Thursday, March 8, 2012

first class relationship

Recently, I had a rare conversation with my best friend who has three small children. It was rare because she is never alone and can’t always talk freely without someone overhearing. I can’t imagine that she gets much privacy on a regular basis. It was also rare because we were both so honest about what was happening in our lives. There are few people in the world I trust with those conversations, and she is at the top of the list.

Part of the conversation included catching up on a recent trip they’d taken. Her husband had made the travel arrangements. He travels frequently and gets upgraded to first class automatically. When they got to the airport, instead of asking for both of them to be upgraded, he took his first class seat and let his wife sit in coach with an empty seat beside her. By the way, the difference between their seats was about five rows. She could see him the entire flight. While this isn’t terribly surprising to those of us who know him (he can be a bit self-centered), this did hit a new threshold of rudeness. At one point she said, “maybe I’m just a visual learner, but it was a clear picture of how he treats our entire relationship. He’ll never see me on the same level as him.”

The honesty of that statement took us both by surprise. The bell of truth certainly rings a pure clean sound. And, as we both laughed at the craziness of the scenario like you’d laugh at a sitcom (I can see Valerie Bertinelli playing her perfectly!), the fact is, she was right. That made me a little sad, because of all she’s been through in their marriage. And so, I offered her these words of encouragement:

I wish for you to know, once and for all, that you are worthy. Worthy of love and honor. Worthy of trust and devotion. I wish for you to know that taking care of yourself is the first priority and when you do that, your children will grow up to be as self-sufficient, loving, giving and understanding as you are. I wish for you to know the difference between being a nice person and being a doormat. To feel the joy of a pure and accepting love, without conditions, control, judgment or violations of your privacy. To know the freedom that complete trust in your partner can bring. To know that simply being yourself is all that you need to do. I wish for you to know that as your friend, I will be your champion and I will remind you of these things from now to the end of time.

Finally, I wish for you to find someone who adores and accepts you for who you are. How do you know when you’ve found that? He won’t sit in first class while you’re sitting in coach. I wish this for you. And I wish it for all my friends.

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