Once I park, walk the girls across another busy street, go into the church and drop them with their director and fellow performers, I turn around (small smile) and have 75 minutes to enjoy a girl-friendship. My friend Patty lives in that neighborhood. I don't know if she is usually coming home around that time from her job as a journalist but she makes time. So we meet.
We first met over 10 years ago when we volunteered to facilitate an orientation program for Marine spouses. It was basically a cultural class. The foreign culture was the US Marines. We had a ball with those young wives. Though Patty and I were never on the same base at the same time we had lots of common friends. Lots of common experiences. I was in awe because she wrote for the newspaper in one of the towns we lived in and was witty, smart, and fun.
We met tonight in the same coffee shop, sat in the same seats on the same side of the deuce (restaurant talk for a table for two), with our same hot drinks. We caught up. We do this pretty efficiently every other week because my car turns back into a pumpkin at the stroke of 6:30. Our topics included the usual diversity. We provided updates about our kids. She has two boys, a junior and senior in high school. I have three girls, senior in high school, junior in college and one out on her own. We caught up with our own stuff. We talked about empty nests and semi-empty nests. She's preparing for both. I offered feeble tips. (She and her husband don't need them.) We dipped into talk about travel, how her husband was on a trip to Asia last time we met, school events, fundraising, friends who divorce after 25 years of marriage, and our kids who act and sing. We pondered what our kids were going to do when they really grew up. We laughed a lot.
We didn't solve any big problems. Heck that would take longer than 75 minutes. We didn't even discuss the big stories in the Washington Post. We just met. We made small talk. Only really it isn't small talk.