Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Single Girl Calls an Old Friend, Now Much Married With Two Kids

Ring. Ring, ring, ring. Answering machine.

"Hi L, it's Aarwenn! I just wanted to call and say hi."


"Um, so! I've been following you on Facebook, like everyone else, and it seems like everything is going well. Life here is about the same. Work continues fine and boys flow in and out like normal."

I realize how ridiculous this sounds, not that it's untrue but that it's so far removed from what her life must be like. Back in the day she used to TRAIN me on how to structure one's life so that boys could flow in and out, and now she's married. We used to be attached at the hip. She was the reason my entire sophomore year was a blur. She was a controversial figure in the sorority, a tiny bouncy ball of energy propelled by curly hair and a huge appetite for life that I've never met in anyone before or since.

How do you TALK to someone who flew out from the West for your 21st birthday whom you haven't seen for two years?

Oh yes! Kids!

"I hope..."

Brief moment of terrifying panic that I will get their names wrong. More proof of what a terrible person I am, as I am actually an adopted aunt for Big Sister, and of course there's no way I can get these names wrong--I know them. I KNOW them. But I'm terrified I'm going to suddenly blurt out the wrong name at the moment of truth.

...Big Sister and Little Brother are well!" Whew.


"Um, oh yes, and Husband!"

Oh dear, Husband. The man who fathered the kids who have created this vast chasm between her and me, not that it's anything he shouldn't have done but I can't help blaming him anyway. Otherwise I'd have to blame her, and my emotional connection to her is way too strong to direct any negative emotion towards her. Anything I feel towards her, I feel towards myself. I can't judge, because that'd be judging me, and I can't shun. And I can't blame. So Husband gets the lion's share. Which he fully deserves.

The problem is a friendship can't always be conducted at that emotional level. A friendship forged in the crucible of an evolving sorority and falling grades and a discovery of drinking games and the bone-deep chill of a Pittsburgh winter and a bleak sun rising on yet another sleepless night looks a little odd in the calm midday sunshine of a steady job and a marriage. She can always call on me, and has, in times of great trouble. And in return, I call her occasionally, leaving bright chirpy messages on her answering machine.

"So, guess I'll talk to you later! Bye!"

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