Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Best Friends - Sharing the Armchair -- A guest blog by Hank Phillippi Ryan for our 5th Anniversary of The Cozy Armchair Group

How often do you talk to your best friends? Oh, yes, as grade schoolers, our BFF’s might change from time to time…the boy or girl you’d whisper to, and pass notes to, and giggle with in the cafeteria as you were plotting your next secret meeting or movie outing or trip to the soda shop. (Soda shop?) But your best friend was always there. Without them, life just wasn’t as much fun.

In high school, you could still see him or her every day. That’s when competition started, and comparisons, and the smart ones broke off from the popular ones, and the difficult (or cool?) ones lurked outside smoking and planning their next secret way to cut classes and the athletes wore their letter sweaters (letter sweaters?) and everyone wanted to be grown up. But your best friend was there to let you copy their homework, or tell that cute guy you liked him, or stand up for you when someone said something mean. To share gossip and dreams and prom dresses, and sneak issues of Cosmo, and yearn for someone’s older brother, and plan for the future. What would high school have been without best friends?

College? Some went to college, where inevitably, as you changed, your best friends changed. You became the activist, or the studious one, or the popular one, studied to e a teacher or a doctor or a lawyer or a –whatever. And some dearly wanted their MRS degree. But there was always a best friend—someone to sneak smokes with. Or try scotch and illegal substances and illicit activities and find new music and literature, and oh, yeah, cram for finals. You’d talk every day. You had to.

Others grew up faster—had husbands and kids and real jobs and real life. But there was a best friend, too, maybe the one who lived next door, or who had the next cubicle, or who you met at the bus stop. But your best friend—in college or in , well, real life, was always someone you could see, right? They sat next you on the train, or shared a dorm room, or a cubicle. Without that best friend, really becoming a grown up would have been downright scary.

But now, here we all are. We’re moms and teachers and scientists and trainers and lawyers and librarians and artists and stitchers and designers and authors and…well, you know. Many of us have never seen each other in person, right? But though the magic of cozy armchair, we’re all best friends. And we still talk to each other every day. All curled up in exactly the same spot--our favorite cyber-sized cozy chair, together. Sharing not only our love of reading and mysteries, but learning more about each other every day. Best friends.

Of course you know who in the armchair loves which books…that someone doesn’t really like historicals, and someone thinks paranormal is just about over, and someone thinks there can’t be enough recipes in a book and someone else who thinks, let’s just get on with the story. Oh, I’m not naming names.

But we’re just as close as if we were sitting across from each other in the library, or sitting in a coffee shop. Or riding to town on the subway. Or knocking on a front door an being invited inside to a familiar home. And it’s not just books we share. We share what we do and how we think and what we see and how we see each other. We know who’s the funny one, and who’s the shy one, and who’s the smart one. Who’s the NYT bestseller, and who are the up and comers. We know who cooks and who bakes and who sews and who knows about apples and who knows about scrapbooks and who tries dead end jobs and who’s got dogs and who’s got cats and who’s writing a YA.

We share our joys. We share our fears. We share our lives.

When one of us has a triumph, the cheering from the cozies echoes, literally, across the country. And back. When one of us is in trouble—the rest of us are there. The love and compassion and caring rises up to comfort whoever is having a bad day. Through snowstorms, and power outages, and terrifying news from the doctor and reassuring news from the doctor, thought the loss of dear pets and dear relatives, through births and graduation and weddings and births again, we all know who we want to tell first. We all know who we want to share it with.

We’ll come right to cozy armchair, where we know we’ll find our best friends.

Thank you, Pamela and Terri… thank you, Jessica and Glenda and Mare. You have brought all of us together. People who otherwise might never have met. Think of it—you have created a one-of-a kind world—where all who arrive are welcome. And I can’t wait to continue our chat.

So hey, all cozies! Happy fifth anniversary to my dear best friends. What does Cozy Armchair mean to you?

Agatha-wining author Hank Phillippi Ryan has been on Cozy Armchair for as long as she can remember. Her newest book is DRIVE TIME. Her website is http://www.hankPhillippiRyan.com


  1. Damn it, Hank. Now I'm all teary-eyed and I have to go and watch over a room full of middle schoolers. Everything you said is true, I tend to get anxious if I don't hear from some of our crew and I can't wait to share stuff with everyone here. It is a wonderful group and I wouldn't have missed meeting everyone here for any reason.

  2. Thanks Mare...I do feel as if we've known each other for years...and might as well live next door. Love that.

  3. Wow, just wow. I know it's not very eloquent but it is heartfelt.

  4. A group of wonderful souls that I feel destined to meet. The Cozyarms (as I call us,) are always there awaiting me with support, friendship, and yes, Love.

    Bless all of you for creating and maintaining this group of BFF's.

  5. Thank you Hank for expressing what all of us feel. You will never know what a wonderful addition you have been to CA and what your friendship has meant to us all. I just love the bonds we've made! I would never have believed, a few short years ago, how I could fall so completely in love with people I have never physically met. I cherish the friends I've made on CA. I rejoice when they rejoice and when they despair I'm right there with them. In some ways we're as close as family and in other ways we are closer. It's a beautiful thing.

  6. Yup, Glenda, as always, you are so right. It's a beautiful thing.

  7. Hank,
    I've been MIA but I am very impressed you found just the right words to express what we all feel. We are family, we are friends and we stand united through the good times and the bad times we know we have a friend/s.


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