I stood on the red carpet last week in front of the building where the Emmy Awards are often held. No autographs, please. If you’re paparazzi, please make sure to photograph my right side; it’s way cuter than my left.

No one asked for my autograph while I was in California for a work conference (unless you count the guy at the sandwich shop, when I handed him my credit card). I guess my middle-aged-and-clueless-country-bumpkin disguise worked well. After the conference, some friends and I spent a little free time in Hollywood. We saw Phantom of the Opera, and I cried. We walked the Walk of Stars, and I blew up my phone with photographs of the sidewalk. (Specifically the sidewalk with names of Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Mister Rogers, and Dr. Seuss.) We hung out in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater and saw hand and footprints of many of my favorite celebrities, along with scrawled messages to Sid. There was Bruce Willis, Tom Hanks, Fred Astaire, and even Shirley Temple.

We stood on the corner of Hollywood and Vine.

We witnessed a drug drop. We were nearly a part of that drug drop as we stared, gape-mouthed, wondering what was going to happen for more than a couple minutes before we realized we probably didn’t need to witness that particular interaction.

We watched a group of twenty-somethings pass around a joint. After more than a half-century on this earth, I now know what marijuana smells like. It’s not a pleasant smell.

We watched a Michael Jackson look-alike perform “Thriller,” had our picture taken with a wax Marilyn Monroe, and saw a guy with an eighteen-foot boa constrictor lounged around his neck. We walked past a man in a cowboy hat, tiny jogging shorts, and rainbow-colored furry boots. I’ve never tried so hard NOT to make eye contact with someone in my life.

We packed a lot of memories into that six-hour-stint in Hollywood. You want to know the best part of being in that legendary place?

My friends.

We laughed. We cried. We had fun.

It’s easy to get so caught up in what we have to do—work, pay bills, do laundry—that we forget to simply have fun with the people we care about. But God created us for relationships. He made us because He wanted to hang out with us, spend time with us, laugh with us, cry with us.

He said it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone, so He made Eve.

He didn’t create us to build computers or design buildings or write books or make money. He didn’t fashion us to produce things. He crafted us out of dust so we could love Him and love each other. Period.

All the other stuff is just something to do while we love. All the other stuff just gives us ways to show that love.

I’m glad to be home in my own bed, with my amazing husband, my incredible children, and my smelly dogs. (Just to be clear, we’re not all in bed together at the same time. At least not usually.) But honestly, I miss my girlfriends.

And I realize that it’s the people in my life, not the things, that bring me the greatest joy.

Renae Brumbaugh Green is a bestselling author and award-winning humor columnist. She lives in Stephenville with her handsome, country-boy husband, nearly-perfect children, and far too many animals. Connect with Renae at www.RenaeBrumbaugh.com.