One of the first things that new friends learn about me is that I moved quite a bit when I was a little girl. About every three years, in fact, we uprooted our lives and started anew. My dad is in software, so it wasn't a military thing. It was just kind of the way things turned out.
That's actually a good way to describe my life: just kind of the way things turned out.
So when I was in third grade, we moved from home number three. It was a townhouse in a small town. There wasn't much exciting there, but it was where I had started school and made my first communion, so it was special to me.
Home number four was a big house about 45 minutes away. I said that I would visit my old friends all the time, but I didn't. You know how that goes. Moving taught me that- people make lots of promises they don't keep.
So when we moved across the country to home number five, I was not delusional about friends. On my path to becoming a realist, I knew how my life was going to work. With a new start, I switched to a nickname. I wore baggy jeans. I skateboarded.
I did none of these things well.
Like clockwork, three years later we moved back east to home number six and other than a move to a bigger home number seven in the same school district, we stayed put. On my first day at school number seven the guidance councilor assigned me a best friend. Her name was Josefina, and she is still my best friend.
So much for realism.
Josefina and I both went to State, and there we met film class guy and his roomate, Mike Michaels. The four of us bonded, for reasons that I'm sure were related to Vladimir and his inexpensive handles of cheap vodka. As it turned out, FCG and M squared were good friends from high school. One night when we mixed Vladamir and Scrabble we started chatting about how our lives had already changed so much from what they were when we were young. It wasn't long before strict religious upbringings were compared (For the record: two Catholic, two Jewish) and fate made herself known.
FCG and M squared were from my small town. Home number three. In fact, about ten years earlier, I met M squared. We made our first communion together. Six years after we met again in college, I was the MOH at M squared's wedding to his Jade. She's my other best friend.
And Boy? I didn't meet him until my junior year at State. The four friends grew to more, many of whom were also from the small town of home number three. Remember how I was a realist before? I had lost touch with so many friends that I was running out of space in my address book. But these friends stuck. One called me by a new name: Sezzy.
So when I met Boy, I was nervous about introducing him. We had met at a party and had a ridiculous, fantastic first date. We connected. And quickly. What if my friends didn't like him?
I fretted the whole way to FCG and M squared's apartment, where Jade and Josefina were hanging out with the rest of our friends. Nearly shaking, I opened the door and strolled in, trying to appear normal. And they yelled,
"Boy! What are you doing here? Good to see you!"
All at once. Turns out Boy moved to the small town of home number three when he was in high school so that he could play football. They knew him. Boy, someone I just started dating and liked more than I should, was already friends with the best friends I had made (in three states).
And all I could do was breathe.