I spent this weekend with five mates I was a secondary school with in the 80’s, so I’ve known them for over 25 years. A couple I lost touch with for a decade, but here we all are lounging on sofa’s and drinking fizz after driving to a remote cottage, from all over the UK. We were all once 13/14 the same age the teenager is now; will he be catching up with his now-school mates in 2034 I wonder?
We’ve all got children, all work, have partners/husbands. One had a baby when she was 19 after a one night-stand, one is getting divorced and ones Mum died recently, another talked of her Dad’s sudden death. Big heavy stuff.
I sat with two of them outside with a coffee, holding the hand of one as she talked about the last few days of her Mum’s life. Her lovely Mum who welcomed us in their house with a big smile, always. We talked about one husband who could not ‘get it up’, some admitted it had been a year or two since that was even an option. We talked about the NHS, Hilary Clinton, chin-hair and if cous-cous was overrated.
We talked about our jobs; a specialist heart nurse, a corporate lawyer, one has a PHD in social care, another a well-respected counsellor. Stuff that keeps the world go round, that people need. It astounds me who we have all grown to be and who we are – totally yey us! We told our stories, shared our experiences, our worries and hopes. We pissed ourselves laughing watching The Full Monty, we paused the TV watching the X-Factor trying to look at Dermot’s package. We burped and farted in complete abandoned glory. We looked up old boyfriends on Facebook, we talked about our extended families and it was great to know that at least three of them would still shag my older brother!
Some the mates my son has now will be his mates for decades, others he will find hard to even remember. Which are which I couldn’t tell you from the snippets of their character I have seen so far. Will be the one who carried his bike home after my son felt off and hurt his leg? Or will it be someone he’s not even met yet? I hope he’s a good mate, now and in the future.
I started to cry on the way home, one of them had sent us all a message saying she felt ‘centred, confident and brave after a weekend with us all’ and I could not have put it better myself.