You know… that Blog?


Written By: Jenn - Jun• 10•09

When I was in my late teens, my family moved from Calgary to the Toronto area. It was a good move – Calgary is an “ok” place to live, and I certainly had a lot of fun growing up there, but it had lost it’s appeal for us long ago. Can I just tell you how much I loathe Chinooks? Lovely name for a nasty weather phenomenon. And -40°C winters, with “Square Tire Syndrome”… don’t even get me started.

But I digress.

Moving to Toronto was a bit of a culture shock. For example – and this won’t make me very popular with Calgarians, but I’ll say it anyway – we didn’t see a single red-neck pick up truck that sported a rear-window gun rack! Still haven’t, and we’ve been here for about 25 years now. For a while I wasn’t quite sure how to fit in here. I made one or two friendly acquaintances, but no one I felt I could share openly with, the way you would with a true friend. I’d left that behind in Calgary. Not that I had a huge group of friends there either – I’m not a social butterfly, and I really don’t like crowds. But I did have a few “Best Friends” that meant the world to me.

I’ve always gotten along with men a lot easier than women. They’re refreshingly honest, and don’t carry around the hormones (I can say this since I’m a woman!) and cattiness we’re all capable of. So when I decided to ditch the business scene and high heels for Air Canada and coveralls (talk about a change!) I was in heaven. I mean, I literally worked with a thousand men! I had a great time there. It was the most fun time in my life, bar none. Most of the guys were very decent and respectful of me – some were even protective, which was pretty darn nice. Sure, there were a few real creeps – especially one older guy with a drinking problem who took 4 hour lunch breaks and really really hated that a young woman half his size could do the job better than he could. I think his name was Andy, but it was almost 20 years ago now, and he just wasn’t all that memorable. There’s that digressing thing again…

Fast forward a few years, and I’m married to one of those Air Canada guys, and trying to start a family (more about that another time) and we’ve moved 5 times in less than 4 years, and there is NO time or energy there to make much more than passing acquaintances. We had lousy luck with neighbours, too. For a long time it felt like we attracted only weirdos. I didn’t think too much of it at the time, although looking back at it now, I’m pretty sure I was lonely for real friends. Long distance friendships are tough to maintain, and back then it was snail mail or telephone, and there was no such thing as the internet or Facebook (and home computers were few and far between, not to mention prohibitively expensive), and certainly not “unlimited” long distance packages. Wow does that date me! Oh well, it’s true.

Fast forward again to about 5 years ago. I was shocked to find myself in the family way again. Keeping in mind that this was thought to be impossible, it was more of a shock than simply being almost 38 and pregnant. A few months into my pregnancy, our beloved Sheltie passed on, which was devastating and left a huge void in our lives. So we decided to bring a new dog into our family. This time though, being pregnant and unable to handle the bundle of energy that a puppy surely would be, we decided to get an older dog – a rescue. This being a post about friendship, I’ll make a long story short and say that in the course of adopting our female Australian Shepherd, we made 2 new friends (who then turned into 2 new couples when we met their spouses). This was the first time we’d actually had a group – an honest group! – of friends where we all got along and enjoyed being together. These 4 wonderful folks became known in our lives as the Dog people. This is not a derogatory term, it’s simply that we met through the rescue organization for Australian Shepherds, and more importantly, these people are NUTS about dogs. It’s too bad they live far enough away and we all have such conflicting work schedules that it makes it tough to get together on a more regular basis.

Fast forward again to the last three years. I joined an awesome singing group, and started meeting people I had a lot in common with. Not only was I coming back to singing, which I had most definitely missed since leaving Calgary, but there were people I could have real, diversified conversations with, that I saw on a regular/weekly basis! How novel! During one Spring concert I had the pleasure of singing next to a Soprano – known on this blog as ShaMoo – and that was the beginning of one of the best friendships I’ve had, literally, in decades. This will probably be a surprise to ShaMoo, because I haven’t talked about it much before. I know she has a much bigger circle of friends than I do, so it’s not as big a deal for her as it is for me. It has been really wonderful for me to have a friend of that calibre again after such a long time. Being able to say whatever pops into my head and be understood intuitively is rather nifty, and I appreciate it.

More recently, a new friend has entered our “circle”, so to speak, in the form of Doodle Cakes. I actually met her on Facebook via one of the Dog People. K9Crazy (see my side panel links) kept commenting on pictures of her cakes, which showed up on my profile and made my jaw hit the desk every time. We started talking, and then finally met when ShaMoo and I went to a cake testing party a couple of months ago. Yes, Doodle Cakes is a dog person, as that is how she knows K9, but we hit it off via the cake angle, and have more in common because of our children. DC defies categorizing so far since in my mind I don’t think of her as one of the Dog People (even though she really is!! haha), and more of a Cake Guru, but with kids… wonderful on many levels. We have had a few great “play dates”, and have more planned. With ShaMoo, it’s a trio of awesomeness, with children.

It suddenly occurred to me this afternoon, as ShaMoo and I headed home with our tuckered out little ones, that I suddenly have what I’ve been quietly craving all along. It’s a simple thing, yet it means the world to me.

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  1. Doodle Cakes says:

    Isn’t it funny how friendships can form so randomly and out of the blue? So I don’t have a category, eh? Hmm… I guess I never quite fit into a specific little box. Let me know if you figure one out for me.. :) What a wonderful post about friendships Jenn.. I really enjoyed reading it. :) I look forward to many awesome playdays..and soon with even more kids added..LOL

  2. ShaMoo says:

    Sniff, sniff!! Wow, that is such a sweet, kind-hearted post, Jenn!! I truly value our friendship as well (must be that Alberta connection ;) )…your words have made my day :)