Old friends are marvellous aren't they? Had lunch today with a pair of work colleagues. We first worked together 21 years ago and last worked together 17 years ago. We were in the drama department at a university together. We are, each of us, very different. One, young, beautiful, talented and full of spunk, another, warm, energetic, a long term academic (but not a wanker) and the third always sitting slightly outside the mainstream though not loud and angry.
We like each other. Two women and a bloke. We shared a view of the academic world back in the 90s, seeing it for what it was (a place full of ambitious and often self serving people - with a smattering of the genuine and balanced) and could laugh about it. Feels like there is a more than an average representation of narcissists and mildly aspergers types in academia.
Today was the third time we'd got together in three years. The last time was in January this year at someone's retirement bash. Yes, it was one of ours.
Today was was so easy. What is that? Shared history. Shared disillusionment. Common interest in our children, in theatre. A mutual respect for our differences. An interest in listening to stories. None of us has changed (or so we tell each other). We're all growing to be more like ourselves year by year and that feels comfortable.
At the end of our 90 minute lunch we said let's do this again. One said that she'd be in the UK for five months next year enjoying her second grandchild due in early March. She suggested August.
We all looked at each other thinking the same thought. That seems like a long time I said. So we said lets try for February before she goes. But it probably will be August, or later more likely, by the time we all get in touch again.
Funny but it feels kind of normal. At least we have plenty to talk about in our 90 minutes per year.