As Time Goes By

Friday night, R & B took me out for my birthday, and gave me a Target gift card and a dozen Velvet Sin truffles. (I have not told WH about the truffles- I’m keeping them in my desk here at the office. No sharing for me!) The truffles are, of course, incredible, so much so that I try not to chew them, but instead just let them dissolve in my mouth. The Target gift card is manna from heaven- I can’t even decide what to get, I’m so excited about it. But the gifts I got pale in comparison to what happened Friday night.

WH dropped me off at R’s house and went home. R & B and I spent a few minutes getting ready and chatting with their husbands, who were headed in separate directions that night. I saw B’s husband for the first time in quite awhile, and spent some time with R’s husband, who I had not seen other than in passing for about the same amount of time. Then the three of us loaded into B’s car and headed out to the bar.

In retrospect, perhaps we could have come to the realization that we were not in much of a bar mood, but we didn’t. We ate and drank, giggled and bitched and whined, gossiped and did what girlfriends do. I can’t remember the last time R & B and I did this- out, on our own without ancillary members of the group, no husbands, just us and some liquor and food. That was a big enough gift; to grasp some of the camradarie that we had in spades for so long before it disappeared into seemingly thin air. After just a few hours and a few drinks, though, we were tired, we were done with the volume of the bar- we were just done. So we headed back to R’s house, and I called WH to come pick me up.

While I waited for him, R & B and I continued our chatter, now able to hear each other clearly. R’s husband got home from work around the same time WH showed up. The boys went down into the basement to do boy stuff and talk about boy things, and we hardly noticed their presence or absence. They came back upstairs, and that’s when it happened.

We were all talking as a group, all milling around the kitchen, laughing and telling stories. I looked up from my seat at the breakfast bar. My husband, my two best friends, and R’s husband, with B’s husband the only party missing. Talking, laughing. Enjoying each other. Just like before everything got hard and complicated and everyones’ lives went to hell. Before dinner nights and parties and outings were pushed out by not enough time, trust, money or love. Before things got strained. Before they got strange. Before this incredible hollow loneliness devoured me, before I started searching for something, anything, to replace that cold achy spot in my soul where this love and friendship had slipped out of my grasp. For that few minutes, it was almost like none of it had ever happened, like that cold space never formed, like this was how it had always been, how it always would be, how it is meant to be.

And, that, freaders, was the best birthday present of all.


12 Responses

  1. That’s great. Happy Birthday. I’m glad you had a good day.

  2. Moments like that are what keep me going. So glad you had a good birthday. 🙂

  3. Sounds like it was an amazing birthday 🙂

  4. I let truffles just melt in my mouth too…when I can. It is sometime hard!
    So glad you received the best birthday gift of all. It is really amazing that even if it only happens for one night all can be “forgotten” and fun is had by all without the looming issues overshadowing everything. I think it helps move people on from things. The more you guys get together – most likely the easier and more frequent those moments where everything is like it was before will happen more and more! I’ve experienced that with some of my hard relationships.

  5. Oh good! I know exactly what you’re talking about. I’m WAY late, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

  6. Did I tell you happy b’day?????
    If not… Happy b’day!!! and it was indeed happy uh?!?!?!?!
    I do miss those moments as well… been sooo very long!

  7. Awesome!! Sounds like it was a fabulous birthday…

  8. I know just what you mean. Those snippets of time mean so much. Happy Birthday!

  9. 🙂
    Moments like that are worth a million truffles!

  10. Man, I can’t believe I didn’t get to wish you a happy birfday!

    But this kind of profound connection with humanity is what it’s all about. Glad you were able to revel in its goodness – you deserve it!

  11. What a nice post and a lovely moment.

  12. Ahhh….. so you have a hole inside of you, too? I didn’t know we shared that. Already said happy birthday, the wishes on my card said it all.

    When you are as advanced in years as I am, you will realize that the word “friend” is just a label. You haven’t seen me crying in Ed’s wife’s arms, or Ed putting his arm around me to say, “I’m sorry.” Some “friends” don’t let other “friends” drive drunk, but Friends don’t let other Friends fly solo through this mess that is existence. We need both kinds.

    You are lucky to have both kinds!

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