Friendship, Change, and Sunday Nights

29 Jul

If anyone has ever been stupid silly enough to ask me what I’m doing on a Sunday night, any Sunday night, for the past seven years, my answer has always been the same: an incredulous look and an exhasperated, “It’s Sunday.” Some heavy sighs and annoyed eye rolls later, the stupid silly person typically is forced to recall that I have done the same thing on Sunday nights, every Sunday night, for the past seven years.

Try to take over the world.

Sunday nights are when Bestie and I get together for dinner and shows.

Food and television may seem like too simplistic an event to build a tradition around. Not for us.

It started, admittedly, because of Twilight. Bestie and I were both (yes, I’ll admit it), wildly into the Twilight book series. We had devoured them up that summer, and had spent literally hours emailing back and forth about the series. If you happened to know me during my Xanga days, you may remember those emails turned into blog posts. Anyway, thick into the vampire craze, we found ourselves mildly intrigued by this television show we kept seeing ads for. Maybe it was the need to fill the Twilight shaped holes in our hearts since we had finished the series. Maybe it was the advertisements that looked like liquor campaigns. Whatever it was, we decided to give True Blood a shot.

Thus, a tradition was born, and we have never looked back. Our Sunday nights have included themed dinners, show-specific cocktails, and more nudity/graphic violence than I ever thought I’d watch in my lifetime. We’ve stormed our way (sometimes through the help of DVD) through True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, the Newsroom, Girls, Game of Thrones, the Leftovers, Downton Abbey, Mad MenBreaking Bad, and Better Call Saul. Our Sunday nights have withstood my pregnancies, the births of my children, university courses (for both of us), and multiple changes in employment (again, for both of us). No matter what is going on in our lives, we make time for Sunday nights.

For me, Sunday nights have become far more than just a night of entertainment. It’s guaranteed time to catch up with each other. It’s guaranteed time to vent our frustrations about the week, and to celebrate our successes. It helps me to relax and mentally prepare for whatever is on the docket that week. There are many weeks when Sunday night has been the high point of that week. In a way, it’s something I’ve learned to count on. Even if I’m stressed or burnt out or just feeling all around shitty and pissed at life, at least my Sunday night was bound to be positive. There has not been a time when Bestie has left my house and I didn’t feel better than I did before she arrived.

I’m not going to say that our Sunday night success has been reliant on the close proximity between where my bestie lives and where I live. But, it hasn’t hurt. For the last seven years, Bestie and I have lived a whopping seven minutes away from each other. I clocked it once. It was about three miles.

Now, my bestie is moving away.

I say that in an intentionally melodramatic fashion.

She’s moving a whole 30 miles away. It will take about 45 minutes to get to her new place from my house.

For someone who has lived in the suburbs the bulk of her life, I’m used to that drive. I’m very comfortable with that drive. It’s not that big of a deal. It’s actually probably the average distance between besties, I’m guessing. We’ll be fine making that drive regularly. It won’t change anything.

At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

I have a lot of insecurities when it comes to friendships. I’ve seen my own friendships evolve over time. Sometimes it’s for the better, but sometimes…

I feel like I’ve been here before. I’ve been close to friends before. Then I got married. I moved in with my husband, they moved in with each other, and we’ve never fully recovered what we once had. Can I say for sure that it was due to distance alone? No. There were definitely other factors at play. But the distance made it harder to address those issues.

I’ve wondered before if I mean as much to my friends as they mean to me. If I didn’t put in the effort, would they? I’ve never wondered that about Bestie. But then again, it never took much effort before. We were so close it made regular get-togethers easy. Now that more effort is actually going to be required, those ugly doubts are surfacing again.

I also just have to call a spade a spade and be honest with myself. A part of me is jealous. My bestie has been making a lot of new friends lately, due to a new job, etc. She’s also moving in with a mutual friend of ours. The opportunities for bonds to be made and fun to be had without me are practically endless. It’s silly, and petty, and really quite unjustified, but I can’t help but feel a little left out of these new aspects of her life. It’s a situation I’m uncomfortable being in. I don’t enjoy feeling like I’m being needy.

It is healthy, and normal, that we have lives outside of each other. Logically, I know this. I have separate aspects of my own life, too. Neither of us has reason to feel guilty about that. Still, I also know that change, however positive, is always hard. This change, in particular, has been a bitch of a pill to swallow.

Last night marked the last Sunday night that we’ll have together as residents of the same city. I’m not going to lie; I may have shed a tear or two after her departure. It marks a milestone in our relationship, but I know that our friendship is stronger than a few extra miles. We’ve talked about all of these challenges, and all of my unfounded and unreasonable fears. If Sunday nights become Saturday nights, or if other accommodations have to be made, we are going to be just fine. In the end, I am positive that this challenge of distance will only make us value our friendship all that much more.

So here’s to positive changes, and a beautiful friendship. May it continue through many more seasons of HBO.

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