Friends are the family you choose

I have been slow in writing lately. I know you are all crying yourselves to sleep wondering what is going on. You know who isn’t crying? This lady right here. Why? Because two people that I love very much are living with us for an undetermined period of time and it’s faneffingtastic (for me, it’s TBD for those suckers).

The Chicago contingent

The Chicago contingent

You see, we have this group of friends that has been dubbed the “family we choose” (FWC). Someday, when our bones are all crackely and we can sit around braiding eachother’s earhairs singing Ginuwine’s “Pony”, we plan to move into a giant house and live a Golden Girls lifestyle. (note: I call Sophia.)

These people mean everything to me. I don’t have siblings, but I imagine the loyalty, love and random slaps we throw around are akin to that of familial bonds. Their kids are Ellis’ cousins. I open their fridge without hesitating. This is family, people.

So when a few FWC members wanted to get a jump start, albeit only temporarily, on our blended family, I said “HELL YEA”. Yes it sucks to have to move out of your condo because your relationship with your neighbors is less than ideal, but Hotel Swirley welcomes you with open, rarely-shaven arm(pit)s.

Week 1 down.

Week 1 down.

Four parents, one kid, two cats and a dog? Eat that Bradys. Want to build a bench? Three other adults to play with Our Little Brony.  Meal planning? Obviously. Inspired by Jim Gaffiganwe went as far as making homemade Hot Pockets.

My sink has never been emptier and my cabinets more full. I almost even like, well, tolerate, dogs after living with one for a few weeks. WHO AM I?

In all seriousness, I don’t think our two friends realize how much it means to have them stay with us; it’s almost reminiscent of high school and college in terms of friendships developing over downtime.

Life has changed since we all became friends in grade school, college and beyond. While I am sure many of our basic characteristics and behaviors are reminicient of our younger selves, we are obvioulsy incredibly different people. Living with friends reminds me why and how much I love them. More importantly, it emphasizes that our perceptions of one another, as well as our relationships, can and should be more dynamic as we age.

Johnny Mic is no longer an asymmetrical rattail-sporting kid. He’s a fantastic and incredibly patient teacher. The G shed her mullet and is one of the most determined and loyal people I know. While I was well aware of both their history of terrible haircuts and badassness before they set up shop, spending so much one-on-one time has reinforced just how fortunate we are to call them family. I know, gag. Too bad.

photoI am in no rush for my friends to leave. In fact, I think I will selfishly experience a period of mourning when they settle into their new space. With that said, I am so grateful that we could find a mutually beneficial and comfortable situation when we both needed a few extra high-fives.

Plus, I mean, homemade hot pockets? COME ON!

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    Annie Swingen

    Chicago-based hyperbole enthusiast. Mom to a kid and sometimes my mom. Overboard (1987) obsessed weirdo. I like the funnies in life.

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