Dyed-white, thick, straight hair obediently encases her heavily made-up face. She's hurriedly running a brush through it as I approach the sink between her and another woman in the restaurant loo. Fashion and appearance matter to her; everything about her look is deliberate. She's making a statement.
The other gal is struggling with the tap. Is it motion sensitive? Are you supposed actually turn something? Her worn grey and maroon winter coat is sagging over slack shoulders. Her mousy, unkept hair and cheap mud-brown plastic glasses frame an uncertain face. "I can't figure this thing out she mumbles."
"Just pull up," they dyed woman says. It is then that I realize they are acquainted. They laugh, "Just pull up! Pull up!" They're laughing and brushing and washing. The woman on my left sighs an after-giggle sigh, "Aaah. Just like Play Station."
"Yup," the now successfully scrubbed friend replies, "I guess that's why we make such a good team. We both know some stuff."
I yank my hoodie sleeve down over my hand to grip the suspiciously finger-printed handle of the bathroom door and make my way back out into the restaurant. I leave the exchange behind me. And I take it with me, too. Two women as unlike one another as could physically be. I would never have put them together as friends, thinking that the one would likely want nothing to do with the other. But there they were, sharing, nurturing, affirming, instructing.
We need each other, my friends. We are different ~ sometimes glaringly so. We think differently, believe differently, parent differently, treat money differently. We walk and dress and do our hair differently.
And we are the same. We need help with the bathroom tap every now and then, and sometimes beating a level on the latest game is un-doable without a buddy at our elbow. We need someone standing beside us as we stare into the bathroom mirror ~ someone who believes that we are lovely and acceptable and worthy.
If you don't have that friend, go make that friend. You may be surprised where you find her. She may not be packaged the way you'd expect and you may not be the one she thinks she's looking for either. Extend friendship until you find her. She's worth the search; she's worth the wait.