I have had a couple of doozies of best friends. Let’s just say I’ve become well and truly familiar with being out of the loop on the social circle front. This is a product of moving around not all that much, but just enough that I got the rug yanked out from under me about when I figured I was finally beginning to belong.

So many of my friends have been circumstantial. People I share specific events with, classes, sports teams, girl scout troops. Because we shared those specific events, we are friends, we had good moments, great moments, laughter, shouting, and all the rest. The events that are still going on, I have those friends still. The things I’ve left in my past kept the people I associated with them in the past too. My soccer team mates, people I went to middle school with. Of course, I’m sure they’ve all moved on with their lives and I doubt I was ever as important to them as they once were to me, but who really knows for sure.

Most of them, it’s a bittersweet thing to remember them. I cared about them in varying degrees, some of them I once felt intensely connected to. Some of them I’m glad to have left behind. I’m sure everyone has one of those friends. Someone who made you feel like you were the luckiest person on earth because they deigned to pay attention to little old you. Maybe it was just those of us who were shy and awkward and mousy who had friends like that.

This friend, I’m going to call her Margaret, was one of the best. Never mind the fact that we both loved oldies music and her dad coached the soccer team we both played on, the best part about being friends with her was that every now and then she invited me to do things with her and the rest of her friends. At sleepovers, I would sit and read while the rest of them played board games. There were only four pieces, after all.

She didn’t like it when I said Okiedokie. I guess it was lame. It got to the point, shortly before I stopped saying Okiedokie all together, that regardless of whether she was around, I would twitch or cringe anytime I said it.

I stopped for several years. Margaret passed out of my life, as most of my circumstantial friends eventually do. One day, I said Okiedokie and twitched. Then I realized, not only is Margaret not here anymore, she was a first-class bitch to me, and there isn’t a reason on this earth why I should take anything she ever said to heart. I’ve continued saying Okiedokie. I still flinch, though now it’s mostly inwardly. But I’m not going to let someone who thought they were doing me a favour by hanging out with me dictate my behaviour. Not even my colloquialisms.

Okiedokie, honey.


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