The photos started popping up on my Facebook page last week: My dear friend Christine posted some of the first photos she has of her with her husband, Paul, also a dear friend of mine. She posted them because last week marked 20 years of their being together. A few days after those appeared, she posted one of me, from 20 years ago, noting that we'd been friends for even longer (because I became friends with her a couple of weeks before she met Paul -- so, ha ha ha, Paul, I was FIRST).
Such sweetness made me feel special and loved, of course, and it also prompted me to think more deeply about anniversaries. I tend to corellate them to being married, which I am decidedly not, and I am notoriously bad at remembering my married friends' and families anniversaries. I try, really, I do, but I'm just befuddled by the importance of these dates. Luckily, they forgive me and accept with good cheer whatever I manage to come up with, whether a card or just a text that says something along the lines of "Oh, yeah, happy that thing!" For my unmarried, partnered friends, I do even worse. I either don't know or can't recall their anniversary dates (for their first date, or whatever they celebrate). I'm just not hardwired to remember that kind of thing.
But other anniversaries, now, those I remember. Deaths, birthdays (which are anniversaries, after all), the date I moved somewhere, the day I said good-bye to someone who was not good for me. I remember those. We all do, I think. I don't remember the date of when I moved to New York, but I know my friend Vic does and I look forward to seeing her share that memory with us on facebook every year. Some of my friends celebrate the anniversary of their sobriety, which always seems to me to be deeply important. Others celebrate the day they came out. Others, the day they filed for divorce. We remember because these days are engraved in us: we know whether the wind blew that day, or if the world was still; whether it was cool, or hot, or frigid. We remember what we wore or where we went. We remember noting that we should remember, because on this day, our lives changed.
Thinking about these milestones makes me want to take some of the glory of anniversaries for myself. I want to start celebrating the anniversaries of my friendships, those relationships that have shaped and sustained me. I once read a quote, I believe from Meryl Streep, in which she said something about friendships are the recess in the school of life. Yes, they are, and for me, they are also the backbone of my life, the down comforter of my life, the runaway truck ramp of life. They are all those mixed-up metaphors, and more. They are my joy. I want to celebrate them and remember when they were new, and marvel at how they've grown comfortable and familiar.
So, happy anniversary, Teenie, and happy anniversary, Roo. You guys are my two of my beloved blessings. I am so glad to have shared the last 20 years of my life with you. "What would I do, if I had not met you? Who would I blame my life on?" xo.