Today I broke away from my desk to meet my friend LS to enjoy my favorite sandwich (tomato, basil & brie on a baguette) from Pret a Manger in the sunshine of Rockefeller Center. It was almost too hot sitting in the sun (I said almost) after what seemed to be a never-ending parade of 40 degree and lower temperatures on the news for the last few months. LS and I met in a singles ward in Salt Lake a few years ago and fell into a comfortable friendship immediately. It is amazing how quickly years go by and a friend who still feels relatively new can be termed an old friend with time and experience bolstering it up. LS and I spent time together in Salt Lake and went on a memorable camping trip to Bryce Canyon once and he was the expedition leader on my trip to Guatemala last year to build a water system. He is an attentive and empathetic listener who has the ability to draw me into deep discussions, even sitting on a cement ledge in the middle of a crowded lunch spot. We talked about his long and arduous job hunt, we talked about upcoming vacation plans and about my one dimensional life - about how all I do is work. I confessed all my social frustration and he empathized. Here we are at opposite ends with our problems - I have a fantastic job and am doing well at it and he is working part-time and temp work while he continues to seek out a career position. This is where I am blessed. He has been married almost six months and despite the financial struggles and uncertainty, they are blissfully happy, I am alone. The difference is, I would trade in my blessing if I could give up my trial, while I doubt he would make that choice.
As we reluctantly walked back to my office, LS mentioned how nice it was to have lunch with me and then proceeded to tell me about a comment his wife made this morning. She asked what he was doing today and he said he was meeting me for lunch. She then explained how she was glad and that it would be weird if he was meeting another girl, but for some reason I am okay. He said he agreed and explained that he wouldn't even think about having lunch with one of the other women they socialize with because that would be weird but somehow it was okay with me. I wasn't sure how to take that exactly.
This isn't my first experience being the "safe" girl. Several years ago I was friends with three boys who lived in my building. One was engaged to a girl living in Utah. He would often call me to go see a movie or go to dinner - sometimes just the two of us, sometimes with one of the other roommates. At one point his roommate asked me why I was dating his engaged roommate. I guess I just have a non-threatening vibe.