Sunday, January 27, 2008

Long distance

I'm not usually a phone person. I'm much happier with a quick email conversation most of the time. Or even an open thread while watching television. But occasionally I really jones to talk to one of my girlfriends, the two most crucial of whom live far, far away.

It's been far too long since I spoke to the friend in New York. With three kids, she's way too busy to keep up her blog, and it was time to break the silence, despite the hour's time difference. So I called her tonight, while on the way to yet another Starbucks (yes, I'm scouting staff).

We talked for pretty much the whole car trip (20 minutes), then continued the conversation after I got home. The phone was affixed to my ear when I tucked the kids into bed, and she finally cut it off at 11 p.m. Eastern time. I didn't look, but I'm pretty sure we talked for about 2 1/2 hours tonight.

There's something magical about long-term friendships. J and I have been friends since I was fifteen, and, because of that history, we can talk in shorthand. I know most of her secrets, and she knows mine. When we talk on the phone, the laughter starts way before the punch line. And a lot of steps get skipped in getting to that punch line. I know her parents well enough to get the family issues. I've known her sister since she was a pre-adolescent, and she's known my brother long enough to have been one of his very early crushes. There's a depth to that kind of friendship: she knew me before my husband knew me.

But she's been geographically distant for years now...sufficient years that she has two children I've never seen in person (though I saw the middle child in utero, years ago). She is my daughter's godmother, and she received a shock when she called me back and got Susie on the phone. Apparently Susie has grown up a bit since they last spoke on the phone.

All that to say...I miss my girlfriends. My two best both skipped town a few years ago. While I have lovely people surrounding me, that deep intimacy that I share with J and K has not yet been recreated. I doubt either of them will move back (ever), but it would be great if someone local took their job. Because Sprint is only free after 9 pm and weekends. And Eastern time is an hour later.


uuMomma said...

Yep. I hear you on that. One is in LA (two hours earlier) and the other left the entire country and I STILL haven't figured out the time diff. But it is so great to have someone who just knows stuff, like family history stuff (and still like you!) and doesn't have to be given the back story...just the now story. Yep. I get ya. What time do you think it is in England?

Brad said...

I hear ya. I've always been one to have a bunch of fun acquaintances and few close friends. Jobs, kids and work routines have whittled my close friend count down to just one or two folks, and one of those lives several hours away. You already know how I felt when that one cut off phone communications for awhile ( I really need one of those 1960's sitcom friends who lives down the street and is always up for getting together for a beer.

Peggy said...

My girlfriend was a random match for a college roommate our freshman year at undergrad. She is the kind of friend you get homesick for. Thankfully, we each make a weekend trip to see each other each year- but 6 months still feels too long....even after 15 years.

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