(And by old, I mean long-time friends, not necessarily people that are old.)
I met Janet on an AOL pregnancy message board back in 1999. The only thing we had in common immediately was that we were both due with babies in February 2000 and we were both from Pittsburgh. Fast forward 11 years.
Andy and I drove out to the territory known as Disney today to meet up with Janet and her family. Over the years I’ve come to count on Janet as one of my go-to friends. We aren’t constantly in touch, but she gets me and I get her. When I need sound, sane advice, I go to Janet. I haven’t seen her in about five years. For some reason, she and her family choose to live in stoopid Oregon which is, like, rilly far from here.
As we were driving out to her hotel, I found myself panicking about dumb stuff . . . what if she sees me and shrieks “You look like the Creature from the Crypt” (a la Freaky Friday) or what if we no longer have anything in common? or did I remember deodorant this morning? what if Andy goes feral on Janet’s kids and scars them for life? I dunno, that’s how my brain works. Does anyone else do this? I swear I’m destined for a mental hospital one of these days.
Of course, it worked out just fine. Janet is still sane, I’m 96% certain I used deodorant and it was working and it only took about 2 minutes before we were talking like we were neighbors who had just seen each other. She never once shrieked at my oldness or Andy’s weirdness. We spent a few hours just hanging out and it was wonderful. Andy and Janet’s kids got along like they’d always known each other. (I’m hoping this visit planted a spark in Andy’s head and he’ll eventually marry Janet’s daughter. Good match personality-wise and they’d have totally cute kids. Don’t tell Andy yet, I want him to think it’s his own idea when the time comes.)
Added bonus? Janet brought me a souvenir from Harry Potter World at Universal Studios. My very own bottle of U No Poo! How cool is that? Think of all of the time I’m going to save!!!! Andy and I were thrilled to be allowed handle the wands her kids picked up on their visit. The wands were pretty cool – beautiful boxes and they felt just like I have always imagined a real wand would feel. I think I need a wand.
Anyway, it was great to spend some time today with someone I love and admire so much. I look back at the beginnings of our friendship in wonder – an AOL message board? How crazy, huh? We’ve shared so many wonderful things, so many horrible things and so many funny things over the past 11 years.
This afternoon was a terrific reminder to me of how important friends, even ones you rarely see, can be and also, of how much my life has changed since that first afternoon that happy voice told me “You have mail.”