A shout out to my Swedish friends

This song just came on the radio (Because the Night with Patti Smith) and it brought me back to high school! I went to Swedish middle school and high school and I made the best friends in the world there.  They were so incredibly welcoming of me. I didn't speak Swedish but everyone wanted to try out their 7th grade English on me.  Can you imagine that happening in the US?  ;-)

I was a shy kid and reeling from the divorce of my parents and subsequent move across the ocean but I felt so comforted and at the same time in awe of my Swedish peers.  They did everything I wouldn't have dared to do, but soon enough I was swept up too in the dances, drinking and slow dancing.  

But way more important than the boys were the girls who I came to know over long conversations with tea n' scones. When this song came on I remembered clearly dancing in a ring with my friends - just for the hell of it and no boys in sight - just dancing in a ring and loving the music.  

Kajsa x 2, Gabi, Cecilia, Anna, Ann, Anne, Lisa, Lena, the other Tina, Helena, dear Pernilla and more - you all still live in my heart.  I don't know why you let me into your group, I couldn't add much at first, but you accepted me and to this day I love Sweden in large part due to your largess.  

I also miss my international bunch of friends from Skanör-Falserbo!  When we lived there these amazing women welcomed me into their group and I felt such kinship with them.  I loved hanging out with everyone, going to the beach, doing "girls dinners" which basically entails dressing up, eating, laughing your heads off and dancing your hearts out.  

My Swedish gal pals are awesome, empowered, crazy and kind.  I have friends like that in the USA too  but even here I tend to gravitate to international women who understand, as do I, that friends are gold and time is well spent with them no matter how busy your life might be.  Kramar, Tina

p.s. oddly enough I wrote this post on February 9th not even knowing that it was #friendsday!


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