Thursday, March 13, 2008

Guest Blogger - The One and Only Carrie Clancy . . .

I asked family and friends to put some thoughts together for my surgaversary. My good friend Carrie was very kind to oblige my request.

Carrie and I, as she will clarify, became friends through the "it is a small world after all" theory and I can honestly tell you, for a good stretch, Carrie was my number-one-go-to-friend for all sorts of foolishness.

I have had so much fun with Carrie and I had all that fun during an era in my life when I wasn't having a lot of fun or enjoying very many people. I never once said "no" when Carrie asked me to lace up my yellow sneakers and hit the streets of DC with her and I'm really, really glad I never said no!

I miss Carrie all the time and I'm happy to report to you all that Carrie seems, like me, to be the happiest now that she has been in the time we've been friends. Thanks for your friendship and your kind words, Carrie. I love ya'!

PS - Apologies on the photo. I don't have a single picture of Carrie and when I googled her, this boat came up as the first photo that matched her name so - I went with it. Somehow, I just figured she would get a giggle out that. I did.

Sean Amore was a character, just a name really, I'd known of only vaguely since my youth. He was a dear childhood friend of my cousins and important enough to have been mentioned repeatedly over the years. We eventually made acquaintance several years ago at the Vermont wedding of one of those same cousins.

I'd arrived dateless, having broken up with my longtime live-in boyfriend only days before. Nobody really asked me about it, and rightfully so, because who wants to talk heartbreak at a wedding celebration?! Well... Sean did. He sat himself down in my Gramma's living room that weekend and started asking away. It was completely cool, though. We talked about breaking up and, once we discovered we were neighbors, we talked about DC. OK, everything's relative. When you're sitting on top of a mountain in Vermont, Washington DC really is "just down the street" from Fairfax VA.

On the actual wedding day, Sean was dressed in one of the handsomest and most impeccably tailored suits I'd ever seen. I caught a glimpse of him resting out on my Grampa's "sitting stone" and it made me smile. The men I know don't tailor their suits, so I took Sean for a first class fella and made up my mind that he must do something important downtown.

It wasn't long before Sean and I started hanging out back in DC: movies, lunches, dinners, happy hours, parties, museums and brunches. We invented "day of fun," an afternoon of traipsing around the city with a loose agenda that involved museuming and lunching and anything in between. Nearly every adventure we had, we experienced on foot.

We quickly became true friends. I opened up to him about and trusted him with every detail of my nutty life. I got invited to Easter Pie with his brothers and I went along on his first date with Joy.

I haven't seen Sean in almost 2 years, and we don't confide in one another these days, but I read his blog daily. It's comforting to have the link to an old friend, but more surprisingly, I've begun to learn so much more about him. About the guy who I would have called my "best friend" for a couple years there, and I realize that I didn't truly know him as well as I thought.

Learning this certainly does not diminish the friendship we had -- Sean was an amazing friend to me. I have just discovered that there was a whole other layer to my friend that has only been exposed to me in his therapeutic post-surgery revelations.

Now I know that the suit was expensive-looking and tailored because it had to be. Now I know that Sean was hiding his misery when I dragged him around the sidewalks of DC, even on the days he wore his funky yellow sneakers. Now I know that when we parted ways after a fabulous meal at Jaleo, he probably went straight to McDonald's anyway.

But back then I was oblivious to that dark side. Here's what I knew about Sean: he was a great listener, a reliable companion, a hilarious and clever conversationalist, an intelligent and connected businessperson, a magnetic social presence, and a curious learner. A man with offbeat cultural taste, artistic talent, family values, community roots, high education, an affinity for using parentheses in emails, and a love of "good times." I'd never have described Sean as my obese friend or my drinking friend or my insecure friend. There are so many other things that come to mind first.

So when Sean wrote just this week that "my insecurities about that phase in my life might not really equal everyone else's insecurities about me," I wanted to speak up. He's made references to, and I am paraphrasing here, being ashamed by certain behavior and how that might look to his friends or acquaintances. If there is one thing I wish for Sean during his "bariatric journey," it would be that he make peace with those feelings.

Sean, give your friends the benefit of the doubt. The people that love you remember the things about you that are, well, "lovable," (see my short list, above) before they remember you for the mistakes you made. I know you do the same when the tables are turned, pal. Set yourself free.
I don't wonder if we'd be friends if we knew each other today. Well, we ARE friends, but I am confident that we'd be good friends in a new way, because I am sure all the qualities I listed above are still what make you special, along with your new roles as husband, father, and obesity-issues-evangelist. We probably just wouldn't make a date of Restaurant Week to have our fun, right?

I am so proud of you. Happy 1 year!!


nytova said...

you did get a giggle out of me... that would be "Carrie Clancy, Heroine of the Atlantic"

thanks for the touching introduction, pal!

Sean C. Amore said...

Well - I have Carrie Clancy, Heroine of Northern Virginia! Thanks, again, for the support and friendship!

Kenny said...

Great blog!Thanks!