January 17, 2005

Best Friends

Thirteen years ago, I started college and met two of my best friends. We weren't immediately inseparable, in fact we've never been that type, but we've been buddies all this time. They were my two bridesmaids seven years ago. One lives a few miles from me now and the other a few states away. We don't see each other often, in fact, we've gotten bad about e-mailing and calling lately (at least I have), but I still think of them as two of my best friends.

This past weekend, the out-of-stater came down and stayed with my in-town friend. We spent a long time hanging out on Saturday and most of Sunday afternoon together. Although we aren't as close as we once were, it was marvelous to get together with old friends and catch up.

For me it was especially nice to go out without children and just hang out with friends. I never seem to do that any more. My two college friends are single and busy with careers and all that stuff. Not that they wouldn't be married and have children if the opportunity presented itself, but so far their lives have followed a totally different path from mine. We still think alike on many things, vote alike, read many similar books, but my life is different.

There are trade offs with both our lifestyles. I envy them for the trips they have taken over the years -- heading off to Europe when they felt like it and the two of them got to hang out in California together last Fall. Having small children and a husband, not to mention a house and a lot more expenses, means I can't join them on their adventures. Also, both of them have stayed super skinny while I have packed on many, many, many pounds since college.

But I have a house and a family. I don't come home to an empty house and I always have family around to keep me company. Sure, I come home to a messy house and all that family is loud, distracting and often too much company, but it is my path. My choice and one that I hope they will some day take too.

Whether or not our lives continue to head in different directions or head back towards more similar paths, I hope that we continue in our slackardly ways to be friends. Friends are can be hard to come by and I love the ones I have.

I'd love to be skinny like they are though.


I have an alter ego who lives the life I don't. She wants kids and a dh; go figure!

I do think we always take a path and wonder about the other one; but I wouldn't choose another one if it meant missing one moment with my kids. I can't dream of not having them in my life, not really.

Posted by: Rachel Ann at January 17, 2005 10:56 AM

My one good college friend who beat the rest of us to marriage and children has stayed super skinny, while the rest of us (though all married, happily) have been gaining weight =] At least I can use the baby excuse myself now!

Posted by: Lenise at January 17, 2005 11:39 AM

When those little arms wrap around your neck and that soft-skinned cheek is rubbing up against your face, those "other" choices and everything else in the world just fade away. I like that choice.

There IS a skinny body inside of you waiting to come out, just like I have one inside of me. They unfortunately have to fight through the "comfort zone" that married people sometimes get.

Posted by: MarcV at January 17, 2005 11:42 AM

Recently I had the odd experience of discovering that someone I first hired into "management" many years ago (prior to Daughter OotFP's birth) made vice prez four or five years ago. I would have made it sooner, had I stayed on the path.

But two roads diverged -- at least as far as I was concerned. Has it made "all" the difference, more than 23 years on? Yes, I think so. Mr OotFP and I know for certain that we have no regrets about this choice.

Having no regrets does not mean I don't notice differences. What it comes down to for me, though, is that I am deeply gratified to have had the opportunities unique to the path I chose. And it has truly surprised me, the opportunities that have come along. For the very dailiness of things right now, I would doubt that you would have energy to imagine the doors that will open in days and months and years ahead, not in spite of your life decisions, but because of them.

Posted by: Patricia at January 17, 2005 05:16 PM

It is good to keep in touch with friends, they can be a restorer of perspective when we are too self-focused. As a mother of a 19-year-old, I would encourage you to not be too self-sacrificing. It pays off for your husband and your children when you balance your time to include enough "me time".

Posted by: Debbie at January 17, 2005 09:27 PM

Well I know the two crazy cats you are speaking of, and I am sure you had a wild time!

I bet it was totally like Fall Party weekend used to be.

Posted by: DGK at January 18, 2005 03:58 PM