The Shirt off her back

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Today a friend literally gave me the shirt off her back.

I saw her in passing as we both dropped our kids off at school. A warm hello-hug, and a brief catching-up as we briskly walked side-by-side in the stolen moments of friendship that the crosswalk duration would allow for two busy, working moms. Shivering from the unusual LA chill - low 50's and high winds that stung my face (the struggle is real for us Angelenos), I mentioned that underneath my bright yellow overcoat, I was only wearing thin workout clothes, and I had a class in the park in less than ten minutes that would last for an extremely uncomfortable hour. As we passed by her car she mentioned that she might have something inside that she could lend me. "Yes, please!" I accepted. (I would have settled for her husband's smelly sweatshirt at that point. Not that her husband is smelly. But he has been working on and underneath that car lately.) No dice. No extra clothes or warmth for me, so I told her not to worry and quickly hugged her goodbye. "Here, take my thermal!" she said, and started to pull it off from underneath her pretty, plaid poncho. "Absolutely not!" I retorted. "Keep your shirt, I'll be fine!" As I started to walk away, I could hear her insisting. "I'll be in my warm car all day, not outside. You need it more than I do. Take it!"

So I started to run. I ran away from my friend. Laughing and running, I turned back to blow her a kiss, tell her I that loved her, and that I'll see her this weekend. But I did run. I ran because I knew that she is actually the kind of person who would sacrifice her own comfort for mine. And I couldn't let her do that. As I got into my own warm car and started the engine, I took a moment to check my schedule on my phone. I looked up and there she was. I rolled down the window and in flew my friend's toasty thermal shirt, still warm from her back. Then she turned and ran away, all pretty in plaid, with just a tee underneath.