March 2004: FKGuy and I are budding wine geeks, and have joined the world of internet forums. Bulletin boards dedicated to people discussing (for the most part) one topic. In this case, wine. It started as a way to learn more about the enormous world of wine. It turned into us gaining a large group of fabulous friends. This is how our new friends became old friends.
Last week we got together for dinner, and loads of wine, with this crew, some of whom we hadn’t seen in a year. We gathered at Market 17 in Fort Lauderdale and began with some white wine as our group of ten arrived. We were missing a few friends at this particular dinner, but getting twelve or fourteen people to all agree to the same date is nearly impossible.
As we made our way around the table, I asked one couple what was new with them. It turns out two of their children have just started college. When we met these two, the older boys were six. One of them drew us a picture when we were at their house for dinner. It graced our refrigerator for several years. (See? That is what happens when you don’t have kids. Other children’s’ art projects end up on your fridge. And we have no fridge clutter, so there is a limited incentive to remove those particular pieces.)
But I digress. The point is: I am getting old.
Another night in 2006 we had a group of twenty-plus people to our house for a wine dinner. As people arrived, I handed them a glass of champagne. When I handed one to this friend, she let me know that she was pregnant. It doesn’t seem like that long ago. Alas, that child is now ten years old.
(Still feeling old.)
I have been fortunate to have many friendships withstand the test of time. Next week we will travel to Utah for a bar-mitzvah. I’ve been friends with his mom since 1985. Another friend (also since summer camp in 1985) will be coming with her husband and child. Recently we traveled to Washington for another bar mitzvah. I’ve been friends with his mom since 9th grade. I just planned a fabulous vacation for someone who has been a good friend since the 7th grade. Another woman, who I see far less regularly than I would like, has been a friend, quite literally, forever. She was at my first birthday party, and still we meet up for lunch, dinner, or her occasional visit to Key West.
The moment I realized that our “new” internet friends had been actual, real-life friends for over a decade was pretty shocking. That it made me feel incredibly old is considerably less shocking.