Last month my childhood best friend came over. She lives about an hour away, bravely overcoming a rainstorm (more of a monsoon) so that we and our daughters could hang.
I haven’t had a “legit” hangout with Jess in about 20 years. Really. It’s not possible to explain why it’s been so long in a brief, pithy blog post (well, I try to be pithy. I know I can be verbose), but the long and the short of it is, I didn’t really know who I was in middle school and high school, and no one does – but I was “too cool” to try and figure it out while Jess and many of my other classmates were doing the whole “trial and error,” thing. You know, it’s called living life. In my young imagination life would really start when I left my hometown of Westborough. So it did.
Life has been happening, for both of us. We went to college, got our masters’, got married, each had a daughter. And some other fun stuff in between. I couldn’t have been more jazzed when she accepted my invitation to hang out.
Bacon and wine. Daughters. Husbands. Our mutual fear and fascination with Teen Mom. Gosh. I felt like I went on Match.com and got set up with a really cool friend that I already trust and have a lot of background with. (And just how would I know she’d like the wingdings? She’s from the South! I’ve known her since she was six!) The strange thing? We’re missing about 20 years of context. And that’s kind of the fun part. There’s so much “filling in the blanks” to do. I’m sure this is extremely odd for our husbands who have even less context and aren’t quite sure what the heck we’re doing together … and how we can gossip like we just saw each other last week? I wonder this myself. But it is so. We had kitchen table chat. No joke.
Jess reminded me of The Pink Flamingos song (our childhood pop/rock band) that one of us wrote with the line “Best friends, friends forever. Best friends, forever and ever. Yeah yeah yeah!”
It’s not realistic to say we’re still best friends. We’re not. we’ve moved on, made other friends, and found our adult selves along the way (ugh. whatever the hell that is). But there’s a lot of truth to the song. I am so happy to see her as a mom. She does the whole mom thing very naturally – with such love and grace. I’m happy that she’s married to a guy who seems really cool. And I instinctively care about her more than some friend that I may have just become acquainted with.
I’m fairly optimistic that we’ll stay in each others lives more from now on (even if less frequently than our weekly childhood sleepovers!) and that makes me feel happy inside. Maybe our daughters will form a friendship. Who knows? Only time will tell. Hopefully it won’t be a big lapse of time – but maybe that’s where all the fun lies?