You might think that coming off the high of two days with friends and plenty of cocktails my week could not get any better, but for me it did. Sunday I flew down to Knoxville to visit with my bestie Tara. It was three and a half days of glorious happiness that I haven’t had since we saw each other last year. Starting with baked brie and wine on Sunday evening and concluding with Waffle House on Wednesday morning, this was by far my best vacation in ages! You might not think that Knoxville is all that sophistocated, what with the proliferation of Cracker Barrel, but Knoxville has something that we do not have here in California, and that is Painting With A Twist. This art studio teaches painting classes to novices and at the end of a class, you go home with your finished work of art.
I had some trepidation when we signed up, but then I heard we could bring our own wine. I figured with enough wine any painting can look fantastic! So, fearlessly we went to the class one evening, ready to unleash our inner artists. We had signed up to paint a piece called Black Dress. The instructor takes the class step by step through the painting process, first with the background and then with the focal point, finishing up with some finer flourishes. It is very interesting to see the variations that occur in a group – one lady had an entirely pink background, one had bold strokes of color all through the background, I had large brush strokes and Tara had fine blending. We all heard the same instructions but each has different taste, and so, completely different paintings.
I won’t give away the secret, I just can’t, but just know that you do not need any sort of talent to leave that room with a beautiful painting. I am delighted with the results and although I don’t know yet where I am going to hang this in my house, I am incredibly proud of it! The class had some mushy text they wanted us to write on the painting, something about not judging yourself and feeling strong about your appearance. Tara and I went with something that embodied our few days together: shopping. We shopped until our feet hurt! Tara had found a quote from Carrie Bradshaw (Sex in the City) which was “I like my money where I can see it. Hanging in my closet.” So, that’s what we put on our paintings. No sentiments of empowerment or individual strength for us, just pure consumerism!
Even though it was an all-too-short visit, the real beauty of this trip was not in the painting. It was in the ease with which we slide right back together after being apart for over a year. It’s tough having a best friend who lives 2000+ miles away. We don’t get to talk every day and you might think that the little details of life that we miss would serve to thrust us further apart. But they don’t. I think we pack as much feeling and enjoyment into every second we are together, even if we are watching True Blood or American Dad. You don’t find friends like my T every day, and so I appreciate every second we get together, and in the months until we see each other again, I take those memories out and relish the laughter, the joy and the comfort of our friendship.
I sometimes find it difficult to be completely at ease with people, even close friends and family. I’m always worrying about my appearance, or what Melody is getting into, or if I remembered to complement a new hairstyle. I know, insecurities all. But with Tara, I can completely relax and truly be myself. That is a beautiful relationship. One for which I am greatful every single day.