Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about friendship. Studies show that having close relationships is one of the absolute key elements to a happy life. One of my goals is to make new friends, but perhaps an even more important goal is to try to stay close to the friends I already have.
With this in mind, when two of my college roommates ended up on the East Coast for part of the summer, I made a big effort to try to coordinate a reunion.
It took a ridiculously long chain of emails to set the date, and I had to leave our family vacation for a day to come back into Manhattan, but yesterday, we all met at the clock in Grand Central Station. One friend came down from Cambridge, one came in from New Jersey, where she was visiting from California.
We didn’t do much. We ate lunch, we walked around, we got some cones of Tasti-D-Lite (I had two), we wandered around a bookstore, then it was time to walk to Penn Station so our Cambridge-bound friend could catch her train home. (Random New York City mystery: how does anyone from out of town know that Penn Station is UNDER Madison Square Garden? Why aren’t there any signs?) My other friend spent the night; we watched Spinal Tap and Bladerunner and ate pizza.
The three of us haven’t seen each other much in recent years, and it was interesting to see where our relationships picked up. We spent no time reminiscing about college; we spent a little time exchanging updates about our families and various mutual friends.
Mostly, however, we talked about our lives right now. Even though we don’t play active roles in each other’s daily routines, we felt comfortable confiding in each other. Somehow, there’s a level of trust that underlies longstanding friendships that’s very hard to re-create with newer friends.
Losing a friend is very painful, even if it’s just the result of logistical difficulties, and the day reminded me that even a short visit can do a lot to keep a friendship alive.
As I’ve noted before, I’ve joined the excellent new network, LifeRemix. I wish I could post a description of each of the member blogs, but that’s going to have to wait until I get back from vacation. My technical set-up here isn’t great.
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