Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Old Friends

This evening I had dinner with The Caffeinated Priest (a.k.a. Sarah), who is - literally - my oldest friend. By which I don't mean that she herself is old (god forbid), but rather that we've known each other since we were in utero, which is about as early as you can get. We were born a mere two months apart, and she was my very bestest friend for the first decade of my life. We lived on opposite sides of town and went to different schools, but hardly a week went by that one of us wasn't spending the weekend at the other's house. For me, Sarah's house was a wonderful oasis of sibling-free existence, where life was more exotic (shopping at health food stores! making our own yogurt! eating out at restaurants! OMG!) and we could spend hours playing make believe in the huge backyard or the upstairs attic suite. I remember choreographing dance routines to John Lennon songs, or watching as Sarah's mom put on makeup before going out for the night. Sarah's house had crazy modern art on the walls and she slept in a canopy bed - soooo glamorous. Sarah's father worked for the Public TV station in Athens, and one year we got to ride the trolley from Mr. Roger's neighborhood in the huge 4th of July parade in Atlanta. Sarah had that effortless self-confidence that some only children have, and I was happy to follow her lead in our many adventures. She was cooler than I was, and I knew it. When my Dad finished his PhD program and got a job in Minnesota, Sarah's house was the last place we stopped by on our way out of town. We hugged and cried and she gave me a UGA t-shirt that I wore for nearly ten years, until it finally disintegrated in the wash. We kept in touch regularly for a few years after I'd moved. She called me when her parents split up; I called her a few years later when mine did. We kept track of each other sporadically through high school, and I saw her randomly on a summer trip with my parents during college, but we'd mostly lost touch my the time I graduated. Occasionally - and this might sound a little weird - I'd have dreams about her and her family, and I'd wake up and wonder what she was doing. I tried googling her a few times, but never came up with anything. Then, earlier this year, I got an email from her. Seems she'd been doing the same thing, and found my blog and my Flickr site and there it was - we were back in touch again. It's probably my favorite thing about the internets, how I've made new friends and gotten back in touch with old ones, but this was something extra special. Sarah was at a conference in Minneapolis this week, so we arranged to get together for dinner. You can never be completely sure how it will be with someone you haven't seen in nearly twenty years (and haven't really seen in over twenty-five years) but something told me that we'd be ok, and lord! Were we ever! I'm sure Mr. Squab felt a little out of it with all the reminiscing, but I think Sarah and I could have kept talking into sometime next week without much of a pause. So much to catch up on! So many people to ask about! What was nicest of all, though, was to confirm that this person who was so incredibly important to my childhood is still someone that I really like, that I feel comfortable around and would choose to hang out with. We're surely different people than we were as ten-year-olds, but we've both become pretty damn cool women, and I feel lucky to know my oldest friend once again. (And sorry mom, we forgot to take a picture!)