While visiting Central America last week (a coworker of mine pointed out that this makes the Midwest sound like an exotic destination), both the S.O. and I got to spend some short, sweet time with some of our oldest friends. No, that’s not old as in they’ve lived for a 100 years and don’t they look great. I mean old as in our friendships have lasted many, many years longer than anyone would’ve expected.

For my part, I saw a girl that I have known since the age of eleven. I shouldn’t say girl, because she is now a few thousand words’ worth away from getting her doctorate. But to me, she still is that same girl with whom I had sleepovers, painted my nails, and discovered the mystery of all things male (we’re still working on the latter, by the way).

Talking to her, looking at her hands, her eyes, and seeing that they’re still exactly the same as they were in sixth grade… well, that kind of continuity has a way of grounding a person, which is what I sorely need during this time of total disruption in my life.

During our time together, our conversations would start with the most adult of topics – for example, how to balance a career and marriage. Even five years ago, we would never even have dreamed of talking about something like that, much less sixteen.

But within minutes, we would disintegrate into helpless laughter over the most juvenile of jokes. I have to confess that we even spent a fair amount of time perving out over one of my fiance’s uber-hot college buddies – sorry, honey, it couldn’t be helped. He was just that hot.

Speaking of my honey’s friends, it was also great to see him catch up with his college buddies, and to meet them myself. I have to admit that it was a little intimidating at first, since they all went to Princeton (say it with a pretentious accent – there ya go) and are now successful doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc. Of course they are all married to the same. And then here am I, the kid with the UC education, feeling like I’m masquerading as a grown up as I simultaneously geek out with my childhood best friend.

After I got over the intimidation factor, however, I realized that they’re all just as geeky as we are… and we had a great time. (The hosted alcohol at the wedding seemed to go a long way towards making that happen.)

All in all, despite the odd circumstances under which all of us met, I’m very glad that we did. And ultimately I realized that even though sixteen years have passed for us, and just a few more than that for my affianced and his friends… things haven’t really changed all that much.

My friend and I still talk about boys, although now we’re either marrying or divorcing them. We still have sleepovers, albeit in a hotel instead of our parents’ house. And we still paint our nails, or rather, get someone else to do it for us.

Continuity – it’s a beautiful thing. And having someone that wonderful in my life for such a long time kind of makes me think that I might be getting a few things right, after all.