I have lunch with my girlfriends every couple of months. I guess I should properly say they are my women friends, because none of us have been girls for about 70 years. But they were my high school girlfriends and it’s nice to fill in the lost years. Only two were my actual friends, one a bridesmaid in my wedding 65 years ago. The others I knew of course, but we weren’t really friends.
One was interested in girl’s athletics, and my interest was contained in being a cheerleader for the boy’s sports. Another was a serious looking girl on the honor roll, and I never quite made that either. My great interest in education had come early and then made a detour in high school and then resumed after some time in college. Another had no interest in befriending me so I labelled her a snob. Another was a girl who was also in the ROTC in a competing battalion. This was the only way I ever saw her; when we were marching up and down the field in our very cool uniforms. It’s interesting to see the changes those years have brought. When we began doing this a few years ago, I had to look at their pictures in the high school year book to recognize them. I wonder if they did the same?
The first luncheon we had, a woman sat at our table and I asked my bridesmaid who she was. She said “Oh, she’s the ballet dancer”. She has become quite comfortable in the ensuing years, and though we had seen newspaper pictures of her when she danced in the SF Ballet and the New York Ballet, I found it difficult to reconcile the two images. I always thought she looked like a fairy princess.
I lunched with another group of women the other day and recounted the high school lunch. Several thought it would be fun to find out what happened to old boyfriends. One was scornful, and couldn’t understand why anyone would want to connect with people they had known so long ago. But her husband recently called a man he knew as a teenager, telephoned him, and they have had many pleasant conversations.
Dr. Advice never let his friendships get dusty. He stayed connected through all the years, until the last one passed away a year or so ago. He is a communicator in the first rate. It’s all about communication. We are not meant to be lone wolves. We need to exchange ideas, to find our place in the world. We are constantly evolving, learning.
I’ve been so happy to meet with these high school friends often. I’m sorry for the years we missed, because every one of them is an interesting woman with so much given and so much more to give.