We are Winging our way back on American't airlines. The plane is smaller, newer and empty. We are in an exit row where the seats recline. Looks hopeful, but we will have to wait and see. This past week we were in northern Ca. To see David’s mom, in Berkeley for a reunion with college friends, and in Palm Springs to celebrate our aunt’s 100th birthday. Although she remains multitalented, and contemporary, (uses her computer daily to get the news, send messages and find out the scores of almost any basketball game-- professional or college), the most amazing thing about the birthday girl was when I asked her how it felt to have lived a century. She said it was great but she was a bit pissed off because she won't have time to get the answers to all the questions she still wants to ask. One needn't know what the questions are in order to understand her frustration. But as long as we can still ask questions, we have an interest in gathering all the information, there is a good reason to remain on this earth. (Auntie at her 100th)
Traveling backward, we went to Stanford to see David's mom. She's only ninety five. Still mobile, feisty, funny, stubborn, and determined to have her own way, we were pleased to see that she still wanted ice cream on her apple pie. At every meal. And why not?
Still working in reverse, we were also in Berkeley for a much needed and long awaited reunion with exceptional college friends. The word "exceptional", used here was chosen carefully. College for most of us was a time to have fun. If we learned something, for the most part, it went unnoticed. I probably should change names to protect the innocent, but none of us were or have ever been innocent.
Angie was the most sophisticated woman I had ever seen. Remember, I grew up in Boonton, NJ, but it wasn't that far from NYC. Anyway, on the first day of school Angie was dressed in a chic black fall coat, and long black leather gloves. It was breathtaking. Margie, wore a skirt and sweater, and confessed that she grew up in Manhattan, but went to a sleep-away private girls school. I had a hickey on my neck and had to wear a turtle neck for two weeks.
It took a whole five minutes before we got past sophisticated and Margie taught me a rhyme of curse words which she liked to use when something made her really mad. Angie got into baby doll pajamas, which as I recall, was her choice of costume, for the remainder of the year. In fact, she wore pajamas to class and wherever else we wandered. In those days, in Back Bay Boston, women were not permitted to be seen in on the street in pants. So, rather than roll her jeans, or actually get dressed, her attire was always baby doll pajamas. It usually didn't matter until our history professor insisted she take off her coat while she was in his classroom. "I don't think you want me to do that," she said. He insisted and she removed her coat. It took him .02 seconds before he changed his mind.
Both Margie and Angie are beautiful women. Margie was the prom queen, (yes, we made fun of her), and Angie was Vice President of our class. It was a classic campaign, in which she promised to do nothing. "What could I possibly do?" she said during campaign speeches, "I promise to leave you alone." (If only that we're the case with the Federal government). I was her campaign manager. We tasted sweet victory. She was only in school for one year, but we never lost touch. Margie graduated and left Boston and eventually moved to Ca. I graduated, got married, stayed in Boston, and we didn't see each other for a long time. But we never lost touch.
It's not easy to maintain those friendships, no matter how important they are, or how much you want to. There are people who try to stay friends, but after a half hour of exciting reunion, there is nothing left to say. This is not the case with these friends because when you happen upon extraordinary people, it makes sense to work at keeping them in your life. Remember, life is too short. You never last long enough to get all the answers to the questions you ask, and most importantly, always insist on ice cream with your apple pie. We’re just sayin’.... Iris
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