I have some girlfriends that I’ve known for 55 years!
There were 8 of us. We all lived within a block of each other. Back in those days, even being 5 or 6 years old, we were allowed to go that block or two, on our own! We all had bikes so rode those all over the place. We lived two blocks from the school that we went to and spent many afternoons riding our bikes around the school grounds, playing soccer or baseball on the fields, sliding down the hill on pieces of cardboard. Of course we all had roller skates too….the kind that you needed a key for that you slipped on over your shoes. We also lived near a golf course and would build forts in the bushes….who could do that today??? We had sleepovers and pajama parties. My parents had a station wagon and it was nothing for everyone to pile into it on a Saturday night so they could take us to the “Drive-in Movies”…..in our pajamas!
We went through elementary school together, some of us went to one high school and some to another, but we still all “hung around” together. As we got to our teen years we did all the stuff that teenagers do……first boyfriends, first parties, first drinks. None of us got into any trouble…..we did come close. We’d go shopping almost every weekend with our babysitting money….most of which got spent on makeup. We’d spend hours in department stores trying on clothes we couldn’t afford to by. We all sewed, so shopping for material was also something we did a lot of. We shared patterns, we shared clothes! We all loved The Monkees and Paul Revere and the Raiders….would sit and listen for hours…our closet doors were covered with pictures from magazines. I can’t think how many hours we’d spend in movie theatres…once you paid to get in, back then, you could stay and watch the same movie over and over again…usually because there was “cute guy” in it.
Over the years we kind of drifted in different directions……but still kept in touch. I was the first one married and the first to have kids. It was hard back then for me to take off on “girls weekends” to celebrate birthdays….with the kids and especially financially, I just couldn’t do it. Weddings was about the only time I seen everyone. I’m really sorry now that I couldn’t do all the things with them. I had a good time when I did, but I wasn’t as free as everyone else and their lives were just so different. Then once everyone, or just about everyone, got married and started having their own kids, the same thing happened to them. Everyone bought houses wherever they could afford to….which means some of us moved out of the city, into the burbs. Those get togethers became less and less. One of them worked for the same company I do, so she was always my “life line” to what was happening with everyone else. She retired a couple of years ago, so getting in touch, making those phone calls every now and again became even more important.
The last time we all got together was at a funeral….for our friend Bev. She was my maid of honor. She died a year ago March…….heart attack at 60! Funny how it used to be weddings, now as we get older I can only hope the next time isn’t another funeral!
So now there are only 7 of us.
One friend L, is the organizer. She is the one that keeps in touch with everyone…..and I’m so glad she does. These friends, even though I don’t see them all the time, they are the ones that I can feel pretty comfortable with no matter what.
The Christmas do last year was on the same night as our CDS get together, so we couldn’t go…..Ken wasn’t really well enough anyway, a retirement party was the same weekend as the wedding I went away for in the summer, so I couldn’t go to that. I really wish I could have. A girls weekend that was the same weekend as another wedding. I can go to these now and I should….I’ll make sure that I do.
L called last night and we got caught up on how everyone is doing. Who had trips planned, what trips others had been on….and a little bit of gossip. All are retirees except for me and J, who is a teacher and still working! L retired last year and started playing in a ladies softball league…..she is going off to the Seniors World championship games in Utah in a week of two! How exciting is that.
Staying in touch with friends seems so much more important now than it did before. It was always good to hear from everyone or make that phone call to catch up but we were all busy with our lives doing whatever we were doing. Besides these girls there are other friends that I need to get in touch with…..those phone calls are on my “to do” list. I keep thinking I don’t have time to make the calls…..all my project jobs….they are probably thinking the same thing….just too busy. The worst part of it is that the longer you put off making those calls, the harder they seem to be to make…..it gets easier to put them off and then you think “oh well…whatever” and never make them.
If I could, I would turn back the clock and do some things differently….especially keeping in touch on a regular basis and staying closer to all these girls. There’s other friends that I haven’t heard from since Ken died….I don’t know why……I WILL call them….maybe tonight!
Now is the time in my life when I need all these friends…..it’s not that I didn’t need them before, but life was different then….different a year ago. I had other priorties…we had different priorities. Friends have always been important to us but we also had each other. It’s very different when you are on your own……