Friday, August 19, 2016

"It's all good in here"

"It's all good in here."
That was the catchphrase of my vacation time with my oldest friend. We'd each point at our temples and say, "It's all good in here."

Meaning that our fantasy lives are so much more satsifying than our real lives. And we're good with that.

It started with me reiterating that my love affair with Sir Paul McCartney is the most successful and enduring relationship I've ever had with a man ... and he hasn't been around for a moment of it. But that's OK, said I, because "it's all good in here."

Watching the Cubs on the big screen TV in our hotel room, I rhapsodized about how wise manager Joe Madden is, and how I wish I could bring him with me all the time for advice and support. "You can," my friend said, touching her temple. "In here. Because it's all good in here."

For her part, she talked about how involved she was with the exhaustive 2-volume Frank Sinatra biography I recommended. She wondered how long she would have lasted with Frank (since no woman lasted very long) and whether their break up would be sweet or hostile. Yes, she's aware he's been dead for nearly 20 years. But what difference does that make? "It's all good in here."

She is turning 60. We were at The Fest for Beatle Fans, her chosen way of celebration.* So indulging in fantasy was totally appropriate and the order of the day(s). But here's the thing:

I think she may be too deep in her own head, and not involved enough in the world around her.

Beatle fan Terrence Howard
We saw actor Terrence Howard at the Fest. He wasn't speaking or anything, just moving from booth to booth like the rest of us Beatle fans. As I was texting the news to my pals, my oldest friend was rather annoyed because she had no idea who Terrence Howard is. Not from Empire, or Crash, or The Butler. She used to go to the movies all the time, but since she's moved to LA she goes nowhere. Part of it, she says, is the traffic and parking. No one goes anywhere. 

That's just stupid. If no one went anywhere, there wouldn't be any traffic. Reminds me of that old Yogi Berra-ism -- "It's too crowded so no one goes there anymore."

I think it's because she doesn't like to go anywhere alone, and she hasn't been able to make friends out there. When she bought a car recently, the finance company wanted five references. NONE of them were friends from California. Two were relatives, three were friends from her time here in Chicagoland. She's lived out there for five years!

I know how hard she's working on managing her bipolar condition. But she gets such little support from the cousin she moved out there to be near, and she feels very alone. Her coworkers are much, much younger than she is, so she's not making friends there.

I've recommended she join a church. Spiritual reinforcement and a community to bring over a covered dish when she's sick. But she's sure those congregants would "judge" her. That's how the Right Wingers she sees on TV appear to her -- more disapproving than supportive -- and she doesn't feel "up to it." I tell her that MY church is not at all like that, we're about involvement and love. She's deeply skeptical. She watches Joel Osteen instead. I think her connection to Christ is great, but it doesn't help her connect to her fellow man.

OK, so what about a Meetup? Or a book club? No, and no. She's too tired when she gets home from work to do anything but crash on the sofa.

She's no longer involved with Twitter or Facebook or her blog.

This isolation worries me. I know she's under the care of both a shrink and a psychiatrist, so maybe this is cocooning is what she needs to do to heal and get strong.

But here's the thing: she's so funny and smart and generous. She'd have a much easier time making friends than I do. I think she must be Los Angeles' best kept secret. Those women out there don't know what a good girlfriend they're missing out on.



*I offered her three things -- a long weekend at the Los Angeles Festival of Books; a tour of movie locations with TCM, or the three-day Fest for Beatle Fans.


Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


2 comments:

  1. Why LA? Smaller cities are easier to get involved in and make friends, I would think. You are right that church is a great way to meet people and make friends. She is lucky to have you in her life.

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  2. The Beatle Fest sounds like a cool time! Glad you had some friend time. Sorry your friend is struggling so much. She does sound isolated.

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