A Quick Dinner With Friends

Last night we had the opportunity to see some old friends we have known since grade school and Junior High and High School.  It was great to see everyone and spend some time with such fun people.  Sometimes this life, which is so full of distractions, leaves us with little time for the important things like spending time with our people, and last night reminded me of the importance of it.

As we all sat around after dinner for a few hours and talked and laughed I began to realize that there were some similarities to all the people at the table.  At this point in our lives we are all in our mid forties.  We have all been kicked around by some pretty horrendous life experiences, raised kids, worked our asses off, and learned a lot along the way, yet here we were laughing and joking and talking and sharing a great moment in time.  It is the presence of other, certain people in my life that reminds me and helps me focus on how quickly time flies, how fleeting time is, and how abruptly it can stop at any moment without notice or warning.

The women in the group, especially, are all such incredible women.  They are all strong, outspoken, opinionated, and no longer care what others think of them They say what they mean and mean what they say, and will tell you to your face exactly what they think of you.

My kind of people.

It gives a certain sense of comfort to me to be around women like these.  My mother and sisters are the same way and I tend to gravitate to people with these attributes.  All of us at the table last night spending those precious moments together have a similar set of beliefs and values and principles and that is why after all these years we still talk.  We are connected and bonded like family.  We may not always agree with one another or like what is said or what is going on at times, but we know where we stand.  We know what is expected and it offers comfort to belong to or be a part of such a group.

I love outspoken people.  They say what’s on their mind with no thought to repercussions or consequences and though it may be uncomfortable you never stand on shaky ground with them.  It’s one of the reasons I love my wife so much.  The nice thing about her is she knows I can be a bit sensitive and my feelings may get hurt every once in a while and she is so sweet and caring and thoughtful.  She isn’t always gentle with my feelings, however.

The very first time she met my mother we were sitting on my mom’s couches in her little condo, which had just been refinished and was beautifully done.  Crystal tiles, gorgeous new windows, exquisite cabinetry, and perfect lighting adorning some nice pieces of art and family photos all pointed to the fact that my mother was in a nice home, educated, a little fancy, and well put together.  Some people would have been intimidated by the surroundings or meeting a strong woman like my mother for the first time, but not my Carla.  Ten minutes into the conversation, first time ever meeting my mother remember, and she tells my mom: “I love being with Pete.  He is the perfect man for me.  It’s like having a really good girlfriend with a penis.”

My mother, who raised me properly and very religiously, took in this bit of completely inappropriate information and they both burst out laughing at me.  They didn’t laugh with me.  They laughed at me.  Jerks.

My mom instantly fell in love with Carla, knowing that she is a woman who will say it like it is without a care in the world.  She is honest, up front, dependable, good, kind, inappropriate, and funny.  The people at the dinner last night are the same caliper of person, like they were all cut from the same cloth.  Ever heard of the saying, “Birds of a feather flock together”?  Like-minded people do, too, and I enjoy my people.

Even if we are tired, beaten down by life, keys getting locked in the car, waking up at 3:30 for work the next day, busy with cares of the world, and burdened by loss and sorrow and dealing with all kinds of distractions, we make time to spend with one another.   That’s what we do.  Family isn’t always blood.

Thanks for the good times.  You know who you are.  We look forward to doing it again.

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