On Friday, I flew to NYC for a quick getaway before I started my new project today. Spoiler alert: I’m back in Dallas to work on a new project for the client where I got to work for several years! More on that later this week.
I was supposed to have Friday off work, but since this new project came on so quickly, I actually had a lot of work to do to prepare – background reading, prep calls, etc. So while my original plan was to spend the afternoon hanging out with my dad, we pushed that back a bit and instead went out to dinner. As per tradition, we headed to Greenpoint, a neighborhood in Brooklyn where there is a large Polish-American community and therefore some great Polish restaurants. My dad is from Warsaw, so he loves getting to eat traditional Polish food, and we definitely feasted! I had potato pancakes and various pierogis, while my dad got his favorite tripe soup (yuck) and schnitzel with potatoes. And obviously, a “pivo” (beer) for each of us 🙂
Adam was flying into Newark later that night, and originally we thought that my dad would be long gone before he got there – but instead, my dad stuck around and the three of us were able to hang out at the hotel bar for a bit once my dad got in (wine for Adam and I, coffee for dad before his drive home). I was really glad that they were able to spend more time getting to know each other, since they haven’t had a lot of opportunity to do that being on opposite coasts.
Saturday morning, Adam and I got up early to go for a walk around Central Park. As proof that NYC is a smaller city than you think, I ran into my marathon buddy Kino when we were right by the NYC Marathon finish line! I was so excited to get to see an old friend, especially since the short time Adam and I had in NYC didn’t really allow me to see other friends with whom I wanted to catch up. Next time? (Luckily, I’ll be back in just a few weeks!)
Adam and I walked all the way from our hotel on 53rd street up to 86th street (about 2 miles), and it was a good thing we walked – because we then proceeded to have a super decadent brunch. Jacob’s Pickles is my favorite brunch restaurant in the city, and I couldn’t resist getting the fried chicken and biscuit with mushroom gravy, while Adam got the fried chicken and pancakes. But for once, I didn’t stuff myself on the delicious food, and instead left a bunch of it on my plate. Maybe I am finally learning restraint when it comes to amazing food? My tongue is disappointed but my waistline hopes so!
After brunch, we walked back to our hotel, picked up our rental car and headed down to Atlantic City, New Jersey, where my friend Taryn was getting married. Taryn was my big sister for my sorority at NYU, Zeta Sigma Phi, and this weekend she married her college sweetheart. I remember Taryn and Pete just starting to date when I was a pledge, and how excited and nervous Taryn was about the budding relationship. It was amazing to see her and Pete finally tying the knot, and I was crying way before that, when she first started walking down the aisle. I am so happy for the two of them!
Although Taryn was my big sister, she also assumed the motherly role of big sister to just about all the girls in the sorority, and I’ve been incredibly impressed by her efforts to stay in touch even as we’ve all scattered post-graduation. (Or in my case, after just one semester, when I transferred schools!) As a result of her loyal friendship, there were a ton of girls from the sorority at the wedding, and it was wonderful to get to catch up with women I literally hadn’t seen in ten years. I was also thrilled to get to introduce them all to Adam (and get them to pass judgment… mua ha ha. But obviously he passed with flying colors!).
I have to say though, it made me sad to realize that the girls I had chosen as “sisters” in freshmen year of college are mostly now people I see once every year or two at weddings. I know that freshman year of college was a very long time ago, but up until last year, I lived in NYC and could see a lot of these women anytime I wanted… so you’d think I would have stayed closer. Unfortunately, I didn’t see them then as frequently as I should have, and now I’m on the other side of the country where it’s not quite as easy.
The Science of Us recently did an interesting piece on quality of friendships being more important than quantity when you’re in your 30s. Although I liked the piece, I have to disagree with the idea that the main reason friendships ebb is because we grow up and discover that who we are doesn’t align with our friends’ personalities. I had an amazing time at Taryn’s wedding with my old friends, and my only discomfort was when I felt guilty for not knowing the intimate details of my friends’ lives that I once did. Okay, fine – in many cases I don’t even know the basics now! As pledges, we memorized detailed trivia about each sister’s hometown, birthday, major, etc, but this weekend, I found myself second-guessing the big things like whether a woman was married or had kids. Yikes!
However, my not knowing those important facts isn’t a product of my friends not aligning with who I’ve become. I still think that my “sisters” are just as wonderful as ever, and I blame my own busyness as the reason why we aren’t as close as we once were. That stinks, and makes me feel terrible! But rather than lament the quantity of friends I’ve given up, that article reminds me that all of us have trouble maintaining friendships throughout the years, and I take solace in the fact that I’m not alone there.
Life is full of choices and there just isn’t any possible way to prioritize everything – or even prioritize as many things as I would like. I love trying new things and meeting new people, but at some point, life gets too full to add any more to it without giving up something you already have. Unfortunately, c’est la vie. In the meantime, I’m glad that my old friends and I can still have a blast celebrating the major milestones of our lives.