It’s Just Like Suede!

Last year I bought a pair of soft leather baby shoes for a friend who had just given birth. Mbot and Gbot had gone through two pairs apiece of these shoes.

“Lola LOVES them,” raved my friend recently. “She won’t wear any other shoes.”

“I know,” I raved back. “They’re just like…they’re just like a second skin!”

“Um, they ARE a second skin,” she said.

And we laughed and laughed and laughed.

She’d been waiting ten years to say that. A decade ago, driving back together to my home from a spa vacation in the mountains of Idaho, we passed fields of cows, their sleek black hides gleaming in the autumn sun. “They’re so BEAUtiful,” exclaimed my city-slicker friend, practically tongue-tied. “They almost look like…like…like SUEDE!”

“Um,” I said, “They ARE suede.”

And we laughed and laughed and laughed.

A year ago, I send a professor in my MFA program an essay I’d written about me and my friend. It was mostly dialogue. It was hilarious. And poignant, and heartbreaking. And hilarious. My mentor, an accomplished poet/essayist/author, said, “It doesn’t work.”

“But why?” I asked, knowing she was right, but unable to understand.

“I’ve written things like this,” she told me. “About me and my girlfriends. And they’re wonderful. But what they really all just come down to is, ‘And then we laughed and laughed and laughed.'”

So it’s not good art. But it’s awfully good life. I’ll take it.

When’s the last time you laughed and laughed and laughed?

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