Refrigerator Friends

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I am working on proofing a book for Serendipity, and I came across this and shed a few tears this afternoon:

Randy Frazee … quotes therapist Will Miller as saying, “If you talk to any therapist today, the problems we see mostly are mood disorders: depression, anxiety, loneliness, and social detachment. As blessed as we are as Americans, as prosperous as we are, there’s all this depression. So where is it coming from? I’m convinced it’s rooted in the loss of ‘refrigerator rights’ relationships … A person with refrigerator rights is someone who can come into you home and feel comfortable going to your refrigerator to make a sandwich without your permission.”

I know I go on too much about how I don’t have any friends in Nashville, and that isn’t true. Especially lately, I’ve felt more hope on this matter. But I definitely don’t have any Refrigerator-Rights Friends. And I miss that so terribly.

My mind immediately went to my dear friend Jen from high school. If I have ever prayed a friend into my life, it was her. My sophomore year of high school I needed a Christian friend so badly it hurt. And Jen, whom I had made fun of on the bus my freshman year for sitting near the front with seniors and doing sign language (don’t ask), forgave me and became my social savior at that point. We were inseparable. Half of our school probably thought we were lesbians as devoted as we were to one another (OK, not really, although we did used to tell each other if we were gay, we’d marry one another).

The first time I went to her house, her mom told me, “You get waited on once. From then on, you’re family.” And they were family to me. When we went back to Virginia last summer, I called Jen, intending to ask that even if she weren’t there (she lived in North Carolina at the time), could we stay with her mom and dad. Gratefully, she was there, and we did all our Jessie and Jen things: played Scrabble, drank Diet Sprite, talked about boys, and laughed.

I’ve had other very, very dear friends but none that made me part of their family like she did. I went to her grandparents’ house with her. We went to dinner and to movies with her parents. I was their third daughter (maybe they had other third daughters as well, but I was the favorite one. And don’t tell me otherwise). Jen and I stole clothes and boys from each other like any good sisters would do.

I miss having a Refrigerator Friend. Do you have one? Do you want to be mine? 😉

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