I had dinner last week with two old friends of mine. Friends that make me feel old. I’ve known them for 20 years. I’m 45, one of them is 56 and the other one is 62. These two women were my colleagues circa 1992 when we all worked for one of the early corporate paper company’s that hung a shingle in the then newly minted area of the region; Chesterbrook. Is it me or do you still drive through Chesterbrook and remember when it was the fresh cookie cutter neighborhood just a stone’s throw from the Main Line? I definitely should know Chesterbrook as it was my home for a very long time. I lived in 3 different villages spanning over 25 years.
As I was having dinner with Bettie and Colleen, I couldn’t help but remember our early years together. Bettie was the company Receptionist, Colleen was the Executive Secretary to the CEO and I – back then – was a Secretary to the Finance division. We forged a strong bond over happy hours and lunch room gathering yak fests. Bettie and Colleen were more than friends — they were my big sister, my pseudo Mother (when needed) and my early career mentors. I was farily young then, 25ish, and I hadn’t had a lot of exposure to corporate America. I was also in my hey dey of my partying. However, they weren’t privy to my after work life. Of course, now they know all the dirty and sordid tales, and they are ever so supportive of my current clean lifestyle.
But having dinner with them and reminiscing about our lives through the years between marriages, divorces, kids off to college, family members dying, and marriages again. I was struck by how lucky I am to have such great friends and for so long. Its hard to make new friends when you are older. I know that since I’ve moved back home I can count my “new” friends on one hand, and that’s not counting my thumb. I then started thinking how many “old” friendships I do have and how the older I get, the more they mean to me. I have one friend I met when I was 5. 40 years of friendship and going strong. She and her husband flew to Vegas for my nupitals last October! True blue friend. I have another friend whom I’ve shared more ups and downs with than a see-saw since 9th grade! That’s 32 years! (I’m very amazed I’m not using my iPhone to calculate through the years!). And these women knew me at my worst, and they are still my friends! Shocking! Then I have my nuevo SoCal friends, 7 women who saw me go through the grueling process of getting sober and staying sober! That is definitely worth another blog in itself.
All in all, I am TRULY blessed with all of my amazing friends…not to mention the ones I’ve made through the years and have re-connected with. You know, the 562 via Facebook!(Gina, that’s your plug!)