It was the mid-sixties. The Cold War was raging, and the country was still reeling from the assassination of JFK. Lots going on, but my friends and I really had only one thing on our minds: Which Beatle did we love the most? I think every girl in my Jr. High School class committed to a favorite Beatle. The majority of the girls swore loyalty to Paul (I was among that group). George and John came in a distant second, and then there was Ringo with just one or two girls putting him at the top of her list. Maybe it was because Ringo was way in the back on drums. He wasn’t up front singing to us and looking at each one of us with those dreamy eyes and…..ok, back to reality….not thirteen anymore. But really….those eyes made me want to change my name to Michelle and be Paul’s belle. Too much to ask? And that Jane Asher! When was Paul going to dump her and lay down roots in Trenton, NJ? Not just for me……I was willing to share.
Ahh, but that was then and this is now. As I grew into adulthood, I stopped swooning over Paul, but never forgot the impact his music had on my life. I recently heard “With A Little Help From My Friends,” and it struck a chord with me. As an adult, I’m keenly aware of how much friends mean to me. There are times that we really do need a little help from our friends, don’t we? Being a bit obsessive and living in a world where information is at our fingertips, I did some research. Guess what? It was not my beloved Paul who sang that song (although he did write it with John Lennon); it was Ringo! Ringo, the last on the Jr. #3 “My Favorite Beatle List”! Yes, that drum pounding, ring wearing guy in the back sang a song that resonates with me today even more than it did in the sixties. Yep, life is always full of surprises, and sometimes those surprises come in the form of friends.
Friends come in a variety of flavors these days. I am lucky enough to have real life honest to goodness, I am here for you through thick and thin friends. For them, I am incredibly grateful. Some of these friends (and you should know who you are) are people I see often and some whom I don’t see nearly enough. I hope I am as good a friend to these people as they are to me. But in the 21st century, the idea of being a friend has taken on different meanings. “Friend” has become a verb, and “I will friend you!” is now somewhat of a cliché. In the last week or so, I’ve been told “I will Friend you,” as I left a party, a work out session, and even a casual encounter in the grocery store. But stranger than that, I am virtual friends with people I have never met! Are these people really friends? Maybe not all, but I believe some can be. If part of the definition of a friend is one who supports and helps you, then I think that it’s possible to have online friendships. Currently I am in an online writing critique group. Like the wonderful Space City Scribes (see a previous post), and my “real life” critique group, the members of my Goodnight Moon online critique group support and encourage each other. Although we are all running headlong toward the same goal, nobody puts up roadblocks to trip the other runners. In fact, together we tear down obstacles in order to help each other. So are these friends? Although maybe not in the conventional sense, I would have to say that they are. When struggling with rhyme, meter, or story arc, I know I can turn to the Goodnight Moons to get a little help from my friends. So, to my real life friends, thanks for helping me navigate through life. I appreciate you more than you know. And to Pia Garneau, Linda Evan Hofke, Lori Laniewski, Vivian Kirkfield, and all the other Moonies, I also say thanks. Thanks for helping us find a new definition of friendship. Maybe someday we’ll meet in person, and hopefully, it will be at one of our book signings.