Every time I change the pillow cases on our corner pillows – those right-angle v-shaped ones that are great when you want to read in bed, have a bad cold, or drank one (or a few) too many glasses of wine – every time I change those pillow cases I remember my lovely friend Nan.
Nan and I met when we both lived in a kinda hick rural town in New Zealand, a town that will forever occupy a fond place in my heart. She was another English accent in a very non ‘expat’-y kind of a place. And much as I’d moved there to ‘be part of the town, blend in with the local culture’, I learnt that wherever you move to in the world no one quite ‘gets’ you like someone from the place you grew up.
Nan and I didn’t quite grow up in the same place, but we did grow up in the same country. Our upbringings were really quite different, but we both washed up in the same small NZ town. So that threw us together and in our beloved little town we shared good times and bad. We shared cigarettes and coffee. We birthed our children there. And we shopped in the nearest shopping centre. For things like new corner pillow covers.
We liked K-Mart. Well. we found it useful anyway. Not too expensive and a great one-stop-shop for household goods, baby/kids stuff and functional, reasonably priced clothes. Even sometimes quite stylish. For a couple of hick rural town chicks anyway.
One day we were both looking for new pillowcases for our corner pillows so we hit up K-Mart to see what they had. We scoured the aisles, eventually coming across the same type of sateen, frilly corner pillowcases I’d found elsewhere – in designer type shops like ‘The Warehouse’ (!!) and even bedding-focussed places like ‘Bed, Bath and Beyond’. (Now please bear in mind that this was years ago now, and I can’t recall exactly all the shops I’d looked in and found only these sateen frilly pillowcases in). So we find these sateen frilly pillowcases in a range of colours like dark green, black and blood red, and I say something along the lines of,
“Oh no! Not these again. I just can’t put these cheesy things on my bed, I’m going to keep looking for cotton ones,” and Nan is just silent. Really silent. That kind of silence that says everything you wish it wouldn’t.
And so I say, “Oh! You like those sateen ones don’t you?!” And she says something chirpy like,
“Well, since they don’t have cotton ones I’ think I’ll just buy some more of my trusty old satin frillies.”
She didn’t take the hump. She didn’t get her pillow in a twizzle about it. She just moved right along. And though I can be way over-sensitive about situations like that, I didn’t wish the earth would swallow me or anything like that either – I just moved right along too. We just had a giggle and moved on to fitted sheets and thence to jeggings. (No really – neither of us bought jeggings!) And that said a lot to me about our friendship. So every time I change our corner pillow cases (same corner pillows), I remember Nan and that day out shopping, and wish a bit that my boring beige cotton pillowcases were red satin with frilly edges instead.
Thanks for stopping by my wee blogette. My family and I move around, although we’re currently trying not to. By staying still I hope I’m finding ways to appreciate it; I’m finding ways to connect the dots that got me to where I am now – and some of those dots are the friends I’ve made along the way. It struck me recently how I remember my friends often through things we did together – when I do those things again, or use the things they gave me. Moments, items, tips, memories. I was going to do a single blog post about a few of them but this one seemed long enough so I’ll slot them in once in a while.
Do come back and read some more.