When my friend Julie and I declare it time for pie, it often means that one or both of us needs to unload about something before heading into Nation’s for the equivalent of ¼ of a cream pie, which, I was stunned to realize, is what one regular slice equals. If we’re less hungry, we opt for the small slice, which is only 1/5. We both struggle with decision making, so we order two desserts and split them, or split one dessert and fries. If neither of us ate dinner, we split pie, fries, and a burger. Pie is always involved (cheesecake counts), but never fruit pie. I’m not sure why we decided that was healthier and therefore less satisfying on a night that calls for pie. Splitting food that is bad for us and comes in obscene portion sizes minimizes the guilt of turning to food for comfort.
It is important to note that I am not usually one to turn to food for comfort. I’m usually the one who needs a friend to remind me, “Make sure that you eat. It won’t help you to get sick on top of everything else that is going on.”
I can’t mark the exact date when the pie tradition began, only that I credit the Starbucks that had the nerve to close at 8:00 when we were in the middle of heartfelt conversation, and that we kept going back to Nation’s because we decided that discussing topics like divorce wouldn’t be the same without Tammy Wynette crying “Stand by Your Man” in the background. (At the time, Nation’s was playing country and still making their way out of the 70s.) What I do know for sure is that when one of us asks, “Do you have time for pie this week?” there is no explanation necessary, and if one seems down the other declares it time for pie on her behalf.I can’t mark the exact date when the pie tradition began... Click To Tweet
Occasionally, we declare it time for pie just because it has been a while. But by the time the date rolls around one of us usually NEEDS pie.
I love how God works.
If we’re celebrating a birthday, a milestone, or are having an ordinary girls’ night, we go someplace else. We’ve gone to Nation’s to brainstorm blog post ideas over breakfast or lunch, but that isn’t the same as true “pie” even if we decide to have some. “Time for pie” is special.
Because it isn’t about the pie.
It’s about the company.
It’s about the talk in the car before the pie, and the hug, and speculating about what people must think of us always ordering two desserts and splitting them. It’s about guessing if we’ll hear Tammy Wynette again or the Best of 70’s Motown, or if maybe they’ll surprise us and play a mix that includes at least one song from the Xanadu soundtrack.
It’s about having a friend who knows what you mean when you say, “I need pie,” is sensitive enough to recognize, “It sounds like you need pie,” and trust you enough to reach out for pie, which is code for reaching out for you. If she doesn’t have time tonight, she wishes she did and will find the next possible date.
It’s about the assurance of knowing that the reason behind the need for pie—whether I need it, Julie needs it, we both need it, or we’re just going for old time’s sake—is between us and nobody else. We didn’t sign a confidentiality agreement or anything, we just know.
It’s about knowing you wouldn’t eat like this with anyone else, and that you should probably feel a little bit guilty about it but don’t. Sometimes you declare the next day a “no sweets day,” but you know the pie was necessary, kind of like an occasional breakdown.
We all need a pie friend. Or a coffee friend, or a tea friend, or a “Let’s go or a walk, my friend, because you clearly need some fresh air.” The friend who knows when we need to get out of the house. The friend we can call at a moment’s notice but never want to take advantage of.
Pie friends keep us sane. Sometimes they prevent us from crying in front of our children, “accidentally” slamming doors, and needing quite as much therapy. It is easier to get our work done on a difficult day when we know we’ll see our pie friend soon and get a hug and, in some cases, crumpled tissue from the bottom of a purse or old napkins fished out of the glove compartment. Sometimes it’s enough to know you could request a pie date but probably shouldn’t because your family needs you at home.We all need a pie friend. Click To Tweet
Pie friends are gifts from God, both when you’re the one in need and when you’re the one getting the text, “Do you have time for pie this week?”
Who are your pie friends? How has God used them? How has He possibly used you in their lives?
A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
Proverbs 17:17 (NIV)