I met up with K, my wife's childhood and current friend, and J, K's husband, last night. We went to dinner, went to an Irish bar, did some walking around, went to sleep, then had breakfast together this morning. It was all great. Even the overeating, grumpy waitresses, scary cat, and possible credit card fraud had their appeal. The best part though, and I realize that it sounds a bit canned, was the company of K and J. It was the first time I'd been with them without the company of my wife and, perhaps as a direct result, things were just a little bit different. Not better or worse, but different, and also helpful to me in that I now know them quite a bit better than I did only hours before.
Meeting and enjoying my wife's friends has been such a wonderful, somewhat unexpected part of this adventure. So far, it's been nothing but terrific. I leave them, not only thankful and happy about our interactions, but also really impressed with the circle of friends that my wife has made. It's becoming more and more clear to me that she knows a good bunch of people, and they are just further proof to me that I definitely married up.
H, her two sons, and I met up and had breakfast together this morning. It was actually my second breakfast because A) all of my Facebook friends have really been wanting to feed me lately, and B) I struggle to say no to breakfast foods. H was a grade or two above me in school. I'm leaning toward it being only one grade, and if that's the case, then we last saw one another in the spring of 1995. Not much has changed with her, at least from my limited perspective. Well, I guess she has relocated, gotten married, had kids, lived life, and had a number of other big life moments and changes. Other than those things though, it's all exactly the same. And somehow, she has managed not to age. Meanwhile, I sneezed at one point, which caused no less than 15 new gray hairs to sprout atop my still-growing and already-too-large head.
Among other things, H has an awesome love story. It's not terribly complicated, nor does it involve any wicked witches / stepmothers, inanimate objects that can sing, or a prince that saves her from near certain death. It does, however, involve some odds. Before I met my wife, they would've seemed like terribly long odds. Now, though, I might view it as a 50/50 situation, either because my wife changed the way that I view odds or because I'm more likely to believe that love stories can work out since I met her. Still, no matter what way I view the odds, and no matter what way H views them, her love story absolutely required somebody to take a chance. Maybe she had to take it, maybe he had to take it, or, more likely, they both had to take that chance.
H seems happy to have taken that chance, and for good reason. From my selfish standpoint, I'm glad that she took it too, both for my short-term and long-term happiness. Had she not, I probably would not have enjoyed breakfast with her and her family this morning and been able to dominate her son in tic-tac-toe. Further, I might've missed out on the chance to be reminded that life can be great, that remarkable things can happen, and that things can work out, if only one takes the chance and buys that ticket.
While I don't have a ton of memories from that high school, I am satisfied with the quality of some of those that I do have. I'm also pleased with the quality of the people that make up those memories. One of those people from one of those memories is D. Sometimes I don't feel like sharing my memories, as if to state them publicly will lessen the amount of the memory that still belongs to me. I don't always feel this way, or even usually, but for now, and with this memory, I do. The story isn't that fantastic anyway, at least in comparison to the memory, so nobody is really missing out on anything by my selfish refusal to share it.
So, after approxiately 8 hours of driving toward the sun today, I pulled up to D's home just as he was circling the driveway on one of his children's bicycles. That seemed about right, it seemed like the D that I remember, and it brought back nothing but good thoughts, memories, vibes, and senior year. Add to the mix that he is now married to V, another one of my high school classmates, though three years younger, and my night was nearly complete before I even said two words to either of them.
In ten years, will this evening be one that I think of from time to time and smile? I don't know. It might be, or it may be just as likely that I forget about it by this time next month or next year. On the other hand, though, at this precise moment, I am thinking of it and it is making me smile. #winning