Sat on a park bench like bookends
Since I was a little girl my mother has always had different groups of friends she hung out with. Old friends, school friends, work friends. I learned from her that you don't have to choose, and could have as many friends as you wanted. As I grow older (but not OLD) I notice that I have the same thing in my own life. I have a couple of friends from high school, some known my whole life family friends, some from college, work friends, and now town friends. This latest group is made up of mothers that I have met through different things around town, and we see each other a lot. At the park, the school, the library, the bus stop, taekwondo. At the baseball and soccer fields. We talk about the town, teachers and coaches and homework, and of course the kids. We have been getting together too, for dinner or for drinks. It is a lot of fun to have people to hang out with that live close by. There is a big group so when something is planned whoever can make it, makes it and it is just nice. So while I preface this by saying that I am enjoying my new found town friends immensely, I will not make the mistake of referring to them as my "girls"again, like last Friday when I posted on Facebook that I was "heading out with the girls for drinks." Typing it felt wrong, and at first I couldn't understand why. Then as I was walking out the door my best friend, my college/life/forever friend Suzy called. As soon as I told her that I couldn't talk, that I was running out the door and heading out with the "girls" for drinks I knew why. Even saying that I was going out with "the girls" when she wasn't one of them sounded wrong on my tongue. Believe me, she knew how wrong it sounded too. Everyone in our families know, when you say you are going out with the girls, it only means one group. THE girls. The college group. I know she doesn't begrudge me my new friends, but damn, I shouldn't be calling them my girls! The next day some of us were all together at the Cape. The families had all gathered for one of our as often as we can get togethers and she ratted me out to the others. They were equally aghast with disbelief that I had called these foreign women "my girls" and had no problems at all telling me how wrong I was. They even came up with their own name for my new friends, but I won't share that here.
The funny thing is that if anyone had told me during my sophomore and junior year of college way back in 1994 that these new friends I was making would become a part of my life forever, I don't know if I would have believed them. For instance, if someone had whispered in my ear when I met Suzy that day in the hall of our dorm, her blond hair as curly as all out, wearing her cheerleader uniform, that this girl would grow up to be one of the woman I would share all my secrets with, I would have laughed at them. Her, that cheerleader? No way. But college life bonded us, all of us. We ate together, partied together, studied together (yes mom, we did study sometimes). Shared secrets and stories and our lives. And that is the way it has stayed. We don't see each other nearly enough, we are all flung out in different spots, but when we do see each other it is like nothing has changed. It's like we could be heading out to the caf for lunch. Its just the same as always.
I am lucky that I have so many friends, and I treasure ALL of them. As the saying goes, some are in your life for a season, a reason or a lifetime. Maybe the difference between season friends and lifetime is the ability to be able to call each other out on their shit and still be friends? I shouldn't have called these new women my girls, shame on me for that. Pam should learn how to use the delete button on her camera, Suzy snorts. The point is that we love each other anyway. Just as much as ever.