This has been a week, or maybe a bit more than a week, of visits and conversations with people, old friends, that I had not heard from in a decade or more.
It happened again this afternoon, while I was ordering lunch at a fast-foodish sandwich shop. A woman I worked with in the late '90's was standing two people ahead of me, placing her order. I did not recognize her appearance as much as I recognized her voice - she had and still has a very nasally voice - she sounds like a female Tom Petty.
After she had finished placing her order I spoke her name and she turned towards me and nearly shouted my name back. We sort of stepped away from the two people who were between us and said a few of the standard "Oh my god, where have you been, how have you been, you look great," things that people who haven't seen each other in a long while say to each other, until she had to collect her order and I had to place mine.
After I got my sandwich I sat down at her table and we started the whole catching up conversation going again.
She had switched careers after leaving retail sales, taking a job at the AFB in the Springs as a records clerk. She married a career military man back in 2002, and they had two kids before divorcing in 2009. She hadn't remarried but was now living with a guy in the Springs with whom she has a child, and they have 6 kids total in the house between them.
Which was surprising to hear, as I had never thought she was the domestic type - she was quite a partier back when we worked together, and often came in on Saturday mornings looking as if she hadn't slept since Thursday.
As there were no children with her, I asked if she was taking a day off from the kids to recharge her batteries and she laughed, nodding her head and asking me how I knew that was exactly what she was doing - I told her that not only do I have sisters who all have kids, but just about everybody else I know has kids, and as I work with a lot of women, I hear the statement, "Mommy needs a little alone time" a lot. Like, all the time.
She told me she was pretty much spending the day hunting for Christmas gift bargains, and that it was going good. She also asked me if I had any gift ideas for a guy, and I assumed she was referring to her partner, so I suggested a nice date night where she took him to his favorite restaurant, let him pick the movie, etc. - basically, what I would consider a good gift from a partner.
We had a nice twenty minute conversation until I realized I had to get back to work, and then exchanged contact info and the requisite "Look me up when you are in town" goodbyes.
So, welcome surprise reunion at lunch, and a decent sandwich, too. Not a bad break in an otherwise dull afternoon.
Wonder who the next old friend I'll run into will be?