Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Have you had a moment of true clarity or realization? A moment when you just knew something? You have no doubt about it? The thought just pops into your head? What do you do with this information? Do you follow or believe it?

I loved the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was well-written and thought-provoking. In one episode, Buffy realizes that maybe she doesn't have enough strength for an upcoming battle. She doesn't say it. It's just a moment where she's putting a book on a shelf, and the thought crosses her mind. Every time the episode showed her putting that book away, that ding went off - a realization of her doubt.

I heard that ding sound loud and clear at the end of 2007. A friend and I had decided to exchange Christmas gifts. She and I had known each other for over 10 years. A lot of her luggage and personal items were lost after a flight, and I wanted to help replace some of her more treasured pieces. A camera being one of them.

Most of my friends know that I don't really care for material gifts. A gift card or hanging out are things that make me happy. Earlier that year, she had offered me a knock off Coach purse. I'm not big on purses, so I told her that I didn't want it.

Well, when Christmas rolled around, I proudly gave her the new camera that I had bought. Guess what was one of my gifts? That's right - that purse. Though I smiled, I was actually hurt that she offered me something that I hadn't wanted months ago. Why would I want it now?

In that moment, I heard a ding go off in my head. The ding was followed by the words, "She doesn't really know you." I was sad at the realization that she didn't really know me. People that have only known me for a short time know that I don't like ice or that I run my apartment heater on rotisserie settings (chicken, anyone?) After 10 years, she didn't know that I didn't like material things? Hmmpphh.

She and I are no longer friends. Not because of the purse, but because of other things. I helped her set up her camera, but she never took a picture of me or of us on what was to be one of the last days of our friendship.

Buffy went on to eventually win the battle. Just like I'll go on to make friends that I'll know and that'll know me. I'll listen to what they have to say. I'll pay attention. I'll listen for the dings - realizations of the truth. And I'll decide whether to fight or lose the battle for that friendship.

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