The dissertation was only the beginning.

People & Places
T: Amazing Husband
ST: Three-year-old Wonder
Prof. G: Advisor I
Prof. C: Advisor II
Julie: Stylish Sister
Rob: Awesome Brother
Belle: Our Cat
Bill: Grumbling BIL
Rita: Uncomplicated SIL
SMU: Smallish Midwestern University
Doctoral University: where I got my Ph.D.
Blogwise - blog directory
Drop Me A Line
academeblog AT
Quote of the Day
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Best Friends
In the fall of 2002, I was working outside in my yard when the woman who lived next door to me, Corinne, stopped by to chat. It was fun to talk with her, since she wasn't usually outside often and I didn't know much about her or her husband. In fact, although we'd lived next door to each other for a full year, we'd never been inside each other's houses or even knew each other's last names. Corinne and I started a long conversation about teaching (she's an elementary school teacher and I was about to embark on my first TA assignment), and before long T and Corinne's husband Ben joined in and the conversation wandered to other topics.

Before long, three hours had passed. It was dark. We were all still outside, talking and laughing, and Ben and T had wandered inside for a beer while Corinne and I admired each other's flower gardens and traded tips. I invited her inside my house, and soon the four of us were gathered around our dining room table, just like we'd known each other all of our lives.

Ben and Corinne are so much like T and me it's uncanny. For starters, we were married on the exact same day in the same year and at the same time (June 19, 19999 at 2:00pm) in a Catholic church. Corinne and I are Catholic; T and Ben are Lutheran. Corinne has a sister who is the same age as my brother Rob. Before ST was born, T and I used to go to the movies at least once a month, and invariably we'd find Corinne and Ben at the same movie on the same day, sitting just across from us. We'd run into them at the same stores. Corinne and I have showed up to occasions more than once wearing the same outfit, or very similar clothes. Ben and T work a block from each other. We bought our new cars on the same day, completely unexpectedly (even now, we have identical Hondas -- same year, same color). When they moved, it was only across the cul-de-sac, and Corinne will still sometimes wave to me from her kitchen window as she's preparing dinner. To top it off, Corinne and I found out we were pregnant on the same day, and ST was born just three days after Corinne's daughter M (ST's best friend). In fact, ST was born on M's due date.

It's safe to say that Corinne, Ben, and M are our best friends here. Getting together with them is completely stress-free and always fun.

Ever since the month after ST and M were born, Corinne and I have been getting together every Wednesday during the summer for long, leisurely lunches and playtime for the kids. This is our fourth summer together. We trade off hosting, and the host provides a no-fuss lunch and dessert and a tolerance for a messy living room as the kids drag out every toy they own. We usually meet late in the morning and are rarely home before 4:00pm. It is a lovely way to spend the day.

Yesterday was our first summer lunch meeting of this year. ST and M don't get to see each other much during the school year, since they go to daycares in different towns, and so yesterday they were bouncing off walls with excitement to be in each other's company again. And for me to be "reunited" with Corinne after a long winter was heavenly. We never run out of things to say, never run out of "I can't believe my husband did XYZ," or "My mother-in-law is driving me nuts" stories. She is one person I can honestly say I never grow tired of, someone I could talk to for hours every day.

Corinne and Ben had another baby this January, lovely baby Eva who looks just like her dad. When Corinne told me she was pregnant last summer, I was thrilled for her and also a little sad, since I knew that this time, we wouldn't be sharing our pregnancies. I told her about my sadness, and how I felt like our paths were starting to diverge ever so slightly. She agreed, and we cried a little about it, not knowing what the future would hold. This past December, as we all rung in the New Year together, we told Corinne and Ben that we were moving to Midwestern State. That same sadness came over us all -- the paths were diverging even further. "Even when I don't see you for weeks," Corinne said, "it's always just so nice to look over at your house and know that you're there." I know. I know.

I am 100% certain that Corinne and I will be friends for the rest of our lives. A lot of my friendships have been "disposable," in that they were fun while they lasted but they weren't worth the effort to keep up when one half of the friendship moved away (usually me). But with Corinne, the connection we share is so complete that I cannot bear the thought of never speaking to her again. I'm sad at the thought that I won't be here to see M -- who I've known since the hour after she was born -- and ST go to school together. I'm sad that I won't see Baby Eva grow up month by month. Time is passing too quickly.

For now, I am etching the sweet memories of Corinne and her family onto my brain, savoring every moment of our relaxing summers together. We will certainly get together after we move -- our home here is only five hours away from our home in New Town -- but it will never be the same. Like everything else about my life in just a few short weeks, nothing will be the same again.
Posted with care by Prof. Me @ 6/15/2006 02:19:00 PM  
6 Words of Wisdom:
  • At 3:59 PM, Blogger ScienceWoman said…


    You just wrote about Writer Chica and I. We met during our MS degrees and instantly fell into easy friendship with each other. Our husbands too were totally compatible. And Writer Chica's kids are like my niece and nephew.

    When I looked for PhD programs it was awful to contemplating moving away from her family. But we did it. And although our relationship has changed (less time grilling and playing games, more blogging and phone calls), our friendship is strong and wonderful 4 years later.

    Just letting you know that true friends will find a way to stay together.

  • At 4:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I know just what you mean. My best friend, Cookie, now lives 5 hours away. It is tricky to see her but we try to call often and stay in touch. It's hard to lose the day to day contact with someone who can finish your sentences and just really 'gets' you.

    After my move I found myself a tad jealous when Cookie would tell me of adventures with new friends 'back home,' but it was part of moving on and I had to deal with leaving her even as I pursued my career dreams. The same thing is happening for you two. Neither of you can ever be replaced and I'm sure Corinne's not looking to do that, anyway. I'd be surprised if she wasn't feeling a bit 'left behind, too!' Have you talked about that? :)

  • At 4:38 PM, Blogger Mon said…

    Aww that is a beautiful post. How wonderful that you have a kindred spirit--do enjoy your time together! My friend Lani (my roommate from college) is the only friendship I've had that has stood up to my many moves and all my grad school stress. Five years later we are still close, but I still miss very much seeing her everyday.

  • At 4:55 PM, Blogger betty said…

    How nice! It is great to find those people who it's so easy to be friends with and it's really sad to have to leave them (or have them leave you, like just happened to me).

    But it's also really nice to have a far away friend who you get to visit or just catch up with on the phone. I really vaue my phone and IM conversations with my friend that just moved. Now I set aside special time for just us and that's really nice too!

  • At 5:53 PM, Blogger L said…

    Yes, beautiful post. You're definitely fortunate to have friends like Corinne and her family. 10 years ago we left all our friends in Brazil to come to this country. For 4 years one of my good friends from Brazil lived only 1h from me and we enjoyed both of our pregnancies together - our oldest children (my boy and her girl) are only 1 month and a half apart and our youngest boys were born only 29 days apart. She moved back to Brazil last year when our boys were 9-10 months and I was devastated (even though in the meantime we had moved to live 6 hours away).

    I'm glad you won't be thousands of miles apart from them like I am from my friends, but like you said, it will be different, and this part of your life will be over in a few months, which is very sad.

  • At 9:31 PM, Blogger phd me said…

    What a great post about the importance of true friendship. I'm happy you have someone like Corinne in your life - and even with the move, she'll definitely stay in your life. But, boy, do I understand your sadness about moving - it's hard to find such a good friend and it's doubly hard to move away from one.

Post a Comment
<< Home
Post History
Favorite Web Destinations
Template by

Free Blogger Templates