A couple of months ago, I gave my mom a couple of long skirts I’d had hanging in my closet. They were so comfortable, but long enough I should only have worn them when visiting the monastery. You should never get rid of a good skirt, or a dress, but these were pushing their luck. She’s good with a sewing machine and took about a foot off the length of each, and gave them new lives. In this oppressive heat wave, the two skirts have been practically rotated day after day. (Men have it easier in the winter re: office dress. Women, definitely, do in the summer)
This morning, while rushing out of my fave coffee shop to get to the newsroom, I literally ran into a woman I hadn’t seen in about five years. Funny thing, this. Back in the day, a long, long time ago, we were really good friends, the best of friends. But “whatever” happened and we stopped speaking, other people around us stopped speaking and it was a big ugly mess. Oddly, we’ve never run into each other except one other time in the decade since we stopped speaking to each other. That in itself is kind of strange because, let’s be honest, this city ain’t that big. There’s only so many sushi places, so many good coffee shops and only one decent Indian restaurant.
I’d always figured when, or if, I ran into her, I wouldn’t have a ton to say. Hurt feelings are like that. But when the door to the coffee shop opened, all I thought was, wow, I haven’t seen her in a long time. And it’s kind of good to see her again.
We talked for about 30 minutes. It was a good talk. Grownups can do that, I guess. We laughed. We shared pertinent family details. Her father has since died and that makes me sad because I always liked her dad. She was happy to hear of my sisters lives and my continued employment in the shaky world of newspapering.
I realized as I walked away, in one of those now-shortened-skirts, that her daughter, now about 12, had pooped all over that skirt when she was just a couple days old. An attempt to get the stain out lightened the skirt a bit, but over the years of washing, the skirt faded up a bit and now it’s indiscernible.
Now the skirt is shorter, the stain is less noticeable and I”m a few pounds lighter in personal baggage. I’m not sure if I’ll run into her again, but it was good to do so today. It was like finishing a sentence or the last measure of a song. It would have been wrong to just tuck the whole thing in the closet without an update, or at least pulling it out again and trying it on a new day.