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Monday, December 12, 2005

Holdin' Out for a Friend

I think I have a natural tendency to create idols to worship. I want to put people on a pedestal, even if they don't belong there. I've done it with many boyfriends in the past, and I've done it with friends. I need a hero. I'm holdin' out for a hero till the end of the night. Well, I was holding out for a hero, but not anymore. I realize what I really need is a friend, not a savior.

Last night I went to a fundraiser with the Toddtender, but since it was an event sponsored by the Oregon Bears, I wasn't sure what I should wear. Neither of us belong to the organization, but the Toddtender is more bear-like and bear-knowledgeable than I am, so I sought his advice.

"Wear something pink," he told me. That seemed wrong to me, so I asked him to elaborate.

"Really? Something pink? Are you kidding?"

"Pink hot pants. Do you have pink hot pants?" asked the Toddtender. Okay, so now I knew he was kidding. Thank god, because my only pair of hot pants is purple. In the end, he wore a sweatshirt, and I wore a turtleneck, and we both had a great time, and he only spilled two beers, which is good for a bartender, I guess.

As you know, I spend a lot of time sitting across the bar from the Toddtender while he performs his magic for thirsty patrons at CC Slaughters (I sound like I'm writing a travel guide or something) but whenever I get to spend time with him outside of the bar it feels like a privilege.

I used to be too intimidated to order drinks from the Toddtender. If he was tending bar, I would purposely find another bartender to order from - one who wouldn't cause my voice to shake or make me nervous enough to spill my drink all over him. After I got to know him, I realized what a kind soul he is, and I began to feel more secure.

But I still didn't know we were friends. What I mean is, I didn't realize he considered me a friend instead of just a customer. Then he came to my birthday breakfast. The Toddtender came to Auburn Pisces' house for the celebration, and at one point I thanked him for coming. I was a bit too obsequious as I kneeled before him praising his generosity of spirit for gracing me with his presence. He seemed to think it was ridiculous that I would thank him for celebrating my birthday with me.

After that, I just accepted his friendship. I began to treat the Toddtender like he was just a normal person which, although a bit hotter than the average normal person (yes, it's redundant, so what), I guess he really is. The Toddtender was now one of my friends! Treating someone like a god does not encourage friendship. Treating someone like a friend encourages friendship.

In the past few weeks, I've enjoyed socializing more with the Toddtender, whether we are playing Bingo with nuns or gritting our teeth through an endless charity auction (where every item has a "bear" theme). I plan on joining his softball team this spring. I like that I can talk to him about movies or television shows or music or boys. And sometimes when he gets off work at the bar, he'll come sit with me and chat and have drinks with me. I still feel proud when this happens. Lots of guys would probably pay money to have him sit with them. I no longer put him on a pedestal, but I am proud of him. I think it's okay to be proud of having someone as a friend. Especially a friend like the Toddtender.

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