I’ve had an unusual weekend on several levels. Some of it has been unusually good, some unusually bad, and some – well – just unusual.
This weekend, my golf league had their year-end tournament and party. I played a dismal round. Ever since I began working with a personal trainer, my golf game has gone slithering down the pipes. My muscles don’t work like I expect them to, and thus when I hit a golf ball, I have as good a chance of hitting it 200 yards as I do of hitting the person next to me. It’s annoying.
At any rate, the tournament was this weekend, and hubby and I got to play with a couple with whom we are building a new and delightful friendship. The more time we spend with these two, the more we discover we have in common. None of this qualifies under the weird part. However, they were witnesses to the weird part.
I’ve previously mentioned my former best friend; the woman with whom I’ve not spoken much in the past four years (almost five now). Just over a year ago, she approached me at one of the league tournaments to share a blast from the past. That was all spelled out in “A Little Bit of Weirdness” – a blog from last summer.
I was having a little putting competition with hubby before we teed off when this woman came walking – almost marching – across the putting green. She wrapped her arms around me, and in a very quick explosion of words, said,”I’m sorry that we got sideways with each other, I miss you, I hope you’re well, I hope your life is good. I just want you to know that I think about you all the time.” And then she started to walk away.
Now, I could immediately tell that it had taken a great amount of courage and energy for her to do this, but I was nearly knocked over both by her words and the fact she had hugged me. I stood in shock for a second or two, then I said, “I think about you, too.” Which is true, I do. I think about what I could have done differently. I think about what we’ve missed in each other’s lives. I think about what great friends we used to be. She was my maid-of-honor at my wedding. She was my children’s unofficial godmother. Our lives used to be very intertwined, and extricating ourselves from each other was like going through a divorce – at least, for me it was.
But I let all of that go. When I think of her, I remember very good times. I don’t have the time or energy to hang on to the anger or the sadness I used to feel.
We stood there talking for a few minutes. I showed her pictures of the kids. She asked if I would be at the year-end party. I said I would, but I’d be late. The girls had something I needed to attend.
And that was it for the next several hours. Well, mostly that was it. I had a mild anxiety attack and had to ask my husband to stand next to me so no one would notice I was breathing fast and shaking like Jell-O.
The second bit of weirdness happened at the event my daughters and I attended. My girls are both involved in Job’s Daughters, an organization for young women associated with the Masonic fraternity. My youngest daughter was competing to be a Spirit Ambassador – sort of a street PR representative for the organization. They march in parades, hold fund raisers, but most importantly, they get together for parties and sleep-overs. But the competition is difficult. They have to take a written test, answer several personal questions (like the Miss America contestants answer), and they have to recite a bit of their ritual work from memory.
We were very nervous for her, my oldest daughter and I. My youngest daughter has a learning disability. She is 14, but she spells like a six-year-old. Her brain has difficulty processing written language, so reading is also a challenge for her. I was so hoping she wouldn’t be disappointed after trying out.
She was so excited about the event. The competition started in the morning and went until the early afternoon. I was at the golf tournament the whole time, but I kept thinking about how it was going for her. That night there was a dinner followed by the award ceremony. All throughout the dinner I could hear her chatting excitedly with her friends. She had on a turquoise blue formal dress that fell just below her knees. it was covered in glitter, and she had managed to get some of the glitter in her hair and on her face. She looked beautiful.
My oldest daughter and I sat with friends right behind where my youngest daughter was awaiting the results. There were several awards to be given, and I was just hoping beyond hope that she would be chosen for the team. Then they announced the award for the highest score on the ritual work – the memorized part – and they called her name. Cheers went up and tears came to my eye as she walked proudly to receive the award. Then, true to her silly self, she did her T-Rex impersonation as she came back to her seat. And yes, she made the team. Her written test score wasn’t as good as she’d hoped, but it was high enough to help her win, and the judges for the personal question all gave her very favorable comments. I chided myself for underestimating her abilities.
The last bit of weirdness came as I wandered in late to the year-end party. A lot of the people had already left. I had the girls with me, so I told them to come in and meet some of my golf friends. Their dad was there, too, so I wanted my youngest to tell him the good news. And there was my former best friend. She was stunned to see my girls after not having seen them in several years. The girls left – my oldest is 19 so I let her drive my car home – and I said hello to the folks who were still left at the party.
Most everyone had had a drink or two (or eight, or nine) so there was a bit of silliness going on. We hid the keys of a few people and got sober people to drive those who shouldn’t be driving. Just as she was leaving, my former friend said “I’m so glad we’re us again.”
“Me, too,” I said. Which is mostly true. I’m not entirely certain what “us” is after such a long time. Things are not as they were four years ago. I’m not the same person I was then, and I’m certain that she has changed, too. My kids are nearly grown, I have a completely different job, my life revolves around different things now than it did then, and we were not “us” during those transitions.
But I’m hopeful – truly and sincerely – that we can be a new us. Then maybe a lot of this won’t seem quite so weird.