Open Letter to MX5: How I Almost Let Assumptions Rob Me of a Fabulous Friendship

MX5, whom some of you may know from her occasional appearances as a subject in the Motherhood and comments section, celebrated her 40th birthday this weekend. *Throws confetti* She wanted to be surrounded by her favorite people, and I am proud (and astonished) to say I was one of them. The small assemblage of we select few dined on Olive Garden fare and bite sized Snicker bars while her husband regaled us with sweet and amusing stories about his wife.

The theme of the party was Phenomenal 40, and we were each asked to describe MX5 in one word…a synonym for what makes her phenomenal. It’s too bad that no one was recording the event, because there were some really wonderful things said about her. I said (and I’m quite proud of this) that she was phenomenal for her “snap back” ability. After bearing five children, she has snapped back to her high school physique, and effortlessly so. I will never see my high school proportions again. Ever. In this life. And I’m genuinely happy for any woman who can accomplish this (assuming the figure of her teenaged years were the best of her life).

As we were lauding MX5, I had a sudden memory. I was certain that I had shared it with her previously. She looked at me with disbelief when I said these words:

“I didn’t think I could ever be friends with MX5…not ever.”

“Malaka? What?”

“Yeah, girl!” I laughed. “We discussed this, remember?”

She tilted her head and replied, “Uhhh…NO. We have not.”

Oh. My bad. Well, we’ll discuss it now.



Dear MX5,

Gurrrrrl, I didn’t think I could ever, EVER be friends with you. It’s not because you’re a horrible person or ever HAVE been; quite the contrary. It’s because you are and always have been too good.

Get thee behind me, adversity!

Get thee behind me, adversity!

The perception I had about our friendship that would never be lie in the fact that I had made certain assumptions about you, and in turn had projected those assumptions about how you might feel about me: those being that you would have no interest in being my friend, either. My salvation is still half-baked, and you have always been a Super Christian – the epitome of that Proverbs 31 Woman we are all told to strive to be. In fact, I see you as the Sparta of the Proverbs 31 Woman, capable of just about anything, defeating calamity whenever it crosses your path. I’m more like a Rahab, a whore who let down ropes and ladders to the enemy in order to spare her family from the horrors of the onslaught the armies of Israel would bring to the inhabitants of the city.

The pairing of Rahab and the Proverbs 31 Woman makes no sense on paper, but you and I have proven that it’s a beautiful thing in practice. Yes, I think our friendship is a beautiful thing!

Prior to getting to know you, I had always seen you as someone I could not possibly relate or have anything in common with. Now I look back at all the years wasted and could kick myself for not trying to ingratiate myself with you earlier! I cannot recall when we first became friends, but if I’m correct, the bond was probably centered around the two things we’ve consistently had in common for the last 8 years: pregnancies in tandem and a love of coffee.

It was such a joy to share the company of another woman who knew exactly what I was going through at exactly that moment, and more importantly, share a laugh about it. That was the other thing I had assumed about you years ago – that you were reserved and didn’t like to laugh. Imagine my surprise when I found out how funny you were! It’s always a treat for me to be in the company of comedic people, because I really do love to laugh; and you, my friend, keep me rolling.

Can you imagine how bleak my life would be if it lacked your companionship? How many times have I sent you two-word texts Coffee today? and waited breathlessly for a Yes. One day I’ll take a selfie of my crestfallen face when the reply comes back in the negative. I can FEEL my cheeks succumb to gravity.

Though I know I am not your very bestest friend (only Elder B and FX5 can occupy that space), I would like to believe I am among your good ones. I will endeavor to remain in that space with the same vehemence that kept me from entering into a kinship with you almost 15 years ago. Those who – like me – have made assumptions about your quiet, dignified social demeanor and misread it for haughtiness are missing out…but I’m not going to tell them that. They’ll have to go through the same trial of discovery I did. They too must know the torment of years wasted judging your persona when they could have been basking in the awesomeness that is MX5!


A’ight, girl. Text me later.