I don’t believe in gray areas. If I like someone … it’s genuine. And because my fondness for most people knows no bounds — we will likely end up friends for life. Oh sure, you may be reluctant about it, but my devotion is endless. It’s a perk, me thinks, of being both an Aries and born in the year of the dog. Dog = loyal. Aries = steadfast. On the flipside, if I don’t care for someone – you’ll be readily aware of it too. Never in my wildest dreams would I be nice to someone’s face and then turn around and talk smack behind their hateful backs. I’d rather just let them I know – up front — I loathingly despise them. It cuts out the middle school middleman.
Since my new job affords me the luxury of travel, I’m constantly reminded how many good friends I’ve accumulated over the years. They’re sprinkled from coast to coast. Rarely do I stumble in to a random city without knowing someone to grab grub/hang out/play badminton with. Playing catch-up is one of my favorite contact sports.
Over the weekend in Chicago, I lovingly stalked a high school friend I hadn’t seen in easily 20+ years. Cindy Dorsch was my co-pilot on various random road trips back and forth to college. I have kept close to her via the magic of social media. We’re both a little heavier and, oddly, a little blonder now – but we picked up right where we left off: drinking wine, gossiping about boys and discussing what we want to be when we grow up.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
And while I probably could have gotten a hotel room in Chicago – it’s always more fun to crash on someone’s couch. Cue my friend Steve Meinke. When I met him fifteen years ago, he was an obnoxious lout – but in an imminently likeable sort of way. Despite his juvenile behavior, I clued in on his heart of gold and larger than life personality. We immediately bonded. Steve recently got engaged to his fiancé Anna. Truth be told, I like her better than Steve. Anna and I picked up right where we left off: making fun of Steve and trying desperately not to laugh at his antics. (Steve need not be encouraged.) I’ve crashed on their sofa sleeper so many times I’m starting to know which side offers better lower lumbar support.
When I spied my next assignment in Flint, Michigan, I immediately called my college BFF Heather in Ypsilanti and said, “SAVE ME!” Without so much as a bat of an eyelash, Heather scooped me up from the Detroit Airport for a day of shopping, noshing and a really upscale pedicure at a really downscale Korean nail salon. How tight are Heather and I? I was in her big fat Greek wedding seventeen years ago. We’ve stayed tight ever since. She and her hubby Adam went out of their way to be the hosts with the most while I was in town. Can’t wait to pay back all their hospitality when they stumble in to KC.
How did I meet Heather? She was Dorsch’s roomie back in college. Oh, what a tangled web of friendship I weave. Forget Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon … if you and I are tight, you’ll eventually know all my random friends. Need a place to crash in Chicago? Call Steve. Need to bond over a pedicure in Detroit? Call Heather. Need to gossip about life, love and the pursuit of Chardonnay? Call Dorsch!
Pals. Amigos. Buds. Friends. Whatever the term … I’m proud I’ve remained chummy with them for so many years.
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