40

I had lunch with a long time friend and his parents today. We hadn’t seen each other since Nov 2011, my last trip to Melbourne before I moved back here in May 2012. He’s very busy, when I had returned mid May he was overseas. He competed in the 2012 World Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) Championships in Los Angeles and returned home via Hawaii for a well earned, albeit short, holiday.
We had lunch at his parents’ house so I could catch up with them too. They are in the modern parlance, good people. They recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. The enormity of this milestone of commitment fries my synapses. I looked up on googs the symbol of this anniversary – Ruby. With my limited funds I got them red grapes, strawberries and a red bowl to put them in. They don’t imbibe firewater so I couldn’t give them a purloined bottle of pinot…
We had a great lunch, I told them of my weekend in Sydney (heavily edited version), a job interview with a university marketing department next week, my forays into the complex world of godchild babysitting (see previous post), my inability to land a job since arriving back and the myriad ways I have frittered away the past three jobless months. Mainly reading, sleeping and writing.
I wasn’t drinking absinthe, however I still managed to blab inappropriately about one friend and her affair with a married man, a friend with a partner who is losing their eyesight, another who is not coping with turning 40, a friend moving overseas for a semester at a US university. I have friends who have bought houses, gotten mortgages, birthed twins, coping with M.S and another couple trying to not kill each other while renovating their new home.
They told me of upcoming travel plans, their recently affianced youngest daughter. The renewal of their wedding vows at a special event hosted at the cathedral. People they know who are celebrating their 72nd year of marriage! This heady discussion of life and commitment was tempered by delicious food and chocolate ice cream for dessert. As I was tucking into my second hit of icy delight the phone rang. A lady they had known for several decades had passed away that morning, aged 86. She was fondly remembered as an avid tennis player whose age, experience and wisdom had helped many players on the court.

I realised although not everything has ‘gone to plan’ for me with the NZ relocation being revised and a premature return to Melbourne, I’m not struggling with these massive upheavals that my friends all seem to weather. I may be temporarily ‘displaced’ when it comes to a job and a home, but with the unfaltering support of my friends who are busy dealing with the Hurricane Isaac’s that life deals to everyone, I’m a very fortunate friend indeed. Here’s to anniversaries, milestones, birthdays, championships, celebrations, lunches, dinners, births, deaths, marriages and the great friends, family and significant others that make it worth getting out of bed.

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