Coming of Age

Last week I had dinner with some women I’ve been friends with since junior high…I won’t tell you how many years that’s been, but suffice it to say, we’ve been adults for a long, long time. Somehow, it doesn’t feel like it, both in good ways and in bad. Here are some things that I observed during the course of two pitchers of Sangria:

  1. “I’m a needy person.” My friend told me that just recently she came to the realization that she’s a needy person; she was also slightly annoyed that I had never told her this. I reminded her that as youngsters, we constantly discussed her penchant for crying and her need to be the center of attention. I figured that would make her cry, but instead she said, “Oh, right…duh!”
  2. I’m like the glue? As I was growing up, I always felt a little on the fringes of our group, a part yet apart. My other friend said she found that very interesting as she had always thought of me as “the glue that held everyone together.” What a surprise! I wonder if she had shared that observation with me in 7th grade whether or not I would have truly felt more confident.
  3. Beware the mocking. With the cancellation of another, my third friend was relieved to have avoided some mocking for her lack of fashion sense. To me, it always seemed relatively harmless, but through some story sharing I got a better picture of her life as the 6th of 7 children with not a lot of money to waste. They were all encouraged to become runners for economical considerations, including even sharing shoes that were repaired with glue. I realized – once again – that things are truly never what they seem.
  4. Can I eat your fruit? Our fifth friend always had the reputation for being a goody-two shoes, but I think it really, truly came down to her being a good person. She is still the same, after marriage, kids, work drama – she has a very positive take on life. Not sure if that comes from her religious beliefs or her core make-up. Either way, she is an amazing person who has the ability to remind us of the good we can do. And she can knock back some Sangria fruit.

I felt there was a sense of relief from all of us in a way: we have always enjoyed each other, but finally, we’re able to let our true and full selves show and still accept each other, maybe more now than ever before. It is a shame that it has taken so many years, but a feeling of comfort and confidence with longtime friends is an incredible gift to have. I hope that I was able contribute to the healing of old wounds, and offer support to them all in ways they need it. I look forward to years of continued fun and warmth with these friends…happy holidays to us, and to you and all the people you’re in touch with!

– Libby Bingham

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