I’ve never been much on reunions, except for reunions regarding family. Those I attend out of fear and intimidation. Fear of being disowned and intimidation given by brothers who would call, ask my whereabouts, and then not believe me when I tell them that I couldn’t make it because of, oh, the Swine Flu. “Well, you should have worn a mask and come anyway. Those IV drips are on wheels now. We missed you.” That’s just one of the perks of being a member of a score-keeping family. You know the kind, three strikes and you’re out…literally? OK, I’m being a little too harsh here. They probably wouldn’t expect me to bring my IV drip.
Anyway, reunions involving friends I don’t have much interest in and generally avoid them, if I can. However, I have a good friend, who relishes an opportunity to get together with long-lost acquaintances. She lives in the town where she was born, her children attend the elementary school that she attended, and “running into someone” from her past completes her day. In fact, most conversations I have with her begin, “You’ll never guess who I saw at the grocery.” I adore this quality about her, actually, to maintain connections that last a lifetime, and it is good to hear what others are doing, but when that need interrupts our time together, then I start feeling a little put out, a little second rate.
Not long ago, we spent an afternoon together, eating lunch and enjoying the day. It was such a pleasant time, that I was anticipating making it a regular thing. So, I called her up on another matter and suggested that we do lunch again. Her response was quite positive and I was feeling pretty good about our friendship, until she said, “And maybe we can invite Amy and Jessie* (from 20 years ago) and I do wish Cathy* still lived in town. Maybe I can send her a FB email and invite her up and we can all get together.” I responded with an unenthusiastic, “Sur-r-r-r-r-re, that’d be great” and left it at that.
I know she didn’t mean to imply that my company wasn’t quite good enough. That only other people that we no longer know or have anything in common with would make the visit much more interesting, but that was my interpretation. This told me, too, that the friendship still needs a little work and to proceed with caution. Consequently, the next time she calls me for a visit, I think I’ll tell her, “OK, under one condition…as long as I don’t have to bring my yearbook or camera.”
*The names have been changed to protect the guilty.