Today was the birthday of my oldest friend. Not chronologically, but acquaintance-wise. My friend Christopher and I met when we were both three years old. My family had just moved from the New York City area to a suburb on the Hudson (called “the sticks” by urban folk). One day I was outside playing “Astroboy”, my favorite cartoon character whom I aspired to be, and two ladies came walking down the street with their arms around each other. They greeted me and said “we have someone for you to meet!”. So with my parent’s permission I walked around the corner and discovered Christopher. I was very much the tomboy and we hit it off immediately. I guess I had a somewhat dominant personality in those days, because sometimes when Chris would climb on the roof of the garage, his mom would call me over to talk him down when all else failed. We were lucky enough to live in an old area of town, and Chris’ property had a creek, hills to go sledding, big trees, a big front yard where his dad built a little baseball diamond for us to play on, a small playhouse his dad built, a handlebar “trolly” strung on a wire between two trees that we would hold on to and ride downhill, and a great little area for playing with our Matchbox cars that consisted of loose dusty dirt that could be tunnelled out for underground garages. Later there was a pool. It was childhood Wonderland.
I learned so much about the male world from my friend. I learned the rules of how boys play, which I know helped me later in the world when I entered the Electronics industry. I knew how to “play” with the boys and have never, ever had a bad experience with a male in the workplace. I understand the male sensibility. I love men and find that they often make the best friends. Needless to say, my women friends are very special, because I don’t know too many I can truly relate to.
Now my friend turned 46 today. I called him and wished him a happy day, and it felt like we had just seen each other yesterday, although it has been 20 years; 32 since I moved away to California. I feel blessed to have a friend who has known me this long. It’s a rare thing in today’s world. Many friendships seem superficial these days. People are too busy to keep in touch. But not me and my old friend. We will always be in each other’s hearts.