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Posts Tagged ‘friendhsips’

Friends

I am home now, relaxing after a wonderful dinner time with old friends.

This is the second night out in a week, and there are two more impending dates. Only one of these dates has anything remotely to do with my upcoming birthday, but I am counting them all as celebrations of turning 60. I mean, why not?

Last Saturday, I got to meet another one of my cyber friends. I met these women online back in the late 1990’s, when we all first started homeschooling and we needed our own support group, but local school-at-home support groups weren’t cutting it. We didn’t do school-at-home, we did our own thing, which amounted to a miasma of ecclectic, relaxed, and utter unschooling. The only resource for our style was online e-groups and one called, in short, “ccu”. (I won’t bother with the explanation of the initials as it isn’t relevant.) Eventually, we moved from dial-up connections to DSL, and from yahoogroups to Facebook. Our children grew up, married, and had children of their own (or not). We started keeping track of those we’ve met IRL (In Real Life) as opposed to those we only knew from their online personas (which are, basically, the same person they are IRL). We sat down with our husbands and said, “Oh, my friend from ccu…” or “There was a prayer request on ccu” or “You know, Valerie from ccu…”

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D, Me, and E

D from Michigan was in Oregon, and her last stop was a motel near Portland International. She asked if we could meet & I asked E if she & her husband could join us. We both know E from ccu (follow this carefully), but I have also know E in person for a number of years. And E currently lives close to the airport.

If your head is swimming, imagine our husbands. D’s husband finally blurted out, “Wait. You ALL know Valerie?”

YES. And we’ve all met Valerie IRL.

Flash forward to tonight: the monthly meeting of the ex-employees. We haven’t met all summer: I broke my foot and couldn’t drive, for one thing. Summer was too busy, for another. Tonight was the first meeting since the third Thursday of May. We started meeting in 2014, when the company we worked for got serious about “cleaning house” (read: getting rid of employees over a certain age or employees who know how the company was run before the new management style came into being). I was never on the “cut” list, but I carefully chose my departure and landing as I watched the company screw over my coworkers.

We’re a wonderful motley crew. Some of us worked together for 14 years. We were pretty tight. We had good times. The company treated us well. Then they sold out and young leadership came in, and our era was over. Just like that. In with the new, out with the old. Away with small business leadership and in with big corporation needless rules and petty regulations (what? No alcohol at company parties? Who wrote that rule? This is real Estate and Real Estate Agents drink!). If I ever write a mystery book series involving a tight circle of friends, this group will be my inspiration for characters,

I left tonight’s gathering feeling like we were the Best Crew Ever. We were tight. We were friends. We annoyed each other. But we CARED about each other. We were one helluva a group of loyal employees and are now one helluva disillusioned group of ex-employees.

I have two more up-coming dates. One is with a circle of women I have prayed with for over 20 years. We meet twice a year to celebrate birthdays. We were all part of the same borderline cult at some point in time. We were all members of the same megachurch at some time. We all survived and forged our own walk of faith. Some of us still attend church. Some of us do not. None of us has lost our faith. We are friends forged through faith and experience. We’ve walked through some deep valleys together: children with addictions, grandchildren with addictions, divorces, remarriages, separations, children who have hated us and then loved us, and so much more. We are the most imperfect circle of Christian women you will ever meet. And we are tied to one individual who has probably suffered the most, sweet J.

And then… the culmination of the week. Burlesque with my cosplay friend, Mary. She asked me with trepidation. I’ve always kind of wanted to see a burlesque show. I am, after all, a Nevada girl, and my mother’s daughter. I know what burlesque is and isn’t (it is not a strip show, but it is bawdy humor). Burlesque can be good or bad, so how good the show is, remains to be seen.

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Burlesque Moth by Jaci

I’ll update you on how Saturday goes. I’m excited. And it’s rare for an INFJ to be excited about this much “extroverting”.

 

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