Old friends and easy dinners
Tonight I have three friends coming over for supper. We had dinner together last week too. Sometimes there are four of us, sometimes five. We have known each other since our children were small and we have liked each other since then. They are old friends, good friends. Not much is expected of each other anymore and at the same time a lot is expected. We are there for each other. We all have other friends and groups we are part of, but we consistently turn to each other.
Three of them often go away together for weekends. I go occasionally but mostly I see them here. They are my buddies, my walking partners. I know all their husbands and I like them. Sometimes we get together with them too. And it is amazing to me that we have all been friends for thirty years. That is something you just cannot get without time. It is not something you can set out to do, it just happens. Time passes and they are still in your life and they become more and more important.
Old friends. They know our ways, our defences, our strengths and they have come to accept our weaknesses. Accepting weaknesses is an important part of friendship. None of us are perfect. The thing is after being friends for so long you kinda even forget the weaknesses or they seem irrelevant. Getting over those probably happened in year five or six, or ten or fifteen. Truthfully I don't quite remember. I just know it is a natural part of growing together in friendship.
When I told one friend what I would change about her, I said, "I wish you travelled less." She said, "I wish you travelled more." When she is gone I miss walking with her. She wishes I would hit the road with her. You don't get everything you want in one person. She has the others for that.
Holding on to old friends and nurturing them has been good for me. In many cases you have grown apart in the way you spend your time, the way you live your life. You might even live in different towns. But for me it does not matter. I love that some friends have known me since I was a child, other since I was married or my children were small. That comforts me. That instills a sense of belonging in me. We are going through this life together. We are interconnected. We knew each other before and we know each other now.
Each of us has sought new friendships and we find joy and belonging there too. One does not preclude the other. I seek out and I enjoy new friendships. It is fun and interesting to meet new people. It brings me a lot of joy. I am open to it. I don't want to close my circle ever.
Some circles though have softer edges, the living is easy. You can feel more yourself and rest easy in the presence of others. They got your number and you got theirs. Like tonight, I took out a couple of pounds of scallops and I am going to maker hasselback potatoes. One of them is bringing vanilla ice cream, one an appetizer, and the other a salad. I pulled a rhubarb crisp out of the freezer.
It will be a good dinner. But if at five clock I get home I could order a pizza and no one would care. If that rhubarb crisp does not turn out well I won't be embarrassed. It does not matter. I will wait til they come to fry the scallops, in fact I could leave it to one of them. I cannot get that kind of comfort with everyone, everywhere. It takes time and I can tell you it is worth the wait.
- Deanne Fitzpatrick