Back in the 1980’s, I thought I’d move to the big city of Atlanta. One thing about cities is that you learn to value your friends. Despite being in the center of millions of people, you can find yourself alone. So as a young, single college grad working at a brokerage firm, I made one of my dearest friends. It was great to have a buddy at concerts, art gallery openings, new restaurants, and the ever-popular activity of those without kids or attachments— spontaneous road trips.
Spending hours in a vehicle with another person requires you to figure out how to navigate annoyances and grumpy moods. To help with this, my friend and I came up with this great idea of the “Courtesy Call.” Any time someone started griping or perhaps even snapping a bit, the other would holler, “Courtesy call.” All drama had to end. At that moment. And it worked for us. We quieted or changed the subject.
Flash forward years later, we decided to meet and take our kids to Charleston, South Carolina, an exquisite Southern city. We stayed near the heart of the historic district, walked the cobblestone streets, and took a horse and buggy tour. Ornate architecture preserved through the years took us back in time. The harbor offered fresh seafood and a boat ride out to Fort Sumter. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
While reminiscing on the Charleston trip, we shared a similar discovery. Kids don’t quite understand or accept the Courtesy Call concept. AT ALL. (Okay, sometimes husbands don’t either.)
That’s the truly great thing about friendships and why you should hold onto them. You get each other’s concepts—and humor.
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Under the Southern Sun
Janet W. Ferguson