So, I have this friend. I’m going to call her Alice. Alice is a pediatrician. Alice is a respectable, honorable, upright citizen of her community. She helps little kids stay healthy. Alice was my partner in crime in college. Alice was my go-to trouble buddy. One time I interrupted her studying for some “important” medical thing (like clinical exam or whatever, psh) because some disgusting sea slug had been dropped on the sidewalk by an over-zealous bird outside our dorm. Did she get shirty with me for interrupting her study time? Calumny! She ran down four flights of stairs, without her shoes on, to go outside and see said disgusting sea slug. And then she said we should put it in a certain person’s bed. And then she went back to studying. This other time? She helped steal all the traffic cones in town (it was a really small town), and the next day, the town council pasted a letter on almost every telephone pole issuing an amnesty for said missing traffic cones. I should have kept the letter.
My friend Lily? She biked through a blizzard to meet at a bar during finals in grad school. We had many rounds. Then she biked home. …In a blizzard. Charlotte? She and I had Manhattans on the roof of our graduate program’s central building the day before we graduated. Were we supposed to be up there? Are you kidding? Grace picked me up from work at 10:30pm at night, drove me to her house, set me up on her sofa in front of a roaring fire, woke me up the next morning at 7am, and drove me back to work. All so I wouldn’t have to spend the night at the office.
The older you get, the more the list of “Friends who will bail me out of jail,” and “Friends who will be in jail with me” blurs. I’m a (more) responsible adult now, and, for a whole variety of reasons, the likelihood of serious hijinks has seriously diminished. But knowing I have a group of women who I can call and say, “hey, you remember that time…” is the thing that will keep me young and happy forever.