Blast from the Past

(Originally published May 23, 2007).

When I opened my email this morning, I discovered a message from an old friend I haven’t seen in more years than I am willing to admit. How great is that?

Nadie (that’s her name) had remembered my fiancé’s name from a zillion years ago, Googled ‘Maureen Fisher’, found my website, and (miracle of miracles) recognized my photograph. She asked me to call her if, indeed, I was the same Maureen Fisher from our University of Toronto days. We now live in the same city.

Blown away with nostalgia and excited to talk to my friend, I phoned the number provided in the email, and we chatted for several minutes. It is hard to describe a lifetime during a phone call, but we tried. One lousy phone call wasn’t sufficient, so we made plans to meet for lunch. Before saying good-bye, Nadie gave me the phone number of Bonnie, another friend from the same era.

Residents of a women’s residence called Whitney Hall (no men permitted past the front desk, thank you very much), the three of us spent countless hours yakking into the wee, small hours of the morning, munching pizza, resolving the meaning of life, bitching about how much work we had on our plates, and commiserating on the mystery of men. At the end of the year, Nadie went to study in France at the Sorbonne, Bonnie dropped out of school, and I got engaged to the man who would become my first husband.

We lost touch.

Sadly, I think the same thing happened to way too many of the women in my generation. Speaking for myself, I moved to Ottawa with my husband, immersed myself in a new career as a computer programmer, and started a family. Later, when I re-surfaced with my sanity more-or-less intact, I recognized that my women friends were priceless. By then, we all had different surnames, and it was too late to find them.

Tomorrow, I will phone Bonnie and surprise her.

Next week, Nadie and I will meet for lunch.

Hopefully, the three of us will have a reunion in the near future.

Will I recognize them? Will they recognize me? Will we still have the same easy friendship with so much water under the bridge? Will the same things make us laugh. I will soon find out.