February 28, 2008

Time Keeps On Slippin' Slippin'

When I was a freshman in high school, I met this guy and we became really good friends. We did crazy shit together - we'd hang out of windows, smoke too many cigarettes, cruise backroads of Virginia with windows rolled down and Iron Maiden blaring from the car stereo. When we weren't in school we played endless games of racquetball and formed a band named The Spookies. It was a terrible band and it wasn't really a band at all. We just recorded ourselves singing over Stairway To Heaven and obscure tracks from the first three Police albums. Eventually Scott moved back to his native land of Canada. You know, the Great White North. Home of Canadian bacon (there simply known as bacon) and Bob and Doug McKenzie. I haven't quite forgiven Canada for taking him back. Nevertheless, we didn't lose touch.

When Beth and I got married, Scott came to the wedding. So did Julie, one of Beth's oldest and closest friends. Julie was a bridesmaid. When they saw each other they instantly fell in love. At least, that's my version of the story; they'd have to be consulted on the accuracy of that statement. What I do know is that they've been together ever since. They got married and, in due course, had two children.

I mention this now because the four of them were in town last night. And we got to hang out, all eight of us.

Nearly twenty years ago, Scott and I were doing stupid shit, amusing ourselves as only two teenage boys can. I'm sure Beth and Julie were doing something similar, whatever it is teenage girls do - talking about boys, doing their hair, whatever. Last night, though, it was four old friends, now adults with adult responsibilities like the four children that surrounded them last night.

I don't know how this happened. I don't know how I went from one half of The Spookies - the most terrible band ever - to a husband and father responsible for more than I could have ever imagined. I mentioned it last night while the four of us were standing in the kitchen while the three mobile kids were all trying to style each other's hair. Everyone felt the same way and no one had a really good answer as to how we went from Point A to Point B so quickly.

I do know this: I'm terrible at friendships. When faced with relationships that take maintenance, my tendency is to withdrawal. But I truly value the friendships I experienced last night and I'm sincerely proud of them. Not only are they wonderful, with wonderful people, but they remind me of who I am, how I've grown, and where I've been.

(But it's scary as fuck that two individuals such as Scott and myself who used to torch the cassingles of terrible artists in vacant construction sites and smoke cigarettes while hanging upside down are now responsible for actual human lives. Cool, but scary.)

Posted by Chris at February 28, 2008 7:02 AM

It's crazy, isn't it? I've had a really hard week concerning friendships, but I've always been one that works super hard to maintain friendships - my best friend now has been my best friend since we were in 8th grade. We're 31 now. I had a rough week, and one of my biggest cheerleaders has been a guy I've been friends with since I was 16. I mean, you just never know.

We're all at different points in our lives, and the friendships that go beyond the surface definitely are the ones to endure.

(And, PS - Cassingles!? OMG, I remember those. I may even still have some).

Posted by: sarah at February 28, 2008 7:11 AM

they tend to call up back bacon up here. and they call bacon "bacon." although a won a bet against my canadian husband when i asked a mcdonald's kid what was in an egg mcmuffin and he responded "canadian bacon."

Posted by: jodi at February 28, 2008 7:21 AM

Most of my friends I have now are from my highschool days and every now and then we find ourselves asking the same question.

And sometimes when I leave my kids with one of them, I get shivers, because I know at one point in my friends life he thought it was okay to jump out of moving cars and shoot arrows at each other.

Posted by: William at February 28, 2008 8:37 AM

Ahh, we were just talking about that whole vaulted into responsibility thing. My brother in law is moving in with us and he's semi-irresponsible, mostly just makes bad decisions. But my husband is right: when he has a family of his own, something will snap and he'll "get" the responsibility. It's scary though how quickly it happens.

Posted by: claire at February 28, 2008 8:42 AM


Two events that have occured:
One of my best friends from from after highschool but before *real life* and I reconnected and she is dating a guy I went to 6th grade with.

Monday night as I was cooking dinner - spouting out homework demands, chore reminders, and baseball practice times one of my old boyfriends called. It was great conversation to see how our lives have progressed etc. And like he said "it sure makes you feel young again"! Even though we are mid thirties.

Posted by: Steff at February 28, 2008 8:46 AM

Friendships are hard for me, too. This is why most of my friends are on teh internets and we all understand about busy lives and sometimes not having time to check blogs, MySpace, Facebook, or etc. and actually, most of my friends are pretty similar to me, so it all works out in the end. The friendship I have put the most work into is also my best and hardest friendship to maintain. Not that my BFF is difficult to be friends with. And I know you understand these things, I think, so I'm not sure why I'm all BLAH BLAH BLAH in your comments about it. But you know, it's hard work running a household. As you well know. And we don't have children! Just a mouse! Sheesh! heh

Also, I look at some of my high school friends who have kids and I am truly terrified for the future of our country ;)

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at February 28, 2008 8:53 AM

I'm also terrible and maintaining friendships. I withdraw because I've been burned too many times. Sad, but tre.

