But Keep the Old
Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is silver and the other, gold.
What’s it like to meet your best friend after 39 years?
While I was in New York [Posts], I met up with a woman I had known in grade school.
When I was 14, I moved from NYC to Washington DC. This was long before the Internet, so email wasn’t an option. Phones existed but long-distance calls were expensive and reserved for special, usually family, occasions. We tried. We wrote. We swapped visits. Ultimately, we drifted apart.
Life went on. I’d wonder about her occasionally, but didn’t have any mutual acquaintances to ask.
Her name is non-standard in the USA. Google can only find one of her. If her name were Mary Smith, I’d still be wondering. (Internet says 18,846 Mary Smiths). Plus, she kept her name after marriage. One argument for that practice. I did not retain my maiden name, and I changed my stable name. Unless you knew me in both incarnations, nothing connects Kathy Tuttle of yesteryear with Katherine Walcott of today. (It feels weird to even type that.)
We knew each other for six years and were inseparable for four of them. As an adult I have jeans older than that. As a kid, a small number of years is a huge percentage of your life. This was also the last time I had all my friendship eggs in one basket. When I left New York, I started riding, which meant separate groups of barn friends and school/work/non-barn friends.
So what happened?
We talked a blue streak.
Conversations about her kid led to our college experiences led to jobs led to husbands led to family. Politics wandered in briefly. (We reach.) I don’t think either one of us mentioned our school days together. There was a little bit of, “What happened to …” from people in her high school. Mainly it was now and how we both got to now.
With most old friends, you share the weight of your years together. In this case, we went from the age of 14 to 53 in a single bound. I discovered, all over again, what a cool person she is. If I met her today, as a stranger, I’d want to be her friend.
One breakfast was not enough time.
Thank you for reading,