I have to buy a new blender. My old one was a wedding shower gift, old and tired, and it worked fine for years, but it’s showing signs that it’s on the way out. It even has a crack in it that’s held together by duct tape, believe it or not. Since I depend on that blender to make my morning smoothie, I’m online shopping today. There are so many blenders.
The first thing that sticks out to me as I compare them is the glass-versus-plastic blending jar. The plastic is lightweight and resists breakage while the glass is heavy and a bit more fragile. I found myself leaning toward the glass, though it seemed impractical, and I wondered why. Then I realized that, despite what my daughter says, you really can find a metaphor in everything because here I was looking at blenders and experiencing a little, tiny, kitchen epiphany. I like glass these days. I like it even though it’s heavier and harder to manage and can break. I like it in jelly jar water glasses and blenders, and I like it in relationships too.
A blender has to hold a lot of stuff, and so does a friendship. Daily, my blender holds blackberries, greek yogurt, almond milk, orange juice, and half a banana, and it mixes it all up into something that nourishes me. My friendships hold the ingredients of our lives… stories, disappointment, anxiety, joy, encouragement, hope, depression, secrets, victories, loss, and understanding. And to hold all of that stuff, I’m sorry, but it’s just true that heavier is better. Heavy is better in conversation, heavy stitches two hearts together with more strength, and a friendship had better have weight if it will remain through the storms that will come. Heavier is better, and that means that the best friendships are those in which confidences are given, filters are dropped, trust is earned, and all of the stuff of life gets mixed around long enough over wine or coffee or tears, that it comes out in a way that feeds us both. Its fragility is part of its value.
I have friends like this, thankfully. I also have friends who prefer plastic. They like to keep things light-weight and on the surface. While I pour out my soul into the mix, they hold back, and the recipe might come out well, and even taste delicious, but it’s not wholly satisfying in the end. It’s milkshake versus soup. Tasty versus nourishing. And it’s okay. Everyone needs both glass and plastic friendships in life, and they both do a job.
The plastic blender I use today was given to me many years ago, and it has served me well, but now that I have a choice, I know what I want. Glass has a way of shining as the light comes in, and when everything is mixing together, it just feels more substantial and satisfying to me while the work is getting done. That’s how time with my glass friends feels. We are more fragile and breakable across the board, probably, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. We are always filled up, the light shines through us, and we are stronger than we look.