Not old as in age – though we are edging towards 40 – you before me, oh how I like being the baby now! But old as in we’ve known one another for what feels like forever, in a good way of course. We met when we were propelled into adulthood, wanting to appear brave by choosing a new home far from family, and then bonding over feeling overwhelmed and out of place.
We had little cares back then, though they probably felt big. Essays, deadlines, boys, loans. If only we had appreciated how frivolous it all was. Leisurely afternoons huddled around our dining table, drinking cups of tea. There were parties of course – 80’s ones, the house teeming with Boy Georges and Madonnas, Wham blaring out. But mainly I remember our Friends binges and curry nights, the bottles of cheap red lined up on the dresser. Yes we were probably more sensible (boring) than most, but we didn’t care. Our friendship was cocooning, comforting.
So what’s happened since then my friend? A lot. There were first jobs, first flats, first loves. But we still made time for each other. To exchange stories of the real world. Then the geographical distance grew bigger and responsibilities crept up on us. Careers and relationships got serious. We acknowledged our successes and commiserated over our failures. Birthdays, weddings – milestones kept us coming back. Checking in. But European adventures and hectic jobs gradually pulled us in different directions.
Then along came the mini-mes. Enveloping both time and love. Reading material used to be Dante and Woolf, now it was Peppa and Pooh (at least I understood them!). How life was turned upside down. Exhaustion was no longer put down to fish & chips on the beach at dawn, but a teething toddler. Careers stalled or altered course. Meet ups became fewer, more challenging with kids in tow.
But now as the years speed by and hard stuff happens, I understand more than ever how old friends like you need to be treasured and celebrated. You see you know me. Through and through. With you it is simple, honest. Zero fluff.
With you I can just be me.
So my lovely friend, let’s set a date. To while away the time with tea and cake. Minutes, hours will pass as we laugh at memories and latest escapades. I want to know what’s making you happy now, and what’s bothering you too. We’ll listen carefully to one another and offer up advice, but more importantly we won’t judge.
No commitments, no distractions – just like those days by the sea, before grown-up problems and rogue grey hairs invaded our cosy little world.
Let’s make it soon.
I’ve missed you.
Your Younger Old Friend xxx
Back then we read Dante and Wolfe, now its Peppa and Pooh.