This is how pathetically organized I am.
I have divided my friends into categories, and I have even given the categories names. This comes as no surprise to them and it doesn’t seem to bother anyone. They accept this quirk I have and love me anyway. Okay, maybe it is a bit anal.
One of the groups is called simply “The Ducks.” However, we arrived at this title together. The six of us met while working at a bank downtown 10 years ago. Even though most of us have moved on to other jobs, and even other parts of the country, we always kept in touch and had a “Duck Lunch” or a “Duck Dinner” every couple of months. We always made it a point to meet at Christmas time and have a “Christmas Duck Dinner”. Not every one of us could meet for the lunch or the dinner, but nobody ever missed the Christmas Duck Dinner. None of us orders duck, by the way. It would be too cannibalistic.
I don’t think there’s any chance of any group meeting another since they all belong to different parts of my life, begun in different and varying eras. Although there was one time a Duck met a Codder at a ball game one evening, it was weird but not unmanageable. Like two universes had collided and I was in a black hole. Some kind of fuzzy karma thing going on, but I got through it.
How did we come up with this moniker? One lunch time meeting we were discussing our kids and the cute but embarrassing things they do sometimes. One woman was explaining how she met her new neighbors. “Remember the cartoon Darkwing Duck?” she began. “Remember how the character was a super hero and just before he would pounce on a villan he would yell ‘Suck gas and die, evil doer’. We all nodded because it was such a stupid cartoon and since most of us had boys, it was something we had to view regularly. “Well” she went on, trying to contain herself while a grin tugged at her mouth, “my new neighbors were moving into the house next door to me and we were chatting on their lawn as the movers brought in their furniture. All of a sudden, here comes my 6 year old son, with a blanket wrapped around his neck like a cape, pretending he’s flying.” She is starting to look apoplectic. “I called to him to come over to us so I could introduce him to our new friends. As he lands at the foot of my neighbor and I am about to announce my pride and joy, he screams out “Suck ASS Evildoer!!!!” They looked at him, then at me, then back at him, and went in to the house. We only wave hello at Christmas.”
Needles to say, we were howling on the floor by the time she got the final words out, tears rolling down our faces. We were laughing so hard, people started coming over to us to find out what was so funny. So she would have to tell the story again, and by this time none of us could breathe.
So we simply became the Ducks.
Christmas is a great time for the Ducks. It’s a time to catch up with one another. The highlight of this dinner is when we give each other gifts. These are not just any gift, they have to have a duck theme to it, and they have to be under $10. You would be amazed the things out there with a duck connection. But its more than just having a laugh with a couple of girlfriends. Sometimes it’s a real effort to get together because it just doesn’t fit in to our busy schedules. We sometimes have to schedule and reschedule these lunches, and it is because of the diligence of one particular Duck that we do finally meet. She won’t let us forget how important we are to one another. We have been through many things together over the years. Even though all six of us may have not been together at the same time, who’s ever there fills in the blanks that our boyfriends, husbands and kids can’t fill.
We don’t compete with one another. We give each other advice when asked, and even if it isn’t. We don’t talk about each other when one of us isn’t there. We laugh about bad haircuts and incompetent bosses. We listen to the different stages of romance, and the lamentation of wondering where all the good men are. We don’t complain about who paid more on the check. We talk about movies and books and how we would have changed the ending. We celebrate the marriage of a son or daughter or the arrival of a baby, whichever comes first. It doesn’t matter to us, we don’t judge.
We were there for each other when our hearts get broken, be it by men, parents, or children. When we lose jobs, there’s no lecture or I-told-you-so looks. I know this fact the best because I think I hold the record of losing the most jobs. Hell, I lost a whole company once, but that’s another story. We take care of each other.
The point is this. It’s simple. We take so many things for granted. Our quality of life is just so because someone made the effort to insure it would be so. It is the same with friendships. Make the effort to keep quality friendships. It’s worth it. Even if you have to name the friendship, it’s worth it. Even if you think you’re being pathetic, so what? Who cares? You’re with the Ducks. Quack Quack.