Time is funny. Days go past either at breakneck speed or at a crawl. We keep putting one foot in front of the other and get through this day to get to tomorrow. Long-term goals in sight, short-term survival in focus and things done yesterday in the rearview mirror.
Then, one day, we’re forced to look in that rearview mirror, and despite the written warning and perception that things are closer than they appear, yesterday feels a long, long way back. The simplest way to put it? It feels like yesterday a long time ago.
It had been a long time; too long.
But it always is, isn’t it? Life gets in the way of the best intentions until one day, through effort or chance, friendship tumblers all click into place. You find yourself driving to the Plaza, a strip mall coffee shop or the neighborhood that you kept meaning to get to and when you arrive you feel like no time has passed.
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But it clearly has. The people in front of you physically prove that: one of you is a lot thinner, one of you is pregnant, maybe one of you is no longer married…something tangible that signifies a significant space in time. But tangible isn’t important in that moment — what is important is how it feels and it feels like you’re picking up where you left off seamlessly, like it was yesterday.
What you feel is the love.
Regardless of how you got through Valentine’s Day this year — either with joy and celebration, sneers and snark or in complete oblivion — can we agree that there are different types of love? Not everyone has romantic love at this moment, not everyone has a spiritual love of a child at this moment, but most people have a friendship love, and that was the love I felt when I recently made my time-travel drive to a long overdue dinner.
We come from the four corners of the metro. Our politics are different, our occupations, hobbies and children’s ages are all different but at one point in time, many years ago, our paths crossed and we all firmly connected.
Not that it’s been easy; it hasn’t. There has been some drama when differences have conflicted. A few friendships ebbed away — friendships do that sometimes — but for nine of us, we cling to our shared history and common bonds. While we rarely get together anymore, we have yet to stop caring for each other and communicating however we can.
A couple of us live close enough to get together regularly. Sometimes we’ll text ridiculousness or send a card.
There was a time when our friendships were fresh and new that we met on the 12th of every month. That couldn’t be sustained, so we gathered once a year for a girl’s weekend…which also couldn’t be sustained. We’ve collected at weddings, performances and funerals; at showers, graduations and “just because” celebrations. We have bursts of entire group social media conversations and join together in smaller circles for causes we hold dear but may not be shared by all.
But what we do all share is a history.
I have a sign that hangs in my kitchen that says, “You will always be my friend…you know too much.”
In the case of the group of women who recently sat around a big table at an accommodating restaurant, because of the talking and laughing, eating and drinking, remembering and planning we have more that we know about each other. We have more that will keep us connected until we look in our rearview mirrors, let the tumblers click into place again and we can pick up where we left off that night a long time ago yesterday.