Met up with several friends for dinner the other night and immediately, upon setting eyes on each other, we picked up right where we left off the last time we got together. Seamlessly, casually, not skipping a beat in the conversation.
The only thing is, we hadn't seen each other since our last high school reunion, which was seven years ago. Sporadic emails have been our only thin connection throughout the years. And yet, just like that, over Midori margaritas, we resumed the friendships forged back in the 70s, chatting like we'd just seen each other in Mr. Peck's yearbook class or Cassvan's period 5 biology.
Yes, our faces are a bit more lined, our bodies a bit more padded, but I don't see any of these things when I look at my friends. Instead, I still see the youthful face of the gal who used to sneak us off campus at lunchtime and drive us to Swensen's for peanut butter milkshakes. I see the well-meaning classmate who encouraged me to keep walking during a grueling 20-mile March of Dimes Walkathon, and then erred about the pick-up arrival time and made us miss the bus. I see the feisty girl who asked me to drive her past Baskin Robbins so she could drop her drawers and moon Linda Sue who was working that night.
These days it seems our lives are consumed with putting kids through college, saving for retirement, juggling multiple workloads, and caring for aging parents. But maybe that's why we were able to pick up right where we left off in 1976. Because when we look at each other, we see the people we used to be. And for just a few hours, we are the people we used to be.
Carefree teenagers who drink peanut butter milkshakes without worrying about calories; walk 20-mile marathons without special shoe orthotics; and stick bare butts out moving car windows without modesty (or cellulite).