I’m part of a group of friends that’s been together – more or less – for 30 years. We’re all very different people – different tastes, likes, etc. For some reason, it’s as if this group has been suspended in time. At one point, we all spent lots of time together, complete with parties, group trips, weddings, the works.
Thing is, lately things have been less great. We do this weird thing where we don’t stay in touch for long periods of time, and then (say, 18 months later), a call goes out for some event that’s supposed to bring everyone back together.
The uncomfortable part is this weird expectation that we’re all supposed to fall back into the same exact roles we once had.
These are all great people in their own rites – they work hard, have hopes and dreams, families and responsibilities.
[That awkward moment when you realize your friend is a flaming racist]
[oh, and that means you used to sound like that too]
I love these people – every one of them. But the years have changed us. Time does that, no? It’s taken us from a once-close group of personalities and scattered us to the winds. We all have warts, me more than most, but coming back together this way is like finding a dusty old kaleidoscope in the attic.
[Oh yeah, I DID have that country music phase, didn’t I? Wow.]
Once the kaleidoscope was familiar, colorful, and exciting. But now funhouse mirror seems a more apt description (and damn, those are some big warts)
There’s a doctor, a carpenter, a couple of finance types, a union guy, some salesmen, and one or two who have always tried on identities like new clothes every few years. Is it somehow supposed to be a revelation that we’re all pretty different? It kind of feels it.
[These guys convinced me that a mustache was a good idea? WTF?]
Here’s the thing. A wise man once told me that nothing in the entire universe – NOTHING ever stays the same.
What say we accept this with grace, eh? I’m happy to see everyone now and again, but I don’t expect to have a ton to talk about. How can I be expected to appreciate what it’s like as you? Or as you? Or as anyone of the others who has done their own thing for so long?
Truth is – I have kept in touch with the people I wanted to. I hazard a guess that you have too. If you were interested in what I was up to, you’d know it without waiting 18 months to find out, no?
You must feel what I’m talking about, right? I love what we were, craziness and good stories abounded. You somehow talked me into that mustache. Thing is, that person you knew me as – that person does’t exist anymore. Like you, I’ve changed. Some of it (though not all) even for the better.
If you call me, I’ll answer. If you write, I’ll write back, but I hereby release you from the “you” that you were back then. Will you do the same for me? It’s ok. Really. This was supposed to happen.
Can I get an amen?