I’m really looking forward to my pending trip to the Carolinas. Not only do I get to see my friend Jenny, but yesterday I made plans with some other friends as well.
I hesitated in calling them — my former radio boss and his wife. While they were dear friends, they were our friends. Despite the fact that I worked with both of them for nearly two years. Memories of the four of us sitting on their back deck, drinking Miller Lite cans and belting out Family Tradition override memories of the three of us goofing off in the office having hysterical giggle fests when trying to cut commercials (so the word “panties” in a K-Mart commercial sent me over the edge. Hi. I’m 10.).
But then I realized that I can still have the memories and their friendship. I just have to own it. It is MY tradition now. I was the one who moved to North Carolina to find my career. I was the one who took the leap from print to radio. I was the one who forged the friendship.
Sure, they will ask about him. I’m prepared for that. Yup, he’s remarried. Yup, he’s living in smalltownville Kansas. Yup, that’s all I know. And they’ll shake their heads and say something about how funny he is, maybe even alluding to a memory like the time he put marinade on his cooked chicken and got deathly ill. And something else about how surprised they were that we divorced. (They were in our wedding.) And I’ll say, yup. It happens. And that will be it.
But one thing I’m curious about is, will I be as impressed with the solidness of their relationship, their marriage as I was back then? Will my divorce cause me to see it through different eyes? Maybe.
I do know that there will be Miller Lite cans. D will heat up his gas grill that he has converted into a charcoal grill (because it tastes better) and it will take nearly all night. And while we wait, we’ll talk and carry on and forget that we are hungry. Later, we’ll throw on some food as an afterthought. And laugh because that’s kind of a tradition.