Gratitude to old friends. Not that they’re old–I mean their friendship is old. Although one of them is 82, which I think might actually be considered old. Course the older I get, the younger old becomes, but I think over 80 is the start of getting old, right? Can we call it that? You are only as old as you feel….. but uh oh, I’m digressing.
In the past few weeks, I’ve had some occasions to see old friends and awe gratitude was leaking out of my pores. It’s good to remember who you used to be, where you’ve been, good to reconnect with the past and catch up on the present.
Occasion One was a reunion of people who I worked with at an ad agency 25 years ago. Yuh-huh– twenty-five years ago. It was a small agency overlooking the Boston Public Garden. It’s where I worked with an art director named Karl, who was my partner and became my friend and who helped me laugh off the epic infertility I had. It’s where I worked on accounts like Waterville Valley Ski Resort and Brigham’s Ice Cream and The Hynes Convention Center. It’s where I threw a shower for a co-worker who I had bonded with over both miscarrying, and had to leave in the middle of the party I had planned because I was so sad. It’s where I was once so cold on a day when I was writing a long copy brochure that I walked to the closest store, which happened to be the most expensive and bought a big, fat, chunky sweater for $275. It would clearly be $875 now, if that store hadn’t gone out of business. (May Louis of Boston rest in peace). It’s not like that’s what I spent on clothes back then, in fact it was more than I’d probably spent on anything before, it’s just that I could not walk one step further because I was like Elsa in Frozen. I mean, I was chilled inside my body like I’d been in the freezer at the morgue and I had a deadline to meet. The sweater worked, but when I got home and looked at it in a long mirror I realized the big, fat, chunky sweater actually made me look big, fat and chunky, too. So for the next 10 years to amortize the hefty price tag, I brought it with me to every agency I worked at, where it became known as “the sweater” and anyone who was cold wore it (looking big, fat and chunky to varying degrees).
Everyone at the reunion looked remarkably good. Even one of the partners, who was 82 looked exactly the same as he had 25 years ago, prompting me to ask him what the heck he was doing because I needed to start doing it.
Occasion Two was that one of my college besties who lives in Chicago, who I never get to see, had a funeral in Rhode Island and came and stayed with me for three days! And we dialed up the other third of us and we had ourselves a dinner at my house and maybe you heard a loud noise last Wednesday night because that would be us–we were howling like a pack of wolves. We relived the old day’s greatest hits, then moved on to the now. It was perfect. Cid and I toured a very changed Boston and even went back to our old dorm. These girls will be my friends forever. This is how it is with old friends, you can’t erase the impact of your bond and for me, these are people I would do anything for, not just because I loved them then, but because I still love them now.