Old (Like Mid-30s Old) Friends

So I don’t really publicize that I’m from Utah, even though I grew up there and lived there for 18 years. Not so much because growing up in Utah wasn’t good for me, because it was fine, but growing up in Utah is not always good for non-Mormons.

The reason I don’t really publicize it is because there are a lot of perceptions and there is a lot of baggage that goes along with the statement, “I grew up in Utah.”

The first question you get is, “Are you Mormon?” The second one, of course, is, “Do you ski?” (“No,” and, “I used to before I decided that all the…gear took too much energy.”).

But a big reason I had a pretty good time growing up is because in high school I had a great group of friends.

Last weekend I flew to Utah to hang out with a bunch of them. I’ve drawn their pictures for this post (which is why it took me a week to put it up) because I’m not sure that they want their photos on my blog. C, I’m sorry that you’re blurry. I did yours first and it was too small and I had to enlarge it, and… Well. You’re blurry. Sorry. Also, I’m sorry that I don’t know anyone’s eye color.

We met in Salt Lake City before we drove down to St. George, Utah, to play and relax for the weekend. Not everyone could go to St. George, so we had dinner and ice cream and talked and talked and talked with those that were stuck in the city for the weekend.

The next day we drove down (with no kids) to St. George, which is about a four-hour drive, into a land of 70-degree weather and red rocks. And shopping. And restaurants.

We did a lot of eating and talking and shopping and eating and talking and someone jokingly suggested horseback riding, but very few of us were enthusiastic, so we might have done some more shopping, or maybe we went somewhere to eat, but I’m pretty sure that we talked.

And we drank a couple thousand ounces of Diet Coke.

I’d been a little nervous before going out to see everyone, because the last time I saw any of them was more than seven years ago. And a couple of them I hadn’t seen for well over 15 years. Happily though, everything just fell into place. Everyone was wonderful. They were just as fun as I remember from high school, just older.

We have 26 children between the seven of us (most of my high school friends ARE Mormon, after all). Thirteen of the kids come from two families. Some of those kids share names with each other. There is more than one Jack and more than one Sam, but still only one Q-Ball. One friend just bought her first house all by herself. Two of them own hot tubs. Several of us have obnoxious pets. Some of us work outside of the home; some of us don’t.

Some of us are willing to say “bl0w job” in front of a four-year-old (NOT me this time, thank you very much). Some of us aren’t.

Some of us are in favor of health care reform, some of us are not, and some of us (me) refused to talk about it at all because some of us (me) were afraid of irreparable damage to friendships (mine).

All of us have had good times and hard times over the past couple of decades, but seem to be hanging in there.

I have to say that my driving tour of Salt Lake kind of blew me away. A lot has changed, including the house I spent most of my growing up years in. A lot I’d forgotten until I drove past it. And some of it seems the same as it ever was. It was weird though, I tell ya.

I’ve been meaning to get out to Utah for a long time to hang out with these people, but things kept getting in the way, as they do. C mentioned that someone told her after high school that even though we all said we would stay friends, that it would never really happen. I have to say, I don’t think we’re doing too badly. Thank you, C, for forcing all of us to find a weekend to play. I will remember and be grateful for that weekend for a long time.

12 thoughts on “Old (Like Mid-30s Old) Friends

  1. Yeah, yeah…cool trip and all but I’m totally blown away by your illustrations! Really. Is there no end to your talents? Um, besides the cooking? Serious dead end, huh? ;-)

    Ok, truly, I’m glad you went and had a good time. And a tad envious, too. :-)

  2. I live in the area where I grew up and I STILL only see my high school friends (as a group) once or twice a year. It’s hard. The fact that you could make it call the way to Utah for a girls weekend is very impressive.

    I love how you kept your wonderful friends all these years.

  3. I absolutely love opportunities like that to spend time with old high school or college friends. It’s one of the best things ever, what with all that talking! ;-) And, yes, it is beyond freaky to go back to the place you grew up after a long time. A very strange, almost out of body, sensation. Glad you had such a wonderful time!

  4. What a wonderful reunion. An the illustrations are fun! I noticed that your style of art does not lean towards finger painting, like Jack. ;)

    I have two high school friends that I’d love to see again. They’ve both returned to the town were we went to school, so I’m hoping that we can arrange a get-together in the next year.

  5. Sounds like you had a great time! I heard the word yesterday…told the boys I respected what they were doing and asked them to share their message with me, because frankly, having to walk door to door to strangers is just about my worst nightmare. I would’ve offered them water if I wasn’t afraid of all of my glasses being fingerprinty and gross (it’s bubba’s job to put away dishes).

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