THE LAST FIVE ...
Closing up shop
It may be time for a change
Entry in the air
Music of the moment
Or ... BE RANDOM!
Sunday, Oct. 14, 2001 - 11:18 p.m.
The real "Friends"
I need to write just because I haven't in a few days, and though I like it (and find it amusing) how many people have mentioned Emode's "Friends" test because I wrote about it in my last entry (and so far the count includes Casey, Jen, Caligirl and Laura), I my daily hits are falling without new material in this space.
Jaime and Dave had their engagement party today -- or, I suppose, Jaime's parents threw an engagement party for them today. Most of the entire crew was there -- Elise, Lisa, Will, Dave (the other one), myself. All our parents, including Brian's and Amy's and Matt's -- those who were unable to be there because they live in such places as Florida, Louisiana and Washington state. Casey got to meet Lisa and Elise, two of the final pieces to my friend puzzle.
After the party, because with so many friends and parents there for us all to talk with, I chatted with Will's father for the first time that afternoon. Of course, living here, and with Will around when he's not off working on movies, I see his father fairly often. Certainly more often than I do the parents of some of the others. But Will's dad said he and the other parents at his table spent the whole afternoon talking and catching up, and in that way caught up with all their children, even those who couldn't make it today. And they marveled at our ability to stay in touch this whole time.
Jaime and I have been hanging out as friends for 10 years (though I've known Matt since we were 2, and Will and Dave since second grade). It was August 1991 when I looked up at the Fair Haven Fireman's Fair and recognized the girl looking at me. We chatted for a while -- both of us had come with groups of friends, who were on some ride that we cared little for -- and from there, the group grew. We each brought our friends from our respective high schools to various parties and outings and the group reached a high of about 20 close members by the time senior year prom season rolled around. We had a big weekend, what with my school holding its prom on Friday night and Jaime's on Saturday. High School Heather went to Jaime's school, and Jaime and Will dated for a time.
We all left for various colleges spread out from South Bend, Indiana, to Waterville, Maine, to Davidson, North Carolina. But we stayed in touch through the mail and e-mail and telephones and got together over summers and holidays. Heather and I broke up (er, she dumped me; details), and while some sections of the group drifted apart (to nobody's disappointment), the core has remained strong.
And that is why, 10 years later, we found ourselves sitting around a table at Beacon Hill Country Club -- a view of Manhattan visible across the water from the hilltop clubhouse -- laughing and making juvenile jokes as if we were still 15. It's a joy, an accomplishment, an achievement of which to be proud. You can judge a person by his or her friends, and the fact that we've stayed in touch over so many years says a lot about all of us, I think. I'm thankful and greatful for these friendships. We've partied together, celebrated birthdays and weddings and holidays together. We frantically made phone calls and sent e-mails on Sept. 11 until everyone was accounted for, with some people living and working in New York, others in D.C., and Casey and me planning a trip to Washington that day.
There are too many of us to assign a "Friends" character to each one (without doubling friends to "Friends"), but if we were to do that ...
I'd definitely be Chandler.
Next page: Bethlehem Steel
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