Closer to fine.

I’m trying to tell you something about my life
Maybe give me insight between black and white
The best thing you’ve ever done for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously, it’s only life after all…
…There’s more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.
    (thanks Indigo Girls)

Being togther with my old high school pal MA in Nova Scotia last week brought back a lot of memories. I never went up to NS with MA during the summers — she did take a different friend or two a time or two — we joked about how my life would have been different had I experienced a “running free” kind of summer during my formative years. I listened to the stories last week in much the same way that I had listened to stories in high school about things I didn’t do, places I didn’t go, escapades I didn’t participate in. I listened last week, as I did back then during high school, not with a sense of regret (“oh, I wish I had been there,”) but more with the sense that I knew — even all those years ago — what my own personal limitations were; that there were things I couldn’t (wouldn’t?) ever do because they just weren’t in my DNA. In many ways,  lived vicariously through MA in high school (and beyond, perhaps?). She helped me — and helps me — find the lightness, absurdity, and silliness in myself.

Another high school memory presented itself — almost live and in color: A mutual friend from high school now works and lives in Halifax, having moved with his wife and young family from the States about a year ago. One of us dated him, one of us was simply a very good friend, and both of us were hopeful we would see him after having all gone our separate ways in the decades after high school. As it turned out, his schedule didn’t permit time to connect in person but he called while we were making our way back to Halifax at the end of the week. When I answered the “unknown” call on my cell and heard his voice, I was transported back 25 years.

His familiar greeting (he never said “Hello”) was a bit of a shock to my system — I don’t think there are too many people who I can identify with certainty in 3 syllables or less. It occured to me during the conversation that he and I have known each other for probably more than 30 years.  His and my friendship was different than his and MA’s — not better, but different — and I am hopeful that we will connect in person before too much more time passes. (I heard, via MA during this trip, that there was a point in his younger life when he  had long hair — I somehow missed this period and I am looking forward to seeing him in person to find out just what the hell he was thinking back then. I’ll give him a beer first, to loosen him up.)

As long friendships do, this one grew and changed, waxed and waned, and in recent years we had lost track of each other. With the advent of Facebook, it is relatively difficult to stay lost and so we are now “Friends” again and reconnected. (Well, we were “Friends” until Mr. HackerAsshat took over my FB page and FB security pulled it down.) But as we talked the other day on the phone, I realized as I asked a million questions — and he asked only a few thousand– that what I had suspected all along was true: he was (is) great, I was great then (and, ahem, now), and that we are right now where we are supposed to be. I am happy to know for sure right now that back then I was also right where I was supposed to be — not dating the football hero (not dating anyone in fact), editing the yearbook, reading and writing (too much?) in AP classes, looking ahead to college. Who I was back then — everyone’s “Friend” — may not have felt great in 1985 but turns out was really good for the me that grew up to live as a 41 year old in 2010, with the most awesome husband and four pretty fantastic children, two (sometimes 3) dogs, and a wonderful home in Princeton.

This girl’s alright.


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