Today was the first sunny day we've had in this part of Big Texas since the 10th of January. It was excellent driving weather, so I went up to Austin to have brunch with a few of my old friends from Breck School's Class of 1993. I met all three of these ladies on the first day of 7th grade. Amanda, the pregnant gal next to me, and I were both new to Breck, were both very small for our age, and we had every single class together that first year. Throughout 7th and 8th grade, we had very few friends aside from each other, and I think that a significant part of my personality is a direct result of this very close friendship. Amanda and I can literally go years without seeing or speaking to one another, and then we'll be in the same room and it will be as though no time has passed. In some essential way, we will always be on the same page. Coincidentally, we now live little over an hour's drive from each other, so we get together often.
Kate, the redhead next to Amanda, used to be called Katie. I still think of her as Katie, but that's probably because she was one of the most popular girls in our class. That being said, we went to a small, private school in Minneapolis where there were no cheerleaders, and the coolest sport was theater. Katie was the queen of the theater crowd. She and Amanda became friends sometime around junior year and I was always kind of scared of Katie. The year after we all graduated from college, the four of us lived in Manhattan and I got to know Kate better. Kate is the only one of the four of us who survived in New York and she still lives there and works as a film editor. Before today, I hadn't seen her in almost ten years and I was pleased to find that I'm no longer quite so intimidated. I guess everyone grows up.
The fourth girl in the picture is Karen. Like Amanda, Karen lives in Austin. Karen is great. We weren't close friends in high school, but we had a lot of classes together and I always liked her. In fact, on the first day of 7th grade, she came up to me at my locker and asked me to sit with her and some other girls in chapel. I appreciated this, and even though we didn't end up being great friends back then, I always remembered that gesture. Karen is exactly the type of person I tend to befriend as an adult, and if I hadn't been such an insecure nerd, we may have been better friends back in the day.
At one point during our afternoon together, Kate mentioned that she likes hanging out with another of our Breck classmates in New York because he makes her feel like the person she was in high school. I responded by saying that I'm perfectly happy to forget that version of myself. I feel as though my essential qualities are very much the same, but I've also come a long way and I'd never want to go back. Even so, it's good to know that at 31, I can finally handle an afternoon with the cool kids.