FRIENDSHEEP: A Summer Romance

Sometimes you just have to give in, admitting, say, you’re just a dumb tourist and buy the tchotchkes on offer. This summer I traveled in Wales with my much younger and ridiculously fit friends Victoria and Jay. We were “walking,” as we did last summer in Yorkshire (think rocks and stiles, also sheep), and as usual I brought up the rear, including mortifyingly falling on it. But off the trail, we returned to a more civilized horizontal.

Jay, I should say, is unembarrassed by kitsch, especially if it is animal related. (Remember his “How to Raise a Jewish Dog” post.) I am strenuously resistant to animal cuteness―in life or image―but when after a tea break Jay showed me his latest find, I surprised both of us by saying I had to have one of my own. The keychain had my name on it, as it were. (I did not buy the recycled sheep-pooh paper, however. There are limits.)

What could sum up our Welsh adventure better than this miniature, laminated tribute to “friendsheep”? The only mimetic flaw here being the two creatures, rather than the trio we hilariously made up.

photo-2I’ve been wrestling with my friendship project for a while now, not least on this site, especially since it has a slightly mournful quality (the dead friends part). The keychain reminds me that silliness is key (as it were) to the friendships that matter most to me―an anti-memento mori.

Miles away from Wales and sheep, I can’t help smiling every time I lock and unlock my door.

A friend commits suicide

“We are all patchwork, and so shapeless and diverse in composition that each piece, each moment, plays its own game,” Montaigne writes. “And there is as much difference between us and ourselves as between us and others.” Here is one of those pieces.

Download the essay “A Friend Commits Suicide” (from Feminist Friendship Archive)

IMG_1652