april

Friendship offers reprieve from the Valentine blues

Feb 14 • Opinion • 156

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I’m spending Valentine’s Day with Leonardo DiCaprio.

You can probably guess that I’m referring to the younger, long-haired, less bloated version in “Titanic.” I’ll have to share him with my single friends, who are getting together on V-Day to eat raw cookie dough and count the number of times Kate Winslet breathily cries “Jack!”

But I won’t spend much time mulling over my #foreveralone status. Instead, I’m considering the other great relationships in my life – the ones I’ve been a part of and the ones I’ve witnessed.

My brother and sister-in-law – two of my favorite people in the world – met and fell in love during their time at Gannon. I still remember my normally reserved brother bursting with excitement over his new relationship back in 2006. He showed me a photo from one of their first dates, on the picturesque beaches at Presque Isle. We didn’t know it at the time, but the sweet blue-eyed girl we were looking at would one day be his wife.

I’m certainly not here for my MRS degree, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t harbor a little hope that fate would be as kind to me. Then I picture my friends, their mouths stuffed with cookie dough, sobbing at the little boy stuck in third class, and it occurs to me: Fate has been good to me.

My friends are kind of a big deal. I’d say we fall somewhere between the girls of “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” and “Sex and the City” – more mature than the pants crowd and less vapid than Carrie and company.

But Ann Brashares’ jean-swapping characters may have really gotten it right when they described why their friendship worked.

“You know what the secret is? It’s so simple. We love one another. We’re nice to one another. Do you know how rare that is?”

It’s pretty damn rare from what I’ve learned.

You don’t even have to be nice 100 percent of the time. To pull another quote from Brashares’ series:

“Don’t talk to me. I’m tired and grumpy and I’ll probably make fun of you.”

It’s undeniably easier to say that to your best friend than your boyfriend, unless your significant other is your best friend. That’s the best of both worlds. That’s what my brother and sister-in-law have – Nicholas Sparks and “Traveling Pants.”

My brother would gag if he knew I said that.

Some of the best relationships I’ve formed in college aren’t the stuff Nicholas Sparks movies are made of. They’re with my girls, who watch those movies with me and cry at all the same parts I do. The girls who share their food when I’ve got nothing but stale bread and their clothes when I can’t find the right outfit for a presentation. The girls who keep me laughing with an endless supply of “Grumpy Cat” memes.

It’s wonderful to find your “lobster” as Phoebe would say, but friendships matter too, and I’m done taking mine for granted.

 

APRIL SHERNISKY

shernisk003@knights.gannon.edu

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