As I tweeted today, “Very few women have both Spandex pants and honest friends.” Or, as it were, a full-length mirror. We all need at least one honest friend to save us from ourselves. If only Charlie Sheen had one. I’m not simply referring to integrity-type stuff here, I’m speaking of someone honest enough to let you know when you’ve got a self-tanner streak wedged between the valley of your bicep and the unfurled sleeping bag of superfluous arm flap. Someone who’s got your back when a tight strap cuts that back in half.
I have an embarrassingly phenomenal group of women; my Steel Magnolias. And, yes, at Maggie Lee’s visitation, Kathy grabbed Gina by the shoulders, shoved her in my face and screamed, “Hit HER!” which brought a desperately needed laugh. It is Gina, whom I did not hit at the time, who has always breached the gulf of hyper-politeness to speak truth into my life.
A few years ago, Gina picked me up from the DFW Airport and took me to a comedy gig. Ten minutes before I was to go on, she looked at me and said, “What’s going on with your chin makeup here? Something’s a little off.” A quick jaunt to the ladies’ room confirmed her suspicion: my pale neck belied my bronzed cheeks. Something WAS going on with my chin makeup – I needed a turtleneck and yet I had been totally oblivious to that fact.
Horrified, I scrubbed my chin with Baptist Wood-grain paper towel which left my face splintered and ruddy. Eventually, my jaw line returned to a neutral flesh tone and I had a blast laughing with my new friends that day. Thankfully, Gina stepped in to save me from my makeup misstep.
One of Gina’s strengths is her ability, as The Bible says, to speak the truth in love. She has earned the right to speak truth into my life. She does so with kindness and tact and not to fulfill her own agenda. She is 100% for me and has always let me know when my thinking, or even my makeup, goes awry. That is the beauty of an honest friend.