I was about 350 miles into a 500-mile day when I decided I needed to grab a cup of coffee and stretch my legs.
The Starbucks whose sign I saw off of the freeway looked like as good a place as any to rest as did the sound of a red cup filled with 983 ounces of Peppermint Mocha and a couple of espresso shots.
Grabbed a table in the back where I could drink in peace and do some people watching. Didn’t take more than few minutes for a couple of women to grab the table next to mine.
Took them all of thirty seconds to start a conversation about the men in their lives and for me to realize how much some things have changed since I was in my twenties.
It is not just because my first thought regarding Tinder is that it is something I would use to build a fire either.
Nor is it because I didn’t use Google to try to determine if I wanted to date someone or not.
Mainly it is because listening to them talk reminded me that I stopped thinking like someone who is childless a million years ago.
Men & Women Are Different
When I stopped my intention hadn’t been to become a witness to the complete dissection of some men and how they interact/engage with women or to be reminded about how different we are either.
But the 18 inches between our tables made it impossible not to overhear their stories and since I wasn’t engrossed in my phone something one of them said caught my ear.
I couldn’t repeat it verbatim or tell you why it got me thinking, I just know that it did.
It was something to the effect of “you always know a lot from the first time a guy kisses you.”
That was enough to make me curious enough to wonder what it was they were talking about but not enough to interrupt their conversation to ask what it is you know after that kiss.
I thought about the stories the guys and I have exchanged over the years ab0ut women but I couldn’t think of a time when we had ever focused the way these women appeared to on kissing.
That didn’t mean no one ever mentioned it, but it was always in passing and never a focal point.
Most of those conversations ended years ago because once everyone got married no one spent much time sharing those kinds of details anymore.
It didn’t really resume after the divorces started to hit either, it was just something left behind.
But listening to these women next to me speak and thinking about some other conversations I have heard I figure that the dissection of men that women sometimes engage in never ends.
That might be right, might be wrong don’t know that it really matters.
Two-thirds of the way into my coffee the women moved from men into a discussion about breaking up with friends. That one really made me think a bit.
In part it was because I received a Facebook notification about some pictures one of the guys had posted.
He had just come back from a long vacation but I had no idea he had gone on one. Hell, I didn’t have a clue if that was the first or 987th one he has taken this year, last year or the year before.
Kind of made me sad to realize that I don’t know much about what he is doing now because there was a time when he was one of the closest friends I had.
Thirty some years of friendship and we are not exactly strangers but we aren’t particularly tight anymore either.
He never got married and never had kids so there are areas of life that our very different and since we no longer live in the same city the distance plays a role too.
We usually grab a beer when he is in town and hang out a bit, but those visits aren’t a yearly thing.
For a while I made a point to call or email on a regular basis. Whenever we connected he was present and everything felt normal, but somewhere along the way I got tired of feeling like it always Â had to be me to make the effort to stay in contact.
So I stopped and here we are.
Some Friendships Are Timeless & Some…Aren’t
Two weeks ago my son asked me if he could make plans with a friend for Thanksgiving break.
“Dad, Tom and his family are coming back for Thanksgiving. I want to make plans to see him when he gets here.”
“How long has it been since they moved away?”
“Almost a year.”
“Call him and see about setting up a time to hang out.”
“I’ll try, he is not good about calling back. Sometimes he does and sometimes he doesnt.”
That led into a longer conversation about friendship and a comment from me about how some friendships are timeless and some aren’t.
Who knew a short time later I’d repeat what I said to him to me.