Tonight, I had a much much overdue dinner with my best friend Caren. I’ve not seen her (or anyone for that matter) much lately. Unless I’ve been working with you, most likely, I’ve not seen ya lately. It’s just the way that 2015 has been going. Tonight though, I had the chance to sup with one of my favorite people on this spinning globe.
On my way home, I flipped on the radio and heard Tracy Lawrences “Time Marches On.” See, I love that song, and I’m 99% sure Caren wants to slit her wrists each time she hears it. I don’t know why, but it just makes me happy, and for some reason, tonight it rang especially true. Gone are the days of us drinking entirely too much Wild Turkey and Boyfriends (Captain and Cokes) and are now replaced with early dinners culminating with purchasing night cream. Oy. Time is sure as hell marching on for us.
In my life, I’ve been particularly lucky to have a robust circle of friends. Men and woman who bring something special to the table. Childhood friends, college buds, colleagues who I’m proud to say that I still laugh with on a regular basis and new friends. I realize that many people don’t have this particular gift of having a bad ass circle, and I am very aware that I’m really lucky.
I’m especially lucky though to have Caren in my life. She has seen me at my best, my worst and everything in between. We’ve been so broke that we’ve had to buy (and split) a pack of toilet paper, and on the flipside, years later, have a blast buying crap we don’t really need at Nordstrom. She has seen me through personal hell, health issues and countless job changes. Oh, the jobs we have had (and lost) together.
It’s somewhat fascinating to me that all of these years later, we still make our friendship work. We are not the same girls we once used to be, working idiotic jobs to (barely) pay the bills. Instead we both have carved out careers, moved out of the nasty apartments and into homes. Somewhere along the way, she met a darling man and married him, whereas I’m still waiting for Gilbert to cross the proverbial pond to declare true love. We can go weeks without seeing each other, barely making time to send a quick “hey you old hag” text, but it doesn’t matter. We have proved time and time again that it’s not the quantity of time, but the quality.
Speaking of time, tonight, we both pulled out our calendars in an effort to make a date to go run away for the day. Used to be that we could get off of work, and just hit the road, destination unknown. Now, we have jobs, spouses, four legged creatures and budgets that have to be balanced. I rather miss the days of “let’s go to the beach” and 14 hours later we would end up in Florida. Or “lets go gamble” and drive from Austin to Bossier. That surely made sense, right? Now, it takes more time and planning, but it’s just as important these days to make the time to get in the car and cruise. The soundtrack to the road trips hasn’t changed much, but the feeling we get when we get on the road stays the same.
I’m fascinated by the passing of time and how things do change. Once upon a time, we literally lived paycheck to paycheck, nary a thought towards savings or budget. These days, we are focused on saving, paying off bills and pondering a retirement plan. Gasp. Who are these two old hags before our eyes?
The truth is that we are both counting on winning the Powerball to fully execute our dreams of becoming gypsies again. This time, our pack will grow- no longer a party of two, but instead, our little travelling troup has expanded. She a husband, a cat & a dog, and me with the black dog with the pink sweater.
One of my favorite memories of Caren is tied to a song. Ok, truthfully a jillion of our memories have been tied to a song, but this one sticks out more than anything. When I landed in Texas the first time, she picked me up playing this song, and years later, as she dropped me off to move to the east coast, we heard this song again. It really is the song of us…