I went to UCLA and loved it. Despite its non religious status, I did not become a heathen or fall off the end of the earth. Unlike many San Franciscans, I do not HATE Los Angeles. It's a great town with a million things to do. I always knew, though, that I wasn't going to stay there.
Perhaps because I didn't stay in LA and perhaps because I have such a tight group of friends here from growing up, I fell out of touch with almost everyone from UCLA. There are still Christmas cards and the occasional facebook comment, but other than a rare reunion, I have fallen out of touch with every one. Except Clare.
Clare was my roommate for two years. She knows all my secrets. We lived in an apartment on Barry avenue and we named it Try Barry Pie to recognize the resurgence of sororities (we did not wish to join, it was simply an homage). Our next door neighbors were two sisters about 90 years old who used to listen to Johnny Carson at full volume. Every time we heard that introductory music we would laugh our heads off. They were 90 and tuning in a show at 11:30. We were 21 and trying to sleep. We bonded and have remained close friends ever since.
Funny - though college was my Declaration of Independence and my revolution from Catholic school, my closest college friend is from a large Irish Catholic family.
Shrug. What can I say? It's part of me.
Clare teaches special education in the central valley where she lives with her daughter Anne Marie. The two of them and Clare's mom Marilyn are frequent visitors to San Francisco and they always include us in their plans. Recently Steve and I were invited to her sister Anne's 25th anniversary luncheon. That's pretty good considering Steve had never even met Anne and neither of us had met her husband. We were interlopers, and happy to be there! It was an elegant affair and a lovely afternoon. I was able to talk to Clare and two of her sisters and catch up on the news about the others. I love this family and feel a part of it.
At that luncheon, Anne Marie looked beautiful in a flowered print dress and I told her so. She's in high school now and looks quite grown up and lovely. She has a great sense of style.
Apparently that style is not limited to clothing.
On Thanksgiving weekend Clare and Anne Marie came to SF and we spent one morning shopping on Chestnut Street. Maggie joined us but was not her cheerful self. She was exhausted from Thanksgiving and all the activity. That did not deter any of us from having a good time. After shopping, Clare and Anne Marie came back to the house and brought Maggie a gift. It was the flowered dress Anne was wearing at the luncheon as well as another beautiful dress and wrap.
They know Maggie goes to the prom every year and thought one of these might work. You should have seen Maggie change her demeanor. Now Maggie's wardrobe is set for her 18th birthday bash AND her prom.
I was sorry to see them go, but I made sure to complement Clare on her car as they drove away. You never know....