Straight Talk from Straight Kids

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 16, 2000

MONIQUE MICHEL / L’Observateur / February 16, 2000

It was a typical Sunday afternoon with nothing to do. A friend and I were devisingan escape from home for a while. There was really nowhere to go, and we didn’thave that much money. We really wanted some coffee but couldn’t figure outwhere to go. Then my friend had the brilliant idea to go to the coffee shop in theairport. When I told this to my parents and some family that was over I got a lot ofblank stares. One aunt even asked what “the airport” was. She thought it wassome kind of new teen hangout. After I explained the plans and got some cash Iwalked out the house overhearing some pretty funny conversations about how the times have changed and how reckless youth are. I mean all I wanted was a cup ofcoffee; I had no plans to overthrow the government. But it didn’t matter because Iwas free, for a couple of hours anyway.

Once we got there we just hung around and drank our coffee. We chatted withsome very interesting people and laughed so hard I’m sure we looked stupid. Wewent through all the shops pretending we didn’t know about New Orleans culture.

Then this thought struck me – I have never been more myself than I am right now.

In front of some other people previously I have felt like I needed to act a certain way. But some people just have that knack of making you feel secure with who youare. My friend, Hailey, is that kind of person.Ecclesiastes 4:9 and 10 says, “Two are better than one…for if they fall, one willlift up the other.” Recently, I was going through something I thought was impossibleto overcome. I felt like giving up, but this friend never did. Whether it was a letter,a hug or just some kind words, she was always there. I guess I had alwaysunderestimated the power that friendship brings. Not only did she make meappreciate her more, she taught me to appreciate myself.

I pray all of you have this kind of friend. The one who can make you laugh thehardest and cry the hardest, too. The one who would drop everything just to bethere. The one who will honestly tell you that you look bad in those pants and thatyour hair really is horrible, but always in a loving way.

I know Valentine’s Day was Monday and it’s often thought to be a holiday for lovers.

But I think it is more of a day to appreciate those around you. So if you didn’t doanything for your best friend, it’s not too late. You could even take them for a cupof coffee at the airport.

If you have any questions or comments, contact me at orP.O. Box 1493, LaPlace, LA 70069.

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