When it comes to the times in my life where I have made friends that have lasted a lifetime, I'd have to say it was college & the 7 years I spent at Circuit City. Perhaps it was the time in my life where relationships with peers were the most important part of life, molding me for the future, challenging me, keeping me sane in the transitional period into adulthood.
There are many people I am still very blessed to call friends--18 years later. I can't imagine what life would be like without them! We've grown up together, gotten married, gotten divorced, been through births & deaths, jobs & unemployment...
Through those years, there has been one person in particular who has managed to cement her place in my life. Little did we know that when I started working evenings part-time at Circuit City that it would be the makings of a lifelong friendship.
At the time, Betsy (let's call her "AriCaVa'" from this point out) was given the task of showing me the ropes and the inner workings of the Advertising Production Department. It's safe to say I don't remember much about the 'working' aspect. The images that come readily to my memory were 'snack time' every night at 7pm, and then dinner time once we were both working full-time; proofreading; felt tip pens; her engagement; her wedding; crazy co-workers; me dating someone she didn't like; understanding the signs of a 'bad day'... it really goes on & on.
Then AriCaVa & Mr. AriCaVa decided to move to Arizona.
What? Do you KNOW how far that is??? It's not a day trip, for certain! Just HOW do you think we are going to stay friends when you won't even be in the same time zone???
I admit, in the beginning it took a little getting used to. She's not a big phone talker; I'm a big writer. We started with letters and emails, pictures & cards. It wasn't too hard, but not the same as being in the same city.
What about girls' night out? Who was going to see chick flicks with me? Would I have to find a new "go to" person?
At that time in my life, getting the money and time to go see AriCaVa in Phoenix just wasn't an option. I was only able to see her when she was in town visiting family--and let's just admit I usually had to be squeezed in because the trips were so frantic! Hey, not a complaint. I loved the chance to see AriCaVa when I could. It was ok though, because whenever we met up, we just fell into that familiar place in our friendship. And also, by this time we were keeping connected even better! We had moved from regular 'ole letters to actually writing in notebooks. It suited me anyway, because i just write THAT MUCH!
But not... further west???? (& was she going to move all my notebooks with her?).
Personally, I thought it was time for her to move back to her FRIENDS and family.
Ok, fine... move further away if you must. (Secretly hoping they don't fall in love with the far west coast)... Sure, I guess i can still do the long-distance friendship thing.
Jelly was born in December and i was able to make my way to California before he turned a year old; 2 months later, in fact. What an incredible time! It was so wonderful to see AriCaVa with her firstborn, learning the ropes; me, being able to practice and patent the famous "butt pat" with Jelly.
AriCaVa is the kind of friend & mommy who doesn't make every conversation about 'what baby does'. (Have I mentioned I love that about her?) We still talked about the same things, laughed over nothing & compared how nutty our husbands were. She never made me feel like I was 'less than' or 'didn't understand' because I wasn't a mother. You really can't ask for more than that...
Wait... I lied. You can. How's about moving back to Old Virginny???
Fast forward to my next birthday ----> I received a card/package from AriCaVa, as I usually do. What was in the package was the best part! She'd sent a notebook she'd finished writing in. It was small, so i could read it in one sitting. When I got to the end, she said she knew where they were moving next. (Yes, i knew they were thinking about moving again. They just weren't digging the West Coast with all it's expensive lifestyle, crazy weather & no BFFs).
You're right. I don't know if she really SAID that, but it was definitely implied!
Anyway, I thought to myself --- YES! Finally she is going to say she's moving back to the East Coast, somewhere like Charlotte or Charleston or New York or Philly. YEAH! Those are all easy plane rides away or a day trip driving. This was going to be awesome!
Except... she didn't mention any of those cities. I reread it again. Did she...? Really? There?
Hell yeah!!! HappyHappyJoyJoy! What AriCaVa did say could be some of the sweetest words a BFF can hear: "We are moving back to Virginia." (By this time, it had been about 10 years since they picked up their life in VA). I don't know that I have ever had a better birthday surprise... Well, except that year my parents changed the spelling of my name, but that's another story.
It seemed like forever and then it seemed as quick as the blink of an eye, but finally they were on the East Coast. Though they didn't move into my neighborhood like I campaigned, I'm just fine with a drive across the river. I have never been a fan of "South Side", but I do love getting together for girls' day, dinners, lazy get-togethers, holidays, celebrations and should either of us have one, emergencies...
Here's hoping I don't hear "We're talking about moving again" anytime soon!