Xoxo. It means hugs and kisses or kisses and hugs depending on whom you ask. It was made popular again by Gossip Girl. (BTW-how much do we love Darota?) And it's often the way both Liz and I sign off when we're blogging, posting and emailing. So you might assume that because we use this tag line that we're affectionate people who are effusive with our emotions. Well guess again.
It's time for a confession. We may be xoxo'ers but we're not huggers and kissers by trade. In fact, Liz and I haven't truly hugged each other in, well, um, er, ever?
Not when we graduated from college.
Not at her wedding.
Not when our book was published.
Well you get the idea. Big events don't equal physical affection between Liz and Lisa.
And we don't need some $200 an hour shrink to tell us that our mechanical ways can most likely be traced back to our childhoods. Emotionally unavailable fathers much?
Case in point: Recently, Liz's 2-year-old son, Shane, hit me in the mouth with a toy golf ball and I started to cry (In my defense, the kid's got a serious arm.... and it was GNO the night before so I was also a wee bit hung over) and her daughter, Riley, was staring at me in disbelief.
Turns out, she'd never seen an adult woman cry; Her mommy, the robot, had never shed a tear. Well, except for when Chris Daughtry was unexpectedly voted off American idol.
But the funny thing is, we may be The Tin Man meets Short Circuit with each other, but with the men in our lives, children and most animals--we have no problem saying I love you and giving kisses and hugs. Maybe we do need that shrink after all?
To illustrate our stiltedness even further, I'll allow you to be a fly on the wall for a recent conversation about Liz's brother, Brian.
LISA: "How's Brian?"
LIZ: "Okay, um, yeah, well we're taking it day by day..."
LISA: "Ok, well, you don't have to talk about anything you don't want to talk about..."
LIZ: "Um, yeah, well, okay. Let's change the subject..."
LISA: "Om, well, okay then... Did you see that crazy Top Model stampede footage on Perez?"
So I'm sure you can understand my surprise and confusion when after TWENTY-TWO YEARS of robotic communication, Liz recently xoxo'd--me. I mean, I never even get as much as a "best" and now she's xoxo-ing me? WTF?
I emailed her back and jokingly asked if she meant the xoxo for someone else but I already knew the answer-clearly she'd made a mistake. And I had my next blog topic!
But had it been a flub or was it more of a Freudian slip? Suddenly it all came crashing back...like the morning after you hook up with a one-eyed Jack. (True story that I'll save for another post!)
On New Year's Eve she'd left me a message and said she *gulp* loved me.
But the next morning, when I logged onto Facebook and saw the bleary-eyed pictures of her escapades on the Queen Mary (BTW, Liz, the Queen Mary, really?) I chalked it up to the fact she was hammered.
But still, I didn't think I'd ever heard those three little words from her before...were we, um, ready for that?
Was she getting soft on me? I thought about possible explanations. She did turn 35 this year...was that it? Or could it be all that spiritual enlightenment sh** she'd been yapping about lately that I prayed was a phase? Was she "changing" our unsaid arrangement that had been working really well for us?
Because the thing is, it's not like we're a couple of stone cold beyotches. I'm proud to say that our friendship has lasted over two decades. And in that time, there's only been one girl fight. (If a bent thumb even qualifies?)
So in honor of almost a quarter life of knowing each other, here are some of our unwritten rules of how our friendship works and how we show each other we care. (They're all kind of back handed & sarcastic, but hey, that's how we roll.)
As long as I don't call or text her after 11PM, she's always there for me :)
As long as she doesn't call me at work, I've always got her back. (Work Lisa isn't always a walk in the park!)
Pre-coffee discussions of any kind are only in a case of an emergency.
We're like family. (Well, if you don't count the fact my dad asked her who she was when she tried to friend him on Linkdin.) Bob Steinke's real sorry, I promise.
Her kids call me Auntie Lisa. (Well, me and like 25 others, but hey, I'll take it.)
Liz has logged enough hours counseling me after my many, many break ups that I think she could qualify for an MFT. (Let's put it this way-- I know she's thanking one of those spiritual enlightenment people of hers that I FINALLY met Matt!)
The bottom line is that when you've known someone since they had a unibrow and thought it was cool to drink Strawberry Boones in the back of a pick up truck, it goes without saying that overt affection or not, we are BFF's.
So, in honor of getting older (My 36th birthday is March 30th-hint, hint, hint everyone!) and hopefully wiser, Liz, I accept your xoxo and I raise you an xo!