These are my dear friends, Julie and Wally.
I've known Wally since Freshman year of high school. I've known Julie since 2nd grade. I knew them before they fell in love. I knew them when they weren't so in love. I happily stood witness as they took their wedding vows.
Julie has been with me when I've laughed so hard I've cried. She's been with me when I've cried so hard there was nothing else to do but laugh. She was there when my son was born. I am her son's godmother. We've driven nearly across the country together. We've stunk up the tennis courts together. We've shared clothes and food and bathrooms and sob stories and the juiciest of gossip.
We've spent months not speaking to each other, fighting over who broke the hairdryer, fighting over brothers, fighting over whatever else is so important to high school girls. We always make up, though. We love each other more than our luggage.
But here's what we haven't done in the last 17 years: lived in the same town. College, and then spouse's jobs took us far away from each other. And yet, despite the miles, there's barely another soul on this earth that I've felt closer to.
Wally and Julie moved back this summer. I still can't believe it – that I can just pick up the phone and say the word and we can get together. It almost makes the crappy winters and lack of decent fish tacos here bearable! Almost.
Now that the kids are back in school, Julie suggested we meet for lunch the other day. I don't think we've sat together for lunch since the twelfth grade (it was an even year – which means I think we were getting along). We sat there and ate lunch like we'd been eating lunch together for the last twenty years. Do you have a friend like that? I hope you do.
As we were leaving, Julie suggested in a half-joking way that we should do this every week. We'll be Ladies Who Lunch. I could eat lunch with that girl every week until we're shriveled and being spoon-fed jell-o. I hope that's exactly what we do.
Welcome home, friends.