Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Seems Like Old Times

My friend Barbara called from Virginia last night. We've known each other since we were 12--we met the summer before my dad died--and we've been through junior high, high school, and college (she's a Hokie, too!) together. We married within a year of each other (coincidentally, her husband grew up 5 miles from Jim near Pittsburgh, but they didn't know each other then--that would have been weird). She had a daughter 18 months before I had a son, and she became my source of wisdom for all things related to babies. She introduced me to onesies, for instance, when she babysat one afternoon and noticed that The Boy looked cold. (I was a pretty clueless young mother.)

Even though we end up talking only once or twice a year (we really have to do better with that), and we haven't lived near each other for more than a decade, it's always wonderful to talk to her. We just fall back into our old routines--how's your family? how're your pets? how's your mom? how's your mom? how's your job?--and it's like the months just melt away. We discussed Christmas presents--we always exchange them--and the new Harry Potter movie, and her dogs, and my guinea pigs. I reminded her, as is my tradition, that since it was her birthday last week, almost exactly a month before mine, that she's older than I am. For a month, anyway. She always says it wouldn't be her birthday without that, though maybe she's just being kind.

What's wonderful about Barbara is that she's not only smart--a physicist, specializing in optics, though currently working part-time while her kids are young--but she's also blessedly unneurotic, perhaps the most level-headed person I know. You can always rely on her to answer questions honestly but tactfully, ask good questions, and share a good laugh. Her husband adores her, as he should.

Old friends don't always age like fine wine. Sometimes they just get old. Or musty. Or sour. You wonder why they were your friends in the first place. But not Barbara. She just gets better and better. Happy birthday and happy new year, Barb.

P.S. You're still older than me! Ha!


Blogger Rebecca said...

Nice post Alison... Happy Birthday wishes to Barbara - and to your friendship! :)

4:23 PM  

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