Sunday, August 14, 2011

Logical Family

I have never been accused of being overly sentimental. Or even often appropriately sentimental, come to think of it. I don't cry at emotional movies or books or even the sappy commercials on TV that are fine-tuned to go straight for the heartstrings. And at the wedding my husband and I, and a bunch of our friends, attended last weekend, I was the only person out of our friends not to get at least a little choked up when the (gorgeous and very happy looking!) bride came down the aisle.

Cross-country flights and endless trips on overheated buses are good for very few things, as I've learned during these last few weeks of travel, but they did give me ample time to think (and inhale downloaded episodes of "Downton Abbey.") Last week's red-eye was right after this wedding, after saying good-bye to some very good friends that I see much to rarely. These are friends I've known for years, who make up the bulk of my fondest memories of living to New York after I finished grad school. I moved to the city knowing about four people, but within a week one of those friends brought me into his circle of friends. There were dramas and disagreements and inter-circle frustrations and hook-ups and break-ups, and a camaraderie and affection you're lucky to have among friends once in your life. I've been blessed to find it three times, and each time I know just how fortunate I've been.

In his book "Michael Tolliver Lives," Armistead Maupin explores the idea of a "logical family" - the one that, unlike a biological family, you get to choose. One of the things I love best about all three logical families is that in many ways they've all been so very illogical, full of people I've met through the most random of circumstances and on the surface have so very little in common with. Yet we've recognized something in each other, something too intangible to name but strong enough to sustain friendships for years despite distance and different lifestyles.

I could go on but, well, that would mean devolving into sentiment, and that's not going to happen. Let it suffice to say that while I don't get choked up at weddings and haven't cried over a book since I read "Flowers in the Attic" in 1991, hanging out with my logical family was awesome enough to make even the crazy-long flights and past week of travel-related exhaustion and illness, so incredibly worth it.

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