A Facebook message came in a few weeks back, and the outset I was confused. Someone I had never heard of named Angela was messaging me. A couple sentences into the message, however, and I felt my heart skip a beat. My old (as in long time, not old old) friend Jane from a past life was reaching out to me. She had assumed a pseudoname on Facebook because she is a teacher or in the witness protection program or something along those lines. She had stumbled upon my blog and then found me on Facebook and decided to reach out. I was instantly glad she had.
Tonight the lovely Ms. Jane and I got together for the first time in I believe ten years or more – she had been one of the unexplained casualties of my divorce. Jane is about as sweet and cute as someone can be without being obnoxious about it. I had thought of her often over the years and missed the friendship. So as I left work to meet her for dinner, I felt a few butterflies in my stomach. I remembered a bunch of details, and a bunch more I did not. As I arrived to the restaurant, I could not remember…is Jane an early or a late arriver? Does she like mushrooms or hate them? (Let’s be honest, no one falls in the middle on that one.) The little details escaped me. I hoped this evening would not be awkward or hard. Mostly, I hoped we still had a thing or two to talk about.
When we sat down at the table, we promptly fulfilled our civic duty by ordering cocktails, and when they arrived we did a toast. “Here’s to reuniting, but make it a gentle toast,” said Jane. Gentle, because her froofy girly pink Cosmo drink was filled to the brim, and we mustn’t spill. But gentle, too, because we had some catching up to do and some history to retrace.
If our gingerly ways lasted more than a moment, I surely did not notice. Turns out, ten years is a long time and also the blink of an eye. A lot had happened in that decade- family additions and family losses, career changes, and a whole lot of growing up. But one thing hadn’t changed: I think we still adore each other.
At the end of the day, I can say this: my heart is grateful that Jane found me and more so that she made the move to reach out to me. It’s hard to do that, hard to retrace the past and find a new way. I don’t know why we haven’t been friends for the last ten years, but really, who cares? At this point, it’s kind of irrelevant. And even though Jane ordered two drinks and I only ordered one, but then we split the bill evenly and I paid more than my share and now Jane totally owes me a drink (the hilarious content of her voicemail message to me two minutes after parting ways) I’d like to keep this friendship alive forevermore. No more ten year breaks.