Posted by: Maria at February 28, 2008 8:56 AM

I dig your introspection.

Do you know how many people walk through life not giving this a second thought? Yah, not many.

Posted by: Poppy at February 28, 2008 8:57 AM

(You know what I mean?)

I meant to compliment you. sigh.

You are a rare breed, caring at all about the fact that you were who you were as a teenager and now you're this really responsible guy.

There, slightly better. Clearly I need more coffee.

Posted by: Poppy at February 28, 2008 8:58 AM

Great post. Don't be too hard on Canada--we're not THAT bad!

Posted by: Susan at February 28, 2008 9:12 AM

Ironically enough, it tends to be the people that grow up in 'well-endowed' households, living the lifestyle of the rich and famous, who end up being pretty awful parents, while those whose childhoods were less than ideal (sometimes significantly so) end up being exceptional ones. I think it has everything to do with the appreciation of things that develops through experiencing the downside of advantage. I believe that people are often put in situations throughout their lives that prepare them for stuff happening down the road for which they could never imagine being prepared. So, all your roads have led to you, in a way. Even (especially) the funky ones. That's a comforting thought.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at February 28, 2008 9:20 AM

I don't think I could ever really maintain a daily friendship. I'm just not like that. I need my space and my quiet time.
But I have 4 women that are my nearest and dearest friends and they all live far away from me. (This is probably how they can stand me after all these years)
Yes, time does fly by. It seems like just the other day I was skipping school to go hang out at the beach all day and now, well, F, I'm going to be 50 in November! How the heck did that happen?

Posted by: Maribeth at February 28, 2008 9:29 AM

I had the strangest dream about you last night. Don't ask.

Posted by: jodi at February 28, 2008 9:55 AM

I hear ya. I still can't believe god gave me a child with the regularity that I killed off house plants.

Posted by: kalisa at February 28, 2008 10:13 AM

You and Beth be my friends and I'll do all of the work. I'll stalk your asses like the insane person that I am. (But I'll totally babysit for free. Insane though I may be, I'm a wicked awesome babysitter.)

Posted by: GreenCanary at February 28, 2008 10:23 AM

I think its called back bacon in Canada...trust me, I live near Detroit. Our Costco is full of them (not for sale). I wonder if they call American cheese back cheese...

Posted by: harrylips at February 28, 2008 11:32 AM

I thought this post was beautiful and true. Beautiful because it was true.

I've never been too popular. I have that defiance in me that makes me want to go right just because everyone else is going left.

But, I cherish the people who have veered off their own courses to cruise down my road for awhile.

Those friendships sustain me.

Happy to hear you all had a fun night, not always easy with a new little one.

Posted by: kelly at February 28, 2008 11:58 AM

Why are there no pictures of this gathering?? Hmmm?

Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen at February 28, 2008 12:06 PM

My close girlfriends are from waaaaaay back. It's fun isn't it? To look back and then look forward with the same friends.

Ahhhh, memories.

Off to eat my back bacon, maple syrup and maybe shovel the lane to my igloo ;) lol...

Posted by: Holly at February 28, 2008 1:46 PM

I was going to clarify about Canadian bacon but see that Jodi beat me to it. (Can someone explain what American cheese is?)

It's odd when you think of it, how these two kids who used to get really drunk and neck on the dancefloor, now both have jobs and a child ... and well we've grown.

The friends thing is a post in itself.

Posted by: Nat at February 28, 2008 2:04 PM

All these Canadians helping clarify your misconceptions about bacon. How lovely ;-)
That must have been a really cool moment with your friends though. As in, tremendously so. I hope some of my friendships last that long.

Posted by: Heather at February 28, 2008 3:12 PM

I hear you on this one with myself and most of my friends. Like how in the world did I go from that to THIS and OMG I almost like a grown up most of the time!! It is crazy how time flies and suddenly you are no longer the crazy kid singing in a bad band and smoking "cigarettes" (oh wait that was me minus the band - okay I was LISTENING to Stairway to Heaven... WHATEV you get the idea!)

Posted by: Christina at February 28, 2008 7:12 PM

It is hard to keep up. I just talked to a friend the other night who I hadn't talked to since my wedding - almost a year ago (which is really weird in and of itself).

Posted by: Cattula at February 28, 2008 8:49 PM

The whole who-I-was-then versus who-I've-become paradox still freaks me out a little. Me married and with children? Frightening. And kinda cool.

Posted by: Jules at March 1, 2008 7:40 PM

I would like to propose not to hold off until you get enough amount of money to order different goods! You can just get the credit loans or financial loan and feel yourself fine

Posted by: JoannaChandler at September 11, 2011 10:46 AM