Old friends…

Last Monday night I had dinner with my friend Liz.  Today is Liz’s birthday and mine is just over a month away, so with our birthdays looming and us approaching a number that neither of us wants to discuss, we got to talking about all the stupid things we regret doing when we were younger…like spending so much money on clothes…and all the things we regret not doing…like traveling more.  Most of our regrets were silly, little things, but there was one big regret that we shared…the fact that we didn’t talk for seven years.

I’ve known Liz since I was 13.  To say that we were inseparable at one time would be an understatement.  All through high school and college, but even more so as we got older and into our 20s, we were always together.  We lived five minutes from each other and we took the same train to work and our offices were three blocks apart.  When we weren’t together, we were usually on the phone.  Then we had a stupid fight about a birthday dinner that was really about a bunch of other things and we stopped talking to each other.  18 years of friendship…gone.

I thought about her a lot during those seven years, but I never reached out.  That was stupid…I should have.  We both should have.  We should have just talked right after our fight and moved on.  But we didn’t.  I missed her wedding.  I don’t know her husband.  I’ve never met her daughter.  That makes me really sad…especially since it could have been avoided.

Our 20 year high school reunion was last November and I wasn’t sure how I felt about going.  On the one hand, I wanted to see Liz…on the other, I wasn’t really sure how she felt about seeing me.  One night, after listening to me hem and haw about it for an hour, J said “Just call her and get it over with…you know you want to…and then you’ll know.”  I sent her a message on Facebook instead…and she responded almost right away.  Turns out, she wanted to see me too…but we really didn’t want to go to the reunion.  So we went to dinner instead.

I’m not going to lie…it was a little awkward that first time.  But it was good to see her and I was glad we did it.  We kept in touch, but it took us another whole year to get together again.  She doesn’t live five minutes away anymore and she has toddler and I basically had two jobs and traveled a bunch this summer.  Somehow, the timing just never worked out.  Finally, on Monday we got our shit together.

While we were talking Liz commented on how nice it is to talk to someone who knows all your skeletons and it’s so true.  We have known each other since we were kids.  We grew up together and we have seen it all…the good, the bad and the sometimes really, really ugly.  We lived it together and we don’t have to censor what we say…because we both already know it all.  Which makes it even sadder that we wasted so much time not being friends.

Liz is different now…seven years, a husband and a child will do that to a person.  She’s different, but she’s still the same.  I feel like our relationship is that way too…different, but somehow still the same.  I’m hoping it just gets better from here.  I missed her…even when I wouldn’t admit it to myself or anyone else.  I’m very glad to have her back in my life.

If I learned anything from this whole experience it’s not to waste time.  Don’t let stupid things ruin a friendship.  If something is bothering you…talk about it.  Don’t just let it eat away at you until you have a stupid fight and don’t talk for seven years.  And if there is someone you miss…call them.  Work it out.  It’s worth it…trust me.

Comments

  1. So glad you are back in touch with each other. My dear bestie from middle school and I lost touch somewhere between transfers to colleges, she left community college before me, went to school, found a guy, and settled down, we wrote each other (snail mail) didn’t talk a lot on the phone (that’s when long distance phone calling was still a thing)… so we just drifted apart. Not for any real reason, we were just occupied. A marriage I missed out on and two babies later, we found each other when she signed on to Facebook and we have been chatting non-stop. Whenever I make it home I try to see her. She made the 12 hour trek (thankfully less by plane) for my wedding and it is seriously like we never stopped talking. I hate that I missed so much time, but now is the time to make up for that. IT’s a great feeling having people that know all your secrets and KNOW what secrets NOT to share! :) ox

  2. Been there! Only it wasn’t a fight between us, it was more like a fight between me and her at-the-time boyfriend who would become her husband for a while. It was a her or me situation and, I got it then and I get it now, she chose him.

    12 years went by and we bumped into each other at an event. I wasn’t sure she’d talk to me (the last time I saw her she told me to go away or it’d cause problems for her–no, it wasn’t a healthy situation she was in, but I did as she asked because I figured it was the friend thing to do; still don’t know if it was right or not) but it turns out they’d divorced and she’d wanted to reach out so many times but didn’t know if I’d be receptive.

    We get together a few times a year and hang out and have that same relationship but different thing going on, too. I don’t think we’ll ever be back the way we were (practically inseparable) just because so much time passed when so much was going on, but we’re trying :)

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