A Good Camp Weekend

This week, I spent three days at Roseland. I left after work on Friday, a very sleepy Friday for me, because I was exhausted from work last week and I spent the night at David's and neither of us slept very well for some reason. As usual, during the camp season, when Friday rolls around, I bitch about having to come home after work, pack up all my stuff and a very whiney, old dachshund, and drive for two hours, sometimes even three hours depending on traffic, to Roseland (a.k.a. "gay camp", as we like to call it). This Friday was no different. I was exhausted, and as usual, I did it anyway and rolled into camp at 9:15 that evening. Once I arrived I managed to get my second wind and went up to the req. hall (a.k.a. "town square" or "the cha cha palace" to which it is affectionately referred to by the most of us seasonals). A good time was had by all and I went to bed around 12:00.

Saturday was spent steam cleaning 5 years of carpet funk out of the camper carpet, since I doubt the Jimmy, my friend and prior owner, had ever steamed it. Saturday night Dan and I had a couple of good friends (who happen to be our camp neighbors) up for a nice dinner on our deck. Somehow, by sheer luck, the rain showers went around us so we were able to grill outside and hang out. That went on until around 8 and then we migrated down to Walt and Tommy's deck and sat by their pot bellied stove enjoying the warmth that chased away the dampness of the woods. This season has been non-stop rain for the most part so this weekend was a welcome break with lots of sunshine. Around 10:30 Walt, Dan, and I went up to the Cha Cha palace to take in the evenings Cinco De Mayo festivities. I was roped into being blindfolded, spun around in circles, and given a stick to try to hit a big Pinyata that was hung above the street. First wack and I knocked a big chunk out of it. Not bad for someone who usually is dizzy to being with, even without the three shots of Petrone Silver Tequila and several margaritas that ensued that night! Most of the rest of the night was spent talking with Scott and several other friends, and dancing. I rolled home at 2:30am with quite a tequila buzz going. Troy, who was bartending, LOVES to get me drunk and pours a very powerful drink.

The best part of the evening was seeing a lot of friends who I had not seen in quite a while. Camp is finally springing back to life now that the weather is picking up. Pool season will start in about a week and the place will come to full life once that happens. Its such a good feeling to walk into the req. hall and within five minutes be hugged by about five people and also being told that they missed me over the season. For me, the best part of Roseland, is the people who go there. It's all about friendship, being yourself, and just kicking back and letting your hair down without the fear of judgement.

As I lie face down on my deck today, sunbathing, and nursing my hangover, I thought a lot about friendship and what that word really means. What are the qualities of a good friendship? I have a lot of friends, some very close friends who have been in my life for a very long time, some close friends who are new, and some friends who are there but who I see infrequently, and other friends who have sort of faded out of my life over the years.. I think that friendship is important. Its even important in a relationship. You ultimately have to become good friends in addition to being romantic!

I thought a lot about my close friends and what makes them so close and what exactly makes it a good friendship. I think that there a whole host of things that come into play. First of all, the ability to listen and also to share. A good friend listens to you when you need to talk and isn't afraid to let you know how they feel about things . Honesty is another quality. IF you are good friends then you aren't afraid to disagree about something or to let the other person know that maybe you don't agree with that they are doing or saying. If you are true friends, nothing will change that. The ability to forgive and also to say I am sorry I was wrong, is another definite requirement. My friend Alan and I have become very close and had a fight one time, and even though we didn't speak for about a month, we got through it, and we both said "sorry, I was wrong" and that was the end of it. Sometimes being a good friend involves keeping your mouth shut even when you know that something is majorly wrong. My friend Helen kept her silence for eight years when I was with my first partner who ended up being emotionally abusive, and is now into drug and alcohol abuse. I never knew that she didn't like him until after our break up. She said that she didn't like him and how he treated me but respected my relationship and friendship enough not to say anything. I wish that she would have, it would have maybe made me wake up and would have saved me eight years of grief.

Friendship is a two way street in my opinion. My biggest pet peeve is when you have a friend and YOU are always the one who has to call, to ask to hang out, are always the one making the plans, and always seem to be the one holding the friendship togeather. Frindship should not be one sided work! It makes you feel foolish and also like you are a bother. In that situation it makes you question rather you are really friends, or does the other person just give in because they are too polite to let you know how they really feel about you? I have been quilty of this myself. A few people in my past have annoyed me and rather than just saying, "I am annoyed and we need to fix this", or even "I don't think our friendship is working out" I would just ignore the phone calls, or put them off with plans and say "yah, maybe we can do something next week" and then never calling, so I guess I shouldn't judge, but it's not a very nice way to handle things. I am always happy to hear from friends and that's how it should be. It should never be work to hang out, to make a phone call, to say "hey, I miss you", it should be something that you ENJOY and look forward to. As Alan once said, "It shouldn't always be up to you to call ME, that's not how friendships work!" Helen, my friend of 20 plus years, calls me when she hasn't heard from me in a while, just to check up. I call her when I haven't heard from her in a while as well. It's just what good friends do!

MOST of all, good friends have your back and are there when you need them and vice versa. A few weeks ago, I had a very bad evening and got into an argument with someone that I love. I was an emotional mess and I called Alan, and without even a pause on the phone, he said "come over and lets talk." I was there till well past midnight. I have done the same for him! I remember a late phone call asking me if he could come over and smoke on my porch because he was so upset about something. I said ABSOLUTLEY! Its just what friends do for each other!

Bottom line, hang on to your friends! It's what life is all about, the human experience.

Getting Ready for the Cha Cha Palace


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