Last night, a couple of old friends came over to Jenworld.
These were friends we went to college with — one lives nearby and we get to see him and his family from time to time, while the other one lives far away and we had not seen him in years. Luckily, Facebook has allowed us all — including loads of other friends we went to school with — to stay in contact. It’s not the same thing as hanging out and drinking some beers together, but all in all, Facebook is a pretty good way to know what’s going on in your friends’ lives.
So last night we got caught up on each other’s lives and reminisced about some things from our wild and crazy youth. I can tell you, if someone had told us all 20+ years ago that we’d be in our 40s and still friends and possibly even sharing advice about our bad knees, I wouldn’t have believed it.
Isn’t it funny how one picks up friends in life?
On the first day of 7th grade, I met a girl who looked familiar. We looked at each other and realized that we’d met several years earlier. More than 30 years later, she and I are still friends and I’m really looking forward to our scheduled phone call later today. I love hearing her voice on the other line because she sounds exactly the way she has for decades.
And I wonder if anyone in my alma mater’s housing office realizes what forces they’re putting in play when they place two people in the same dorm room? It’s been 25 years and I’m still grateful for that roommate’s friendship and wish I could see her more often.
When Pete joined his fraternity, he had no idea that he would have lifelong friends or that he would meet me or that his fraternity brothers’ wives and partners would join the circle or that their children would be among our children’s closest friends. I’d say that’s two generations of friendship there, but really there’s the third generation — some of our parents have gotten to know each over the decades too and have become friends.
But then there are the newer friends. The ones I haven’t known as long, but who are still just as important to me.
Like when Pete started working at the university over a decade ago. He clicked with some of his colleagues and then their families and ours would become friends. One colleague’s wife has become one of my favorite people to run with.
Thirteen years ago, we bought a house in a lovely neighborhood. One neighbor moved out and we hoped fervently that a family with little children would move in. Instead, a retired couple bought the house and I was disappointed. But then I got to know my new neighbors and a wonderful friendship was born.
Or that meeting some fellow parents in my daughter’s kindergarten and 1st grade classes would lead to friendships that have expanded beyond two little girls who liked to run around the playground together.
Or when in the space of one month last year, one old friend would introduce me to one of her old friends who was moving to my town, while at the same time someone else I’d never met introduced me via email to someone who had just moved to my town and asked us to get together, so that both of those new transplants to my town have become my dear friends already.
When I started this blog five years ago, I had no idea that I’d still be going strong a half decade later. I couldn’t know that some of my earliest readers would still be around and that I’d be reading some of the same bloggers all that time. That I’d get to meet a number of you in real life. And that this blog would lead to some of my closest friendships.
And when that new thing called Twitter came out, I was dubious and certainly didn’t know that I’d meet a lot of local friends that way. Or that one local friend would host a dinner party for seven of her friends who didn’t know each other and that we’d all click and develop our own new friendships.
And how about the way that blogs and Facebook have caused all of our lives to intersect? So many of my friends and I read the same blogs and know so many of the same people around the world. It makes me smile when I see how my worlds collide like that — when my elementary school friend is now friends with a blog friend or when a blog friend now knows one of my local friends.
I must say, I am very grateful for my friends — the ones I met back in the pre-internet 20th century and the ones I know now in the 21st century.
What about you? Who are your friends? How did you meet them? How do you stay in touch with them? Which friendships surprised you?