Solving world problems with an old friend

This week I had lunch with an old friend. I had met her in the 70s when we both worked at the same company and ended up working together on a project. A few years later I was selected for a temporary assignment on a large corporate-wide project that she was spearheading. After that, I worked for her in management training capacity.

Over the years the friendship was closer or more distant depending on what was going on in our collective lives. We shared some pain. I can remember distinctly one day when I came to work, took one look at her, closed the door to her office and waited expectantly. Her dog Amy had been hit by a car and killed the night before. We both bawled uncontrollably for the better part of an hour grieving for lost pets. My favorite cat is buried at her farm.

We were supportive in relationships too. Some of our common ground was that we are both survivors. We do not spend a lot of time wallowing in muck but move on even when we don’t think we can.

At our lunch we spent some time reminiscing about some of the events that have happened over the years – some good and some bad. She was attractive, smart and credentialed so the company wanted to move her up. What she didn’t have was the desire to work in the top layer of a large, male-dominated company. She had other interests and activities outside of work that were more rewarding for her. The company exploited her to increase the female presence and she eventually left to run her own company.

We spent time discussing some very pressing problems.

Why on earth does midriff skin get saggy? Neither one of us is out of shape but it’s saggy anyway. (Note to self – is exercise really worth it?)

We talked about shopping — we don’t need stuff anymore. What’s the point of buying new clothes when you wear jeans and sneakers every day? It takes the joy out of it. However, I do continue to buy shoes I don’t need for fear that the industry will be bankrupt if I don’t. I think of it as a bailout!

Then there is the eternal hair problem. It doesn’t get any better when you get older. The only good thing is that you care about it less. That doesn’t mean you don’t spend money on “product,” only that you already know it won’t work.

We both enjoy the luxury of having time to do what you want. Surprisingly, neither one of us feels like we have enough of that but we are grateful for what we do have.

Old friends are special. They’ve seen you up and down and still hang around. Go figure.

Cartoon credit — Maxine was created by John Wagner for Hallmark in 1986. It continues to be a big seller for their Shoebox line of cards.

20 thoughts on “Solving world problems with an old friend

  1. I’m thinking about my old friends and how we drift apart, then back together again. All sorts of life stuff gets in the way, but then… we see each other and twenty years will melt away. That’s my idea of true friends. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject and letting us go along with you on your visit. And, yeah, we need somebody out there to understand when you say; “What’s this belly skin thing?” 😉


  2. The best thing about being an old friend is that you’re both old (is that the good news?)…and know what it takes to be a real friend. This post really touched me (surprised?). Glad to know there are lot of others in the saggy skin club! It all happens without warning and doesn’t seem a bit fair! 🙂 Dawn


  3. I have a few good friends who fall into this very special category, too. We need someone to discuss all the important things with…like midriff skin! And you’ve raised a very interesting question! Why DO we spend so much money on hair products when we know it won’t make a difference? I’m getting my hair cut tomorrow…maybe I’ll try to use a little more self-control on what I bring home with me! 🙂 Debra


  4. Yeah, about that midriff skin … The other thing that happens is that your waist disappears because your torso shrinks. My mom used to tell me about that and now I’m experiencing it!


  5. That is a great friend. I have one like that, and we can look forward and back and look at each other quizzical about all manner of things.


  6. Friends like yours are the kind to hang on to. I was pleasantly surprised when a high school chum recently contacted me. It’s been more than a decade since we’ve seen each other. Like your experience, it was like old times.


    • I had a high school friend like that. She had moved to Florida (and I live in PA). I was lucky enough to see her about a year or two before she died. We were inseparable in 9th grade!


      • I also met my friend in 9th grade. The boy she was dating then became her husband years later. He died last November while they were in Florida for the winter. She lives about an hour or two from me, but she returned to New York for the summer (our hurricane season).


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