Tuesday, 27 October 2015

She and I

"Can you believe it?" she tells me outraged in a transatlantic Skype call. "She asked me if I was a grandmother."

This is the culmination of a call with one of my best and oldest friends. We laugh and make scoffing noises, give a virtual shrug to indicate that this question was obviously not serious. We send each other hugs. We hang up.

And so what of it that someone asked her that question. We both turned 50 this year - within two days of each other in fact and yes, ok I'll admit I'm the oldest. Logically, she and I could both have grandchildren - apart from the fact that we both decided that children were not our bag. It's not unheard of - many 50 year old women do. Yet when I speak with her, I don't think of her as this age. I see and hear her as the 18 year old girl that I came to know when we both started secretarial college - see that in itself dates us. Do secretarial colleges even exist anymore? Can you still learn shorthand, typing and office practice?

When I think of her, I still see the girl I knew then - looking a little coy and somewhat vulnerable but acting tough to get through those early years. When I speak to her, I still hear the voice of the girl I knew then. The one who shared her secrets, her dreams and passions and how she wanted life to be. She still does that. It's just that suddenly we've been doing that for over 30 years together. We've seen each other through divorce, relationship highs and lows, transatlantic house moves, career meltdowns, health scares, loss and love. I know her flaws and she knows mine. I've listened to her cry down the phone and she has done the same for me. We've shared birthday celebrations, told each other the truth when neither of us necessarily wanted to hear it, got each other home after too many drinks, listened to tales of exotic holiday trips and everyday routines and laughed when we found out that we'd both bought Doc Martens in our late 40s. We've come a long way and we've most certainly got each others' backs.

So hey - I'm happy to defend her. It really is outrageous that someone could think she might be a grandmother. She's surely not old enough, because after all if she is then I am too!



7 comments:

  1. Several weeks ago, a few childhood friends and myself went for dinner. In the past, we'd met individually; but, never together for girl time. As the conversation went from one thing to another, I found myself looking at each of them, wondering where the years went. After all, we weren't really that old. It was only after one of the gals mentioned she was going to be a great grandmother that I was shocked into reality. I wanted to put my hand across her mouth and say, "Shhh. Don't say that!" Because in my mind, one has to be old to achieve that status, and I've got a long way to go.

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    1. I know Shelley - how quickly the time passes and there is nothing we can do to change it. I guess we simply have to live to the fullest we can and appreciate every day we are given.

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  2. Oh, Angela, I feel the same way. How can I be married to someone who is 56? Oh, yeah, I'm pushing 55. Oops. I just forget. Inside, I think I'll always be 25. I try to remember that when I see the truly elderly (anyone 20 years or more older than I...)

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    1. Ha Ha Denise. I know what you mean. I married a man a year younger than me and although I am 50 and he is 49, I still refer to him as my toy boy :-)

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  3. Enjoyable read. Being 63 and a grandmother of two, I can only look back to 50 with envy.

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  4. I feel exactly as you described when you wrote how you see your friend as she was when we were young. We seem ageless until we try to crawl out of the car, moaning a few moans from stiffness. We are not as swift as we once were.

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