Tuesday, June 1, 2010

On Friendship

It's been a wonderful weekend.  There was laughter and a road trip and fine food and drink.  MTF was  the hostess with the mostest and I found that the Carolinas are filled with the nicest humans on the planet.  Even the weather cooperated, raining only when we were in the car and on our last day together, when our plans included breakfast and lunch at home combined with MTF's occasional trip to the airport.  No need to go further than the porches; the party was the people and we were all right there.

Reunion Roomie and I have a checkered past -- my 9th grade boyfriend took her to the Spring Dance instead of taking me.  Funny how those things take on a life of their own, sometimes.  This one never grew into dislike;  it was always a mostly funny story.  The Boston Babe and I had shared classes and clubs and an in-school friendship but not much else.  Somehow, without any contact since 1969, we have all become the same person.

We woke up at the same time. We ate the same foods at the same time of day and at the same pace. We read the same books and saw the same tv shows – what are the odds that the 4 of us, none of whom are regulars, would have watched the same episode of Extreme Makeover/Home Edition? And that we would have had the same reaction to the family's antics when they moved the bus?

It was more than that, though. There was a comfort, a familiarity, a sense of well-being that we shared. MTF's house was spotless and clutter-free - keeping it that way was never an issue for any of us, though I, for one, am an inveterate creator of piles. We were all comfortable around her kitchen island and no one minded when our early dinner stretched into the evening and made the trip downtown an impossibility.

Our yearbook took center stage for most of the weekend. Someone would mention a teacher or a play or an old boyfriend and we'd open the book and fall in. “Knew her” “Don't know him” “Was she in our grade?” “Nasty girl” “Dorky but nice” “Look at that hair/moustache/outfit” The best was when someone began with “Ooooooo, I remember the time.......” which led to an epic retelling of love or embarrassment or a date gone awry. We shared memories of making out and sneaking around and it all felt like it had happened an hour ago.

How did we fly back there so effortlessly? How did our over-lapping memories make us so happy? They were more than nostalgia and less than reminders. Forty years have passed … surely these stories should have lost their power to amuse. Yet, there we were, huddled around MTF's gorgeous kitchen table, poring over pictures and giggling.

I'm leaning towards the notion that water seeks its own level, that we were destined to reconnect. But that seems to be too simple. 

Was it serendipity that brought the four of us together for a weekend of pleasure? There was happenstance, for sure, but I'm looking for a larger meaning, for a reason. I don't know why I need it, but I do.

Perhaps, if I can figure it out, I can bottle it and share it with you, Dear Readers. My favorite people -- and that means you - should have the opportunity to experience that kind of joy.

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