I just want instant friends! Rebellious-ridiculous thoughts, storming through my mind as the storm builds in my eyes and overflows onto the Pilot's t-shirt. He cuddles me on our new fake-leather couch, his arms that safe haven opening wide for me, as I cry from overdose of rich-sugary-delicious cupcakes, and being tired, and wishing for Colorado friends where I knew everybody and everybody knew me and I was at home.
I can't even explain why I'm crying; I had fun, I had a good time at the cupcake lounge, I like these new girls and I know they like me, but there's something more I want. I want to nix the feathery buttercream icing and bite straight to the middle of the cupcake, I don't want to lick the lollipop to get to the Tootsie roll, use whatever sugar-laden metaphor you want, I just want instant friends, instant depth, instant intimacy.
"Meredith, friends are like tea-bags," says the Pilot gently. He knows similes always get my attention. "Why don't you just let them steep for a while?"
Novel idea! There's no such thing as instant tea– at least I hope there isn't, because I'm sure it would be fake and bad for you and distasteful. The longer a tea-bag steeps, the more intense the flavor, and (in my opinion) the better the tea. Warm, fragrant, poured into a favorite mug, add sugar or honey and milk if you like, sip slowly, with a nice cozy book. A good cup of tea. And time and patience and care is involved, same with friendships. Intimacy by its very nature cannot be rushed, must unfold gently, naturally, and intentionally. The time is always worth it.
Tea-bag friends. We're steeping together in this small-town pot, flavors increasing, but we shall not rush.