Friendship generally consists of six basic elements. Honesty, kindness, laughter, generosity, loyalty and magic. These are also the six basic elements that can be found in the show My Little Ponies. A child’s show that incorporates the basic patterns of forming friendships and overcoming obstacles. With this element of magic, it is so much easier to make friends as a young child. Children are less judgmental, and meeting a friend in a fantastical world with dragons and or the modern day adventurer searching for a long lost treasure. As the years go on, and girls become more concerned about make up and the curiosity of men, opposed to barbie dolls and secret coodie codes. In todays time, it can start with a single common interest.
Passing glances and questioning smiles. The ingredients to a perfect friendship is a balance of the ability to humiliate oneself and connect on an intimate level without the sexual attraction. A friendship needs to take time to cook and it requires the precautionary attention to detail.
Similar to the risotto, it requires surveillance. Checking to make sure the rice does not get too soggy and it must be thrown out and to start again. If the rice is undercooked then it once again must be thrown away, because the water did not fully seep into the rice and not enough time was given for everything to full cook. The individual spices that make the perfect recipe have not had time to absorb in the rice. To create a perfect risotto it is important to embrace the distinct connection between taste and smell. The flavors that mixes together a balsamic vinaigrette with sautéed mushrooms that sizzles into the rice, filling the room with a dark fragrance. The layered over asiago chicken will invite a smoky flavor into the dish. And each smell will capture a new memory.
There will be the time that there was only a hunting knife and one pot to cook with. Sixteen people were expected to show up, expecting a multiple course meal. With all the cooking pots locked away behind wooden doors. The only key miles off campus. The bobby pin method didn’t work, so that small knife and pot were going to have to due. A mixture of youtube episodes of my drunk kitchen and ‘Nsync dance montages were the only thing keeping spirits up. But after the asiago chicken blends into the risotto and a few glasses of wine, things don’t seem as hopeless. Friends are understanding and something that isn’t Dana seems like a specialty. But it wouldn't have been possible without her. That newly formed friend that kept things calm in the kitchen. She made sure that the glass of Pinot Noir is always close at hand. That while hair needed to be curled and make up needed to be applied to looks half way decent for a dinner party, the appetizers would be distributed amongst guests and the risotto wouldn’t burn. A night that was successful, but only because of that friend.
It isn’t possible to learn friendship without learning a friend. It is sharing the side walk, neither leading for following, understanding despite not agreeing. Each one distinct in unique, that mixes together a blend of memories and deep connection. There are hundreds of variations in this recipes, each one derived from a specific pair. So here is the recipe of just one Amy Poehler and Tina Fey like relationship.
Holding each other in bed when an anonymous father disappoints yet again.
Knowing to bring the tequila when a complicated relationship when a boyfriend leaves and the only feeling recognizable in this world is one of being alone.
Saying what needs to be said, even though it may be tough, but that friend will know that it is said out of love.
Realizing that friend is on the phone with a relative who sometimes makes her feel insecure. And needing to tell her that she shouldn't be.
Having dance parties in the living room and not have to worry about looking like a fool.
The mixture of unique interests and personal flavor
Uncontrollable laughing sessions that hurt the stomach and in the end it is difficult to remember what started it all.
Calling upon them to reveal those deepest secrets and not have the worries of being judged.
Quoting movies that out of context will seem bizarre to the people in passing.
Standing up for them when someone else is trying to put them down.
And finally, magic, for garnish
From the back entrance, you can see the curly black haired caricature of the Maryann holding a waitress tray and a bottle of old fashion coke. Her big smile standing invitation to enter the metallic silver and cherry red diner and fall back into the 1950’s, in a place where Buddy Holly and Bo Diddley taught you about love and what a quality frappe tasted like. This was where I first fell in love with the mystery of James Dean in his worn leather and hooded eyes. Maryann’s Diner was the first time I had ever listened to the rebellious cantation, the string of nonsensical words, the repetition of the lyrics forever recorded in my mind. I embraced the cultural time period that I was never a part of.
This was in 2001, during those early stages of my relationship with my father, when weekend sleepovers brought both excitement and anxiety. Despite the inconsistencies of life that come with the responsibility of being an adult, when I did see my father I could always rely on him to take me to Maryann’s diner that Sunday. Maybe it was the metallic pink convertible trunk that has been converted into a couch, the iconic Marilyn Monroe plastered on the walls in that white halter dress, or the waitresses wearing the poodle skirts, that drew me to the retro diner. Sometimes on special occasions we would sit at the counter, on the plush teal vinyl stools that spun around, a child’s favorite pass time while waiting for a famous homemade vanilla shakes displayed in a vintage glass. Sitting on that stool, humming the upbeat lyrics, embraced in the quaint and simplistic ideas of love. In all of those happy upbeat songs that define the 50’s, I think that Buddy Holly may be the only one that managed to get it right.
It was at this diner where he told me he ask Amy to marry him. When she came over refill his coffee, she whispered “Have you told her yet,” I assumed she was referring to the kid’s special, Mickey Mouse pancakes. My father, shaking a sugar packet between his fingers to hide his nervous tremors, told me that he had something important to tell me. When he told me about proposing to Amy, all I could say was, “Who?” In the many visits to the diner I had never occurred to me that our usual waitress did more than just bring me my vanilla shake.
“Amy,” my father said, “She was the woman who just brought me my coffee. We’ve been dating for a while.” Whatever memories I had of them dating or spending time together, was foregone in my memory, and I was left with this woman, in a pink poodle skirt and a high ponytail, that had an uncanny resemblance to my own mother. I smiled, genuinely happy for him, in hopes that this would bring him the happiness that he so desperately craved.
I wasn’t against my father getting married again, I suppose that I never thought anyone else would want to marry him. I suppose I wasn’t all that surprised, despite having very little recollection of Amy, my mother’s own engagement had occurred only a month earlier.
Those Mickey Mouse pancakes came out moments later, along with Amy. I realized I was too full from my frappe, and mostly pushed the pancake around on the plate and bit off pieces of bacon. That afternoon I listened to Bobby Darin and Ritchie Valens sing about the simplistic loves between a man and a woman. I didn’t hear Buddy Holly’s song until the check came, and I sipped the rest of my frappe slowly, just so he could explain to me how strange love is, complicated and often confusing. At nine years old I hoped for the day that I would be an adult and understand. I should have realized that Buddy was trying to tell me as the years continue love just becomes more confusing. Years later I discovered that Buddy Holly was not the original singer of Love is Strange, but it has yet to stop me from playing it when I want a vanilla frappe.
First 10 words to come to your head:
The grasshopper sits,
Bound between two drops of dew,
Left by the touch of a fairy.
Her acrobatic wings, slender and blue,
bend to the diurnal glitter.
The falcon soaring high,
catches the ligh
sneaking out from the boisterous clouds,
bold and bright,
encouraging each step of unknown wonder.
Heavy stones trapped in pockets.
Those hidden burdens between the
waiting to jump from pale fingers.
Jump free from perseverance of ponder.
Cold Stones empty of thought and memories
Lost from night's kiss.
The Grasshopper chirps beholden to Demeter's mist.
As she begins her dance of morning.