Last fall I went to a Weight Watchers meeting in Crown Point, IN and within a few months, I’d gained a couple of hundred pounds. It wasn’t water weight. I went to lose 10 and instead reconnected with old girlfriends who are worth their weight in gold.
Waiting for the meeting to start, I looked around the room to see the faces of women like me – give or take a few pounds or years – and glimpsed the profile of a dear friend from high school. “This is why I’ve moved home,” I thought. I walked up next her and said her name. The look on her face was priceless.
“I, I knew you were moving, but you’re here!” She said. We hugged. We had been in pom pons together at George Rogers Clark High School in the late ’60s. We laughed about meeting here, of all places. “Weight Watchers – where old pom pon girls meet, right?!”
I’m happy to report five or six of us have stayed in touch over the years, working on a couple of the class reunions, meeting for lunch or dinner. We’re planning our third “pajama party” for later this year.
Good, lifelong friends keep us grounded. While we’ve changed, grown over the years – most of them are grandmothers now – sitting with the girls at dinner this week reminded me of what is most important.
In fact, my friend Sue in Las Cruces. She is a spry octogenarian. Someone I would “like to be when I grow up.”
“What’s your secret to life, Sue?” I asked her once over a latte at Barnes & Noble.
“Keep healthy and stay close to your friends,” she said.
Friends keep us grounded. They know who we really are – without the trappings of money, social status. These pom pon girls and I have known each other longer than we’ve known our husbands or partners. While we’re not in touch day-to-day, we’ve been to each other weddings, a funeral, children’s weddings. Seeing these faces at dinner Wednesday, I saw still youthful eyes and smiles framed by a few wrinkles. But we haven’t changed. We’re still the same fun girls we used to be.
We attract friends who are like us. We meet over common interests but we stay connected because of the person inside. If we’re lucky, our friends help us to be better people. More loving, less selfish.
The thought of meeting a pom pon friend at Weight Watchers makes me smile. I went to lose and instead I gained so much.