Two of our friends came to visit us from New York City this past holiday weekend. My husband and I have known this couple for roughly six years; our friendship with them predates our engagement, their graduations from college, and, of course, our metamorphosis from chic Manhattanites into suburban, homeowning, SUV-driving folk who sniff their kid’s butt every 15 minutes to determine whether or not his diaper is a poopy one.
In our pre-parent former lives, my husband and I would roll out of bed at noon on a Sunday to meet these friends at our favorite Upