In Media Res. Do you remember this term from your high school literature class? It literally means “in the middle or midst of things.” In literature, it refers to the writing technique of beginning a story right in the middle of a crucial situation or action.
Yeah, I’m that geeky English girl. And I’ve been thinking about In Media Res lately in terms of friendship. I’ve decided that real friends are the friends you can have over In Media Res. Right smack-dab in the middle of life.
Several weeks ago, my friend Sarah texted to ask if she could come over to use my landline phone. She promised she wouldn’t interrupt our homeschooling. I texted her back, “Sure, but go before you come because I haven’t looked at the bathroom today, and the boys have been using it!” Sarah is an In Media Res friend. She understands.
Last week, I went over to another friend’s house for coffee. She didn’t clean for me. She was in the middle of life, and I showed up. In Media Res. We were talking about this very thing, and she commented that if a friend is coming over to judge your home, she’s not a real friend. I heartily agreed.
When I lived in another state, one of my favorite friends invited me to bring my kids over to play. While the kids played in the back yard, I hung out in her kitchen chatting with her while she made pear butter. She didn’t invite me over to entertain me. She invited me over because we were friends. In Media Res friends.
I haven’t always been good at this sort of friendship. Actually, I’m still not great at it. But I’m learning. I’m learning the difference between entertaining and hospitality. I’m learning that my good friends won’t care if there’s a pile of laundry on the end of the couch or some dirty dishes in the sink. My good friends won’t even care if the entire piano is covered in homeschool books and papers.
Real friends show up right in the middle of life and understand that real life sometimes isn’t company-ready.
How about you? Do you have In Media Res friends? Do you feel like your home has to be perfect before anyone comes over? Does a pile of laundry on the couch bother you?