Saturday, December 10, 2011

Associations, forty years later.

Facebook is quite a phenomenon, now I spill short drivel onto my FB page every day while I neglect any reflective writing I might do in my blog. But through facebook in the last year, I have been contacted by three of my best friends growing up, after decades of non-contact.

None of them are old female friends. How much better a friend I could be now for them.

We were young then, we're old now and either wrinkled or fat or wrinkled and fat. The Republicans inadvertently coined a motto for us when they advanced a health care plan for folks like us to Just Die.

My BFF in ninth grade reached out to me this past summer and I eagerly accepted his Friend-Me bid. It had been 40 years since I last heard from him.

How does that happen to BFFs? Very easily, at least up until the advent of the electronic age, which is very recent. (I'm the fat & wrinkled one on the left.)

We spent a lunch hour catching up recently at a restaurant in Minnesota, of all places. He told me about his alienated child (divorce situation) whom he had just recently heard from and then seen for thirty minutes for the first time in almost a decade, and I told him about my three alienated children (divorce situation) whom I have not seen nor heard from in almost a decade.

Once we were past our mutual modern male-parent maudlin stories, I told him about my very last memory of him. Sitting around the kitchen table of my parents' house on Staten Island, he was regaling my family with his first-year-in-college tales of life in the frat house at a college in the south.

You see, I chose to go to school in Boulder in 1970, and I had a much different attitude from him about schools and classmates. I said I remembered chiding him for his affinity for having 40 close frat brothers by asking, when he said that if you needed to go somewhere that 40 car keys would be tossed at you, if all 40 brothers would also put on blue shirts if he donned one before going out in the borrowed car.

Forty years later I still remembered how clear it had been to me how ridiculous his portrayal of frat life was. Although he had forgotten until then our last encounter, forty years later he remembered how merciless I had been in my chiding and how silly he had felt.

Life sucks sometimes. I suck sometimes.

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