I read a post a while back from Post Picket Fence that inspired me to reach out to old friends. When I was in high school, I had a tight group of girlfriends. There were eight of us that were inseparable. Over the years, as we graduated high school, went off to our separate colleges and started our lives as adults, we gradually lost touch.
When our 10 year high school reunion started to creep up on us, we decided the time had come to reunite. For some of us, we were still in touch (cliques within our clique) but for others, we only kept in touch by word of mouth as to the others whereabouts. We met the night before the actual reunion and after a few moments of awkwardness, we just slipped right back into our friendship. We laughed so hard we cried and being together again felt so natural that I think we all wondered how we had let our friendships lapse over the years. As we walked into the reunion, old classmates commented to us, "Oh man, you all still hang out together???" And although we had only been back together as a group for less than 24 hours, in some ways it seemed like no time had passed at all.
Last night I went to dinner with these girls. These girls who know me, at my core. Most of us made it to the dinner, a few did not.
These girls are my history and we try, as best as our busy lives allow, to make sure on some level that we remain a part of each other's future. Even if we don't talk every day or see each other as often as we'd like, I do value their friendship so much. It's so rare to have friends that know all your quirks, that have seen you from the very beginning of your adolescence-who have seen you at your worst and at your best. These are the girls who knew my family for what it was- both good and dark. These are the girls who helped form the person that I am today.
Even now, as I write this, so many memories come flooding back.
I remember us all hugging and swaying to the music of "I'll be there for you" by Bon Jovi not caring how cheesy we looked or that anyone else at the party existed for those 3 1/2 minutes.
I remember some of us in our cheerleader and Pom Pon uniforms out on a "scavenger hunt" and seeing the red flashing lights of the police car as one of us was stuck hanging from the street sign we were trying to, uh "borrow".
I remember when a classmate of ours was killed by a train seeing one of us cry for what I think might have been the first time. She was the one who always laughed, not cried but we put our arms around her and shared her fear and grief and realization that we are all mortal and here for a finite period of time.
I remember getting in ridiculous fights over pickles and clothes and getting "blown off" but knowing all the while that we would work through it.
I remember laughing so hard that we wet our pants (okay, well it was me who wet my pants but everyone was laughing really hard, too) while tee peeing a classmate's house for like the 4th weekend in a row.
I remember using the Ouija board and convincing ourselves it was real. We were so freaked out that a friend's sister's boyfriend took full advantage and put a chicken foot in the couch and we thought for sure it was the devil who put it there.
I remember the cross country road trip to Virginia Beach for spring break when our car, The Killer Lemon, died on us. We were afraid of the mechanic and one friend turned and looked at us cross eyed and whispered, "Make yourself look ugly."
I remember leaving my house every morning for school at least 30 minutes early so I could make the rounds and pick up some of the girls just so we could spend more time laughing and gossiping together.
I remember all of us saying we were spending the night at someone else's house just so we could stay out all night long doing things we shouldn't.
Those are just a few of my thousands of memories with these girls. But now, I get the privledge of seeing these girls turn into women. It's funny to see these women whose hair I used to hold back while they puked share pictures of their growing families or hear about their promotions at work or their determination to chase their dreams.
Next year is our 20 year high school reunion and that reunion for most of us will mean we've been friends for over 25 years.