Friday night friends

Doug and I recently passed the five year mark of living in L.A. The year before we moved here, we fell into a friendship with a married couple from the Midwest. It was a random set of circumstances that brought them to Portland for three months, the fall that Doug and I got engaged, and they lived in my house for the duration of their stay. Those three months were filled with some of the most hilarious moments ever had with roommates, as well as times of deep conversation and surprising levels of intimacy considering the relatively short time we had together.

They are without question two of our favorite people, and so it was with great delight that we discovered that following spring that we would all be moving to L.A. that summer. They flew out for our wedding in Seattle and drove one of our cars down to L.A. so that she could start work immediately. He flew back to Chicago from there to pack up their things and then joined her a couple of weeks later. We showed up soon after he did, and we got together for dinner the first Friday night that we were all here. They had just rented an apartment in Santa Monica, and I distinctly remember sitting at their table talking about how friends can end up living in the same city and never seeing each other, and how we didn’t want to be those friends. And so we instituted “Friday Night Club”: dinner together every Friday night, no matter what. And so for five years, through babies and hospitalizations, church demands, professional obligations, school and job changes, we have honored that commitment (with occasional exceptions, of course). And because of it, we have managed to not become those “same city, never see each other” friends.

This past Saturday we did a “breakfast club” instead, followed by a great time at a nearby beach with the kiddos. While at the beach, we shared a specifically meaningful moment together. Back in the day when we all would muse together about ending up in L.A., we would talk about how fun it would be to share next life stages together, one of which would hopefully be having kids. One of our little mantras was that we would end up in L.A., we would both get pregnant at some point, and we would do yoga on the beach together. And so, with great struggle on my part (and graceful ease, on my friend’s), she and I stood in the sand on Saturday striking yoga poses together. My friends are expecting their first baby in January, and so it is that we enjoyed the fulfillment of a hope conceived years ago.

As many things as have gone not as planned for us here, I took in this moment with deep joy and contentment. And I was reminded again that, in spite of the risk and reality of disappointment and hardship, it is always good to hope and dream with those you love, even about something silly like yoga on the beach.


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