Dating Anniversary, Different Start Dates – Same Group of Friends
Today is the 18th year that my husband has been dating me. I have been dating Mark an additional 8 months. It was a complicated social understanding which took a heavy handed bartender’s margarita that finally got us on one page. Back then, before the Brody Bunch phenomena, we had a very special circle of friends. With these friends, we volunteered, we traveled, we had regular happy hours, we had weekly Saturday brunches, for years. We spent holidays together, we experienced happy times, sadness, work changes, first houses, and life. These friends knew Mark and me before we started dating.
What is THIS All About?
Someone recently asked, me “What is THIS all about”? “THIS” includes: kids’ sports leagues, applying for schools, touring camps, bills, high health care premiums, and the hamster wheel of life. “THIS” includes many first world problems. My reply to the philosophical or rhetorical question, just a few weeks ago was,“don’t ask that question, just keep moving forward!”
A Celebration with Friends, Dewey Beach is in our Hearts
However, last night, the Brody Bunch and our old circle of friends gathered to celebrate a Bar Mitzvah. Throughout life we create groups of friends, such as school friends, work friends, camp friends, college friends, early career friends, etc. Mark and I were in a peer group of 20 year old civically and socially minded people. Mark developed a spin off group called, “The Walking, Running, Eating and Volunteering Group” and we did everything in the group’s title, weekly. A part of this group remained very close.
One of our best annual vacations was a trip to Dewey Beach, Delaware. We rented a mansion on the beachfront. About 18 years ago, this place cost $4000 for four nights over the long Memorial Day weekend. 18 of us piled in. It was one long party. We called ourselves the “original Dewey group”. A few people didn’t come back in future summers and new people joined the group. We did this trip several times. And, it always rained when we took this trip. The trip eventually ended. The Dewey crew split off into smaller groups. And, life got in the way.
Identifying with A Scene in the Movie, City Slickers
Last night, most of the group, along with my children, reconvened to celebrate a Bar Mitzvah. We had more sunshine last night than we ever had on our beach trip.
“What’s all of THIS about”? There’s a conversation in Billy Crystal’s movie City Slickers about middle aged friends on a comedic soul searching journey on a dude ranch that refers to this experience.
Curly, played by Jack Palance, a seasoned cowboy, and asks Mitch played by Billy Crystal: “Do you know what the secret of life is? THIS, [and holds up one finger].” Mitch: “Your finger?” Curly: “One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean shit.” Mitch: “But, what is that ‘one thing?’” Curly: “That’s what YOU have to find out.”
So, here we were on the dance floor, in between classic hits from the 80s and songs of today celebrating a friend’s child who became a man in the eyes of our collective faith. Our kids were dancing near us, checking in during dinner and dancing. We laughed about old times. We gushed over our growing kids. We checked in about each other’s’ parents. I unloaded issues I would never post on Facebook. There was so much love and happiness. I missed our friends so much. We all had a good time. In our younger days, we volunteered in our community. We got married. We had kids. We experienced each other’s’ sadness. We became consumed in our kids’ worlds. And then we made new life friends through Little League, and the PTA. Everyone is part of the journey. But what is THIS all about?
What is all of the Stuff About?
I am in the midst of cleaning out a loved one’s home during a housing transition. My own home is also in need of a purge. We spent years buying and gathering more stuff and now it is everywhere and we are attached to it, but don’t need most of it. Simplicity seems like a better alternative Again, it’s a first world problem. “What’s THIS all about”?
To Life! To Us! To our Friends!
Last night, while I was with many dear old friends, who I have not seen on a regular basis for more than 10 years, and those I have seen quickly in passing at the supermarket or such, quality time has been missed. This is the group, the “original Dewey crew” that knew my husband and I before we were dating. And, last night, they didn’t realize that we would be celebrating 18 years, which is Chai (Life), in Judaism, of dating. These were the friends who helped us get where we are today, and they didn’t even know that today is a significant day for us and that they were part of it.
Taking a Reunion Photo, We Were Meant to take a Photo of ALL of US
We all danced together, and told some one liners from the past. I requested that the photographer take a group picture of the original Dewey crew still hanging on late into the night. I have always done our photos, but I wanted to be in this group photo, too. We were lining up. And, then significant others and spouses joined in the group photo, as they should. And, then our kids jumped into the photo, as they should. We were watching our legacy unfold last night THIS is what it’s all about.
Last Dance, THIS is What it is All About – Friends, Memories & The Future
We were called together to celebrate a happy time. The whole night was a reflection of our past as we celebrated a young man’s future… perhaps “THIS is what it’s all about”. I asked the disc jockey if he ever heard of Donna Summers’ song, “Last Dance”? The D.J.’s announced last song was one that I never heard of. Our Dewey group saw Donna Summers in concert. The D.J. obliged my request and played a final “Last Dance” and there we were, most of the original Dewey group, significant others and kids, singing and dancing the Last Dance. One friend said to me, “hey, I think you have a new blog from tonight.” And, my old friend Chippy, was right. I have had a writing block for a few weeks. Not only do I have a blog, I have a very warm spot in my heart for old times. Life is a blessing and hard. But to see the past, and reflect on the future and know that we are happy, healthy and wealthy in memories and love, “THIS” is what it’s all about.