We’re at the point in our lives where we’ll take the get-togethers how ever we can get them.
Marel and Brad (IMOPpers both) were in town for a friend’s wedding over the weekend. I’ve known Marel since the 1st grade at OLGC, I met Brad through his cousin Chad, a Little League teammate. Brad, Chad and I rode into Damien together everyday during our freshman and sophomore years. “That was twenty years ago,” I said. “Ho, man,” Brad said. Exactly.
On the left is Marel’s screenshot of the text “conversation” between all of us in the attempt to coordinate dinner. As Marel said, it is short and sweet and more or less represents the kind of thought that goes into a last-minute, all-or-nothing swing at meeting up. There was a time, of course, when such a gathering would take place in someone’s garage on a weekend night. There would be drinking and urination in grassy areas of the yard. Someone might shout “Shelllllllllllllay!” but those days are generally in the past.
As thrilled as I was to see some of my oldest and best friends, I am sure Madison was happy another child was present. Brad’s son Eli was there to share his Netflix and Madison’s Jello parfait. I love watching Madison in “big sister” mode. She holds younger children to standards that she herself has difficulty adhering to. Yesterday, she encouraged Eli to sit nicely at the table, a suggestion which I have made to the Goob about a million times, and each time I have been met with the scrunched nose and moving lips mouthing something to me which as far as I know, has not elevated to profanities yet. There’s still time, I suppose.
There’s always something great about meeting up with old friends. We can never really pin-point when it was we met last, but that never really matters at all. It’s like picking up an old book that you’ve read a billion times; there’s a refresher period, and then – oh, yeah – it’s just like you remember it. There are some new jokes and stories, but the old ones are always the best. This time I explained to Madison that myself, Uncle Matty, and all her IMOP uncles ditched Uncle Brad when a huge moth came flying into the patio area. Brad had just had knee surgery, so he couldn’t move. The joke centered on the fact that the moth took its time landing on Brad’s neck, dusted the area, sniffed around for a better area, then ultimately decided to return to the original landing zone because it could. Brad was immobilized and could do nothing. “Ah, man,” I remember him deadpanning as the rest of us stood on the other end of the deck. “Was the moth big?” Madison asked. “It was huge,” I said. “Did it really bite?” she asked. “No, it decided to leave Uncle Brad alone,” I said. “I would have been scared,” she said. “We were, too. We all ran,” I said.
Brad left for Vegas last night, and there is talk of a second meet-up with Marel on Thursday night (only possible because the baseball team will be on Molokai). I hope it works out, but I am prepared for the chance that life works against it. That’s fine, though, because we’ll always have this: