I had dinner last night with one of my oldest and best friends, Nancy. We worked it out that we have been friends for 32 years, which is insane, but I distinctly remember the day we met. It was a school dance, we were in seventh grade. I don’t remember what we were wearing, but you can be sure that it was awesome, and probably involved a rainbow or a dolphin. A mutual friend of ours was having some boy induced drama, and we bonded over our mutual disinterest (in boys, and drama). After that we were inseparable – best friend necklaces and all – until we graduated high school.
We have always been two sides of the same coin, our big difference being that she is utterly rational and I am, well, not. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen this woman cry in her life, and she can say the same about me – in the last two months. Besides a few years in our late twenties when we lost touch due to travel, family and life, she is the only person outside my immediate family who really knows everything about me.
While we were growing up we arrogantly knew exactly what we were going to do with our lives. Different colleges, her to be a civil engineer and me pre-law. Law school for me and directly into city planning for her, we would eventually meet and marry fabulous men, have 3 children each, and spend our leisure time drinking cocktails in each other’s back yards. We laugh in amazement at how different things have turned out. The career she could envision and explain at 12 was cut short with a special needs child she had at 24, which altered forever her future. She is an amazing mother to three great kids, and is now an active stay at home mom and caregiver, who sneaks out of the house to tutor kids in math “just for fun”.
We are now in the same book club, where we catch up every 4-6 weeks over many glasses of wine – what’s new with me, travel, work and men; and what’s new with her, home, kids and health. It still works, she is still one of the only people I know who can calm me quickly and definitively, her logic icing through my emotions to quickly ground me in reality.
We are very much the same people, a world away from where we met, and while we ate and drank last night I gave her the wrap up of the last month, the whole story because it was just us. She looked up at me, with tears in her eyes, and said “he is not even human”. I burst out laughing, because even a little drama with this wonderful woman sounds awesome. He might be human, but what he did was not compassionate and was not honest, and I cannot wait until the day I don’t care anymore. I am so thankful to have this great girl in my life, a sister close by, and remember that I am loved.