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Recently, a buddy of mine, who we’ll call Drew, got married. I’ve known him since high school. He’s a few years older than me and is now in his early thirties. We became friends when he was an assistant pro at the golf course I worked at. Later on, he hired me at a new course. I lived on his couch 3-4 days a week during the summer so I didn’t have to drive the hour and a half back home. We’d often hike, go on fishing trips, go to the beach, listen to music and go bar hopping. He got me into a few of my now favorite bands. We coached together and he brought me in on his men’s league hockey team.
After I got my first real job, Drew and I didn’t see each other often. I moved out of state and he changed careers, which I don’t blame him for because being in the golf business is pretty much like grinding yourself down with a wood chipper. Anytime I came back into New Jersey, he was busy or I was busy. It was hard to nail down a time to hang out. Shortly after, he got a fiancée. I’ve never met her but by all accounts, she’s a wonderful person. I am super happy for the guy. I considered him one of my better friends and one I would ask to be a groomsman in my wedding.
So what’s the point of this? We all have friends that made a big impact on our life, you say. Well, I found out he recently got married via Facebook photos. A beautiful venue, he looked great, she looked great and everyone was happy. Obviously, weddings are very personal affairs. I don’t even really like weddings all that much, but honestly, it kind of stung that I wasn’t invited. It made me take a long look at life.
Like any relationship, whether it be friendships, family or romantic, it takes work to maintain and thrive. Drew lived far away. We didn’t work together anymore. He was at the age where people get married and settle down. He now has himself a wonderful wife. It’s honestly difficult to keep in contact with people. There’s only so many hours in a day combined with the fact we all have shit going on. It’s a tried and true excuse. Sometimes, your friends become different people than you knew and the commonalities that once drew you together separate. Sometimes, you’re a casualty of time and circumstance.
Not every relationship is the same. We all have friends that you couldn’t see for years yet you talk again and it’s like no time passed. My good friend, who was the inspiration for this piece, is like that. We now talk monthly via Skype. Last time, Brandon made dinner while I sucked down Keystone Light. Even though we’ve taken different paths, we have a lot in common. His girlfriend a veterinarian, so she often works late while we can crush booze and bullshit on Skype.
As Tom Petty (RIP one year) once sang, “People come, people go, some grow young, some grow cold.” I remember drunkenly pledging to fraternity brothers when we all got married to women we haven’t even met yet, we’d get the band back together and do it big. A lot has changed since then. People’s priorities, proximities and life purposes all change. It is inevitable as we continue on this experience called life.
I texted Drew, congratulating him on his wedding and letting him know he killed it with the tuxedo. The guy is a snazzy dresser. He could tell I was upset. I didn’t outwardly let him know that, but he knew it anyway. I got four texts in a row, two of them apologizing because, due to having lots of family, they could only invite so many people. He’s texted me every weekend since then to talk about cooking. We share a lot of love for making good food. He made a delicious looking venison backstrap marinated in mustard base. We talk about football. After all of this effort on his part, I made peace with the situation. We’ll always be friends and stay in contact but sometimes, you get bumped from starting and have to play in AAA a bit. Maybe someday I’ll get a call up and we’ll be turning double plays, just like the old days..