This transitioned neatly into her next favorite topic: shirtless Tom Cruise. “It’s so gross,” she said, pulling up Google search images of Tom Cruise’s bare, wrinkled chest. “I agree with you,” I insisted as she enhanced more images, zooming in and circling his invisible pecs angrily with her cursor, “but you know, Brad Pitt just might be genetically gifted…maybe you should compare him to someone else…like, I don’t know, George Clooney?”
Understanding friendships to be a two-way street, I’ve attempted to steer the conversation from Brad Pitt to the nuclear winter that is my social life, job woes, or the most recent blow up currently causing my eyes to roll back into my head for inordinately long periods of time.
“Can I just tell you something about—“ I’d start.
“Are you ruining my movie night?” she’d screech, as if it wasn’t also my movie night, “is it about that guy?”
“Yes, no, maybe, which guy? Just listen, ok?”
And to her credit, she does, for about three minutes, before declaring the room a “whine-free zone” and that “breeders are so weird.” To which I’d naturally respond with more whining.
We watched Sleepless a few nights ago while eating ice cream, my sister coming in and out of the room to ask what’s happening, and more ridiculously, what’s going to happen. I periodically clutched my sister-in-law’s sleeve as a tongue was cut out and balls were nearly crushed and other violence ensued. After a month that involved a funeral, and a date that felt like a funeral for any hope of a love life here, plus the realization that some people don’t want a friend as much as a sounding board to affirm their egos, that comfort and escape are welcome. There are no guys involved, no romantic dinners or shameless flirting, just ice cream, tea, and company I can’t replace.
“Here, just Google George Clooney,” I’d said, months ago.
“George Clooney shirtless” she typed, and we stared at the results. And there was no one I’d rather have fallen into the rabbit hole of George Clooney’s face expertly photoshopped onto gay porn stars, than my sister-in-law.