A few weeks back I received a group text from one of my girlfriends, she had recently read an article about middle school friendship and the article identified a particular type of friendship that reminded her of our group…she was thanking us for being her Committed Friends. That word, committed has been on my mind since then. I am truly lucky in that I have not just one but two groups of committed friends, My B-town girls and my BG crew. These ladies are my peeps, my posse, my tribe, my squad, my sister’s, my whatever word T. Swift is using these days. These are my people and I love them dearly.
I have known all of these ladies for over 25 years and some much longer than that. Individually and collectively they have stood by my side. They were there when elementary school playground antics left me on the outside looking in, they joined a middle school club with me because I had a crush on a boy in the club, they were my Homecoming and Prom dates when I did not have one, they held my hair as I got sick at my first college party, they drove to BG to get me when I was homesick, they raided the sorority house kitchen for chips and dip when I was brokenhearted. I “borrowed” my dad’s convertible with them so we could cruise the local parks, I went on one of the longest Spring Break road trips ever with them, I cannot imagine my teens and early twenties without them.
Once we were all out of school and going our own way in our lives, it could have been easy to lose touch. These were the days before Facebook, before text messages, heck we barely had email back then, but we stayed committed to each other, and traveled near and far to see one other. Many of them have made the trek to whatever city I was in at the time. Some of my favorite memories were the countless concerts and hockey games in Pittsburgh, and one extra special night at the Have a Nice Day Cafe dancing our fool heads off until I was sick with pain, because I may or may not have broken my toe. Once I moved even further away from Ohio to Baltimore, I knew it would be harder to see my friends, and yet I have wonderful memories of Opening Day at Camden Yards, stuffing my face at Nacho Mamas, one very late night at The Cheesecake Factory, and one odd encounter with a homeless man who had mad rapping skills. Even when I moved to the least glamorous place on the planet, there they were in Jackson, TN., for a fun filled trip where the infamous Tessatini was born. There were so many summer fun days in CLE I have lost count, they even convinced me to attend a Kenny Chesney/Tim McGraw concert against my better rock-n-roll judgment and I had a blast. Last but not least the B-town reunion weekend this past fall in Charlotte, no matter where we are or what we are doing, we have a blast. Clearly I am beyond blessed to have friend who are willing to travel, and travel we have…
Oh the adventures we have shared. Put-In-Bay may never be the same for anyone who was there the weekend W. broke her tooth. Tropical trips to Key West and Mexico where the stories and endless and epic. Imagine spending St Patrick’s Day in Dublin Ireland watching your friends teen aged daughter march in the parade as you stand side by side with two of your lifelong friends – priceless. Sharing in your friend’s birthday with your four college roomies on what may be the biggest belly laugh trip to Florida ever. And the trip 40 years in the making, with an epic group b-day trip to Jamaica. Then there is the trip to Chicago that almost did not happen, just weeks after 9/11 and we were all terrified to fly, but we resolved to go and not let the evil of the world tear us down.
They were there for me in my darkest days. When I moved home at age 29 jobless and newly divorced, the trips to TJMaxx looking for handbag deals and lazy days at Wolf Creek Winery helped keep me sane. A bottle of wine in my new apartment as I got on my feet, phone calls and words of encouragement, these are things I can never repay but I carry with me to this day.
When you look up the word committed the definition says feeling dedicated or loyal. I am 100% dedicated to these ladies. They are amazingly hysterical, strong, quirky, loving, witty, sarcastic, giving, clever, sassy, caring ladies. We have shared the joys of wedding and babies, we have seen the worse with illness and divorce, we can go for months without talking and it feels like minutes have passed when we are back together.
One of my friends sent me this card awhile back, it now hangs above my desk as a daily reminder that no matter what I am blessed beyond words to have this crew in my life. I have seen a saying that I find appropriate ” find your tribe and love them hard” I like that a lot, but encourage you to go one step further, don’t only love them, commit to them, you will not regret it.