Anne Notations

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Friends 4 Ever

Lately I've thought a lot about friendship. As an adult I seem to have had friends who have moved in and out of my life, or maybe I've moved in and out of their lives. Sometimes the reason for this is situational: people relocate or divorce or remarry, and everything changes. Sometimes I wonder if my personality or my neuroses make it hard for me to keep friends - or to let anyone get too close as I get older. And sometimes I get to know people whom I am attracted to, who are fun to be around or interesting to talk with... but there is not enough TIME to develop a mutual attraction into full-blown friendship.

I didn't mean for it to happen, but it appears that some of my most supportive friendships are virtual ones, and that in real life I spend most of my free time with our children. Virtual friendships are great; I have met (both online and FTF) some amazing folks, and whatever the interest that has brought us together (panic disorder, Star Wars), I am grateful for an Internet that has linked me with kindred spirits from around the world. But I miss the intense, one-on-one friendships with other girls/women I had as a teen and in my 20s and early 30s. I miss the kind of girlfriend whom I could call at any hour and unload the burdens of my heart, or share the finest joy.

Now, the sort-of good news: In the last ten years, some of my old friendships have been revived. My sophomore-year college roommate Becky and I get together (with our families) at least once a year when she comes with her husband and daughter to visit family in nearby Connecticut. I have had reunions with two other college friends, Gail and Beverly, and met their families as well. One of my dearest friends from my 30s, Kathy, and I e-mail regularly. And for several years now, seven of us who were friends in the late 1960s at Old Rochester Regional High School have held reunions and kept in touch via e-mail.

The most recent of these reunions took place one week ago, here at our house. Everyone but Reese lives in nearby Massachusetts (she's in Arizona, running a charter school), so six of us were on hand. And I've gotta say: having ruminated on friendship so much lately, I am happy as a clam (or a quahog, this being RI) to have these women back in my life. It amazes me how the nice, fun, smart girls I hung out with in high school have evolved on seemingly parallel tracks into nice, fun, warm, smart, articulate, accomplished women. We've had spouses, children, careers. Edging into our mid-50s, we've aged pretty well, if I do say so. If anything, we have more in common now than as teens. We can laugh and be goofy, and in the next breath be serious and supportive. We spent six hours doing all those things last Sunday while eating and drinking our way through the day, ending with a seriously decadent banana cake (Sue) and Death by Chocolate (Chris W.).

It was the best time I've had in ... 4 ever.

2 good 2 be 4 gotten
Front: Chris W., Sue, Me
Back: Sandy, Sharon, Chris R.
Absent this time: Reese


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