Missing Buddies...

Back in my college days I was part of 8 core friends.  That's not to say I didn't have any other friends or that I wasn't close to anyone other than these 8 women, but they were the people I thought would stay with me for the rest of my life.  I KNEW we would always be buddies.  We lived together for 3 years in the same dorm (2 of the 8 were a year behind us).  We usually ate together in the cafeteria. (Or after hours ordering pizza.  We ordered a LOT of pizza.)  We worked together (be it volunteer or work study program).  And, of course we played together.  (I can remember many late night charade type games...we are probably the only 8 women in the world who will remember and laugh at the phrase "puppy ducks.")  We were weird together. (Who wants to be normal?  Maybe in college we did, but we weren't.)  We were there for each other.  With 3+ years of that how could we NOT be best buddies for the rest of our lives?  Certainly we would graduate and move on to different things.  That was the reality.  But I always expected that there would be regular gatherings.  That there would be long expensive phone calls.  (This was back in the day before cell phones and unlimited calling plans.)

Here I am almost (gulp) 30 years later and I'm sad to say that's not the case.  What happened?  Life, I guess.  I'm not completely sure.  And when I think on it, sadness floods my soul.

As I said, there were 8 of us:  L2, BTS, MA, BW, SM, KR, BR and me.  (I don't feel right about using their names.)    The hateful 8 or the elite 8; we could be either or both.  After living together for 3 years (4 years for 6 of us), we moved on to "real life."  (Or what we perceived as "real life" as "grown-ups.")   All that time together and then it was just over: poof!  I moved back home.  MA and BTS stayed in the area, got an apartment and got jobs.  I think L2 and BW moved back to their respective home towns too.  SM stayed in the area for a while, but bounced around the country too.  KR and BR stayed roommates for their final year of college. (They were the "youngsters" of the group being a whole year younger.)  If I recall correctly, we got together once after the graduation of KR and BR.  Even then it wasn't all of us. Of the group I've only managed to stay in touch with:
  •  KR who was also the only one of the group who I invited to my wedding, but she and her partner were not able to come.  (Nearly 20 years alter and I'm not going to let her forget that!)  Although she still lives in our college town which is just an hour and a half away from me, I haven't been out to see her and her family in years.  (I think the last time I saw her, her high school bound daughter was just an infant.)  For the first several years, when I was single and she was in a relationship with another classmate, we did see each other regularly, but...Thankfully, I had the good sense to call her a few months back when I wanted her opinion/insight on something.  What I thought would be a 10 minute chat was nearly an hour and I realized that no matter how many years it has been, you can easily fall into a good conversation with a true friend.  
  • MA who is responsible for my being on social media.  After sharing an apartment with BTS, she eventually moved south (I'm not sure why) and worked at my favorite place:  Disney.  (Though I am not naive enough to think that working at Disney would be in any way as good as BEING at Disney.)  We met up a couple of time when I was there after I had gotten married. (She and KR and the only ones who have met my husband.)  She got married and the four of us once spent part of a day in Epcot.  Now she's in upstate NY with two wonderful kids (or so I hear, I've never had the pleasure of meeting them), but we are in touch (again through social media).  In many ways her life is much like mine:  mom, wife, work.  The dull, ordinary things that are what life is all about.  I will always be grateful that she sent that Facebook invitation one day...and that I had the sense of accept!
  • SM has changed the most and I mean that literally!  Moving across the country, SM would occasionally call me (today we are more of social media buddies).  I remember the call when SM said that SHE had always felt more like a HE and was going to start the process to change that.  Did it surprise me?  Yes.  Did it shock me?  No.  Did it matter a hill of beans to me?  Definitely not!  Woman or man, SM is still just my friend.  Of course she's not SM any more, he's John.  He's still opinionated.  He's still a talented writer.  He's still a good friend with whom I share cherished memories.  (And some not so cherished ones like dropping a movable fence on my little toe which may or may not have broken it all those years ago.  Or how about the time a hot piece of pizza was flung at me from across the room?). Gender may be different; name may be different, but friendship stays the same.  Nothing can change that. 
  • L2 is somewhat on my radar.  She's on social media occasionally.  I *think* she still lives somewhere in the Philly area and works on the technical end of the healthcare industry.  She was a dedicated and hard worker back in school and I'm sure the company that she works for now would say the same.  She was one of the first people I met when I moved into the dorm as a freshman and both of us were pretty much deserted by our roommates that year.  (Perhaps that's why the both of us ended up in singles for the rest of our college years.)  Across the hall from each other our first and last years (and just down the hall during the others), she was tough as nails with great taste in music.  Those are just two of the reasons I love her.
  • BR completely fell of the radar and I feel that she wanted it that way.  She seemed to keep herself guarded and I always felt that I was missing a part of her.   Funny as hell and smart, she often distanced herself.  For me that was a shame because I wanted to know her better and never really got to.  She wrote a play and had it produced while we were still at college.  (I don't know if it ever got published or performed again after the two showings at the college theater.)  I was jealous as hell.  (Maybe I still am.)   I know she's moved out west and if by some chance BR, you happen across this blog, I'm still here and writing...I'd love to know how you are doing.
  • BW and BTS are the most elusive of them all for me.  We were so close in college and I haven't seen or spoken to either one in over two decades.  It hurts just to write that.  I still remember the last conversation I had with BW was on the day that Jim Henson died.  She was the one I immediately thought of when I heard.  She was the one who would be as devastated as I was.  That would have been in May of 1990 and I know nothing of her life since.  The last time I saw BTS is when I was doing some outside sales work and one day my route took me close to the Pennsylvania border where she lived and worked.  We met and had lunch.  That also would have been in the 1990s. (I'm guessing spring of 1997 or 1998.)  We had a lovely time, but after that nothing...Unlike the other five people on this list, I have no idea where either one of them are or what they are doing.  Considering how close we all were, it's a damned shame.

I suppose, after all these years, it would be impossible to get us all together again.  But I do wish we could reconnect somehow.  Share some stories, laugh and maybe cry.  Our friendship may not be what it once was, but it is not forgotten.  And not one of the 7 will ever be forgotten by me.


Popular posts from this blog

Not Guilty

Please Don't Ask Me...