bought records that we could listen to and candy that we could eat. Janet cleaned up when my friend and I got sick on homemade wine and  drove us past the house of the boy that we both had crushes on. When I got married the first time, Janet held my train when I had to use the toilet. When we were both separated women, I went to a Singles' Dance with Janet when she had a crush. We thought that we were like Kate and Allie.

We have spent three weeks living in Montmartre. We drank Bushmills in O'Sullivan's Irish pub on St. Patrick's Day and watched the show at the Moulin Rouge together. We walked some days for 10 miles with me complaining of my swollen ankle. We travelled to Normandy, Mont St. Michel and London together. We got food poisoning after eating Asian takeaway and found that Janet still has to look after me if I am sick. She sat on the toilet with a bucket and I had a plastic bowl on either side of me in my bed. We did survive although we felt miserable for a couple of days.

Friendships are funny.  After 45 years, there are still unknown areas. I can be the "grumpy princess" when things don't work out or when I'm tired.  We are not always on our "best behaviour". We both snore sometimes. Neither of us is comfortable riding backwards on buses or trains.  Janet's ears get blocked and she can't hear.  That helps with the snoring. As I get older, I am getting slower in the morning. When I worked, I was up and ready in a flash. Not so much now. Janet still works so her travel needs to be more focused while I am retired and love to aimlessly explore the neighbourhood.

My long-term friendships are with a diverse group of women.  I believe that our friendships are a source of strength. I will miss my friend when she leaves (at 6:00 a.m. in a cab which I will have to call because she doesn't speak French) and then the grumpy princess will go back to sleep.