Saturday, I got together with my friends from high school (two of which I've known since elementary school). We see each other for special events (weddings, baby showers, etc.) and the occasional get-together, like this weekend, when we haven't had any special occasions that we've all made it to recently. Yesterday I learned that everybody changes, sometimes a lot:
- Valerie - she was the first to get married and the first to have a child. Her daughter is precious and although I barely know her husband, he seems like a great guy. They now live in Pennsylvania and they have a zoo in their yard - well, they have some chickens and ducks and are hoping for a couple of goats soon. OK, so Valerie isn't into any of that, but the fact that she even tolerates it is quite the change from the more prim and proper gal she used to be. Don't get me wrong - she is still sweet and gracious, but I'm surprised by the fact that she works on the house (building as well as painting and such) and has all those animals.
- Mary - she's pregnant, which is somewhat surprising. Heck, it's surprising that she even got married. She and I were always the "We'll do fine on our own, we don't need no stinkin' man" and "Stay home to raise a family? Yeah, right!" types. But, we're both madly in love with our "stinkin' men" and on our way to staying at home with our children. Go figure.
- Dana - I'll admit that Dana seems to have changed the least - she's still hilariously sarcastic and funny with strong opinions (it's hard to believe that she and I ever knocked heads (figuratively) over anything in high school, isn't it?) She lives in Delaware in a town she calls the "homosexual capital," which doesn't help her in the dating department. Although she could always meet and settle down with one of the "tourons," which is short for "tourist morons" in her neck of the woods. Would she call me one of those if I came to visit? Probably so.
- Jill - she was voted The Quietest in our senior class. I remember her shy, tiny self lugging a huge backpack of books around the halls. Now, she's a confident woman with an MBA and and trophies for various sports teams that she plays on. She meets a lot of guys but hasn't found the right one yet - well, maybe she has, but whenever it seems like it, they move to another country or something.
It was so wonderful to see them all again and share some laughs and heartaches with one another. It's true what my mom told me in middle school when I stopped spending so much time with Mary and Valerie and worked my way through the popular crowd (I was never popular, I was a friend on the fringe) - "In the end, it's wise not to forget who your true blue friends are." Have I seen any of those other "friends" from middle school? Nope. Do they care what I'm up to these days? Probably not. Do Mary and Valerie and Jill and Dana? You bet. And that's what we all need in our friends.