I love unflagging honesty in people. Mostly because it so rarely exists. Deborah has such unflagging honesty. Now, I don’t mean “Does this make me look fat?” “HELL, YES!” honesty- although she has that sort, too. No, I simply refer to honesty about oneself.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away, Deb and I both attended the University of South Florida’s esteemed MA program for Public Relations Management (see, there go the lies… I mean, esteemed? Really?). We both had husbands and respectable homes. We had dreams, visions, goals. Deb wanted to set the world on fire. I wanted to find the perfect sushi roll. Ah, so alike…

ANYWAY, things- mostly life- happened, and I left my husband, left my job, lost an excellent hairdresser, and left the MA program. Deb adopted a baby, got pregnant (yup, that’s about the surest way to get pregnant as far as I can tell. Once you adopt, you don’t even have to have sex, you just automatically get pregnant), and got a ph. D. in English (Deb, was it? I honestly don’t remember!)

And while I moved to the ghetto and found the perfect sushi roll (it’s called Dirty Old Man and you can find it at Hooks in St. Pete), Deb has pursued her dreams of motherhood. Needless to say, ghetto dwellers and townhouse dwellers don’t see each other at the same Publix much, and Deb and I haven’t spoken much over the past few years. Recently, though, we reconnected (god, I hate it when I sound new age. Anyone have a better word?) and I had the chance to peruse her blog . What, I wondered as I trembled with anticipation, had this dynamic, vivacious, intellectual hotty been doing? Had she won the Nobel prize? Had her boys? Were they all reading Gore Vidal at bedtime? So, I clicked, I waited, and…

… and she’s been to Disney World and she’s moving to Land O’Lakes. Oh, and she goes to a place to Toyopia.

Let me say now that I don’t believe there is anything intrinsically wrong with these things. It’s what people (especially moms) DO. Ok, maybe not the Land O’Lakes thing, but Disney, ya, sure. I’m not judging her- there’s nothing TO judge. But it’s kinda shocking, you know? I mean, she debated the ideals of people whose names I couldn’t spell at the time and cannot remember now. What the HELL is she doing getting someone to peepee in the potty (of course, I’d rather HER be the one to have children than a lot of OTHER people I know, she’s much better qualified to train a little human, so maybe I should retract that sentiment)? Shouldn’t she be out, writing the great American novel? Shouldn’t she be a book reviewer for some major publisher? Shouldn’t she BE the new face of Chick Lit?

I just realized that if Deb reads this it probably sounds bad, and I want to stress that that’s not what I’m trying to do here. I’m making a point (and stay with me, I DO have one). Deborah’s life has changed. So has mine. If she reads my blog, she probably shakes her head and tries to imagine of what my day to day life consists. And let me stress to you, my faithful readers (hi, mom!), that that is OK. Because I do it when I read her blog, too. I cannot fathom her life.

My point (see, I TOLD you I had one) is that Deb doesn’t try to pretend she is the same person, on a detour. She seems willing to accept that she has redirected her life. I LOVE that; it’s one of the reasons I have always liked her. She has the honesty somewhere deep within to accept where she is, and proclaim it graciously. And even though our lives have taken wildly different turns (she worries about schools, I worry about how to replace my windows when the crack dealers’ music shatters them with their obnoxious bass), I like to think that I have the same sort of honesty about where we are. Or, as Buffett says…

“Sometimes more than others, you see who and what and where you are.”

Deb knows who and what and where she is. We all need to know more people like that.

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I write. I take pictures. I love my dog. I love Florida. My 2016 book, 'Backroads of Paradise' did really well for the publisher and now I feel a ridiculous amount of pressure to finish the second book.

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