Monday, September 3, 2012

Blast from the Past

I moved to Ann Arbor in the autumn of 1995.  I was eighteen, three-and-a-half hours from home, and scared out of my mind.  I desperately wanted my freedom, but I also desperately wanted my parents at the same time.  Over the four years I was in school there, and the two more years I lived there before moving to Indiana, I had some good times and some good friends.  Each year, my husband and I attempt to spend our anniversary weekend in Ann Arbor -- thankfully, though he's a huge Notre Dame fan, he also enjoys watching Michigan games and tooling around the campus with no real agenda.  We love the food, the ambiance, the buildings, the shopping, the food (oh, yeah, I already said that).  But this time in particular was even more special.

When I lived there, there was a small group of us that spent as much time together as possible.  Both before and after my divorce, these were friends that knew both my ex-husband and myself, and spent time with both of us.  I'm lucky enough to be friends with my ex, and I rarely even think of him as that.  Most of the time I just think of him as a friend that I've known since I was sixteen years old.  I've been close with my friend Danny for most of the time after I moved, and the other friends have been a part of my life off and on, but there have been a couple that I haven't seen in over a decade.  I got to see them this weekend and spend at least a little time catching up, and it made me very happy.  I've missed them dearly, and I do hope it's not another decade until we get to see each other again.  My husband's a real trouper, too.  Not only did he put up with a four-mile walk around midnight last night, he also doesn't get freaked out when I share a bottle of chocolate wine with one of my guy friends and hug the other one with all my might because I miss him so, so much.  I recall that there was a time in my life when I only had male friends.  I still have very few female friends these days but, then, I really don't get to spend much time with any of my friends, male or female.  Who knows when the next time I'll get to see any of them will be? 

We also got to ride horses at the Barton Farm in Belleville.  Chris and Rachel have a lovely place with five acres, and Rachel was wonderful enough to saddle up Ruby and Brooke and let us ride around with her through the woods and down the road.  We had a great time and even talked Chris into driving back to Ann Arbor so Rachel could get ANTHONY'S PIZZA with the rest of us!  Ahh, Anthony's, how I've missed you.

Now we're safely back at home, ready to jump into another work week.  I have a meeting, photo shoot, and an interview tomorrow.  Wednesday (our anniversary) I have a private tour of the Snite Museum.  Thursday I'm looking forward to properly homemade Hungarian Goulash at the Nichols residence.  Friday is comedy night, where I'll be writing jokes for THE Dave Kempher.  Saturday is a bridal shower for one of my good friends.  Sunday, I leave for Chicago because next Monday is my Jeopardy! audition, and another week begins.  Things are happening so quickly right now, I barely have time to blink, so this weekend was much needed.  I'm so glad to be back home right now, though -- I need a hot bath and a good, long rest to tackle everything that's coming our way.

To each and every one of my friends out there: whether we're together every week, once a year, or once a decade, you hold a very special place in my heart and you always will. Thank you for a great weekend, and for marking my life with your friendship.

Stephanie Jean

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