Yesterday around one in the afternoon, I stepped off the T and made my way down the salt-stained sidewalk so characteristic of dry winter days in Boston. In the distance I saw the cheery red scarf so characteristic of Madeleine bobbing in the distance, and I got so excited that I broke out in an extremely un-coordinated half-gallop-half-dance in her direction.
I hadn't seen Mads since the summertime. For most people this is a gap that would disintegrate a friendship, but for us it had no such effect. Mads is the type of friend who, no matter how long it has been since we've seen each other, or even since we've talked, we fall back into our high-school dynamic within about a quarter of a second of seeing each other. There are all types of friends...those you see every day, those you go to when you need to talk, those you only see when you are out, those family members who are more like friends...but then there is the friend who is so like you in every way that your friendship is seemingly effortless. Mads is that kind of friend. Both of us are absolutely horrid about keeping in touch. Both of us are home-bodies when it really comes down to it. Both of us talk funny and act like 7 year olds sometimes and say whatever absurd thing pops into our heads. We're both obsessed with our hilarious families. We both fall way too hard and way too fast into love. We both love food. We both love Downton Abbey.
We had lunch over these unbelievable savory crepes at a crepery off Beacon Street, perused a too-expensive-for-us liquor store and walked out with some crazy fruit-studded Belgian beer that turned out to be one of the best beers I'd ever tasted. Pretending to be more formal than I actually am, I brought Mads a bottle of my new favorite wine (dry Riesling) and some really delicious, delicately wrapped caramel wafer cookies to eat with tea as an apartment-warming present, along with her way-too-late birthday present. When we got back to her apartment we made tea, ate the cookies, and settled into a 3 hour long Downton Abbey marathon. Interspersed within events of the afternoon were the "okay you go's" and "so tell me about the boy's" and "what about you's" that were customary to our its-been-too-long catch ups.
The whole thing got me thinking about people you carry with you throughout your whole life. On the way home, I had the thought that friends are kind of like passengers on a train (excuse the lofty sentiments here). There are those people who hop on for a few stops, but ultimately get off where they want to get off and go about their own business. But then there are those who start the trip with you and stick with you all the way until you reach wherever you happen to be going. Those are the type of people who stay with you, the ones that stay around while you figure out just what your destination is, and while you formulate the type of person you want to be when you step off that platform. I could not be happier that I have found a group like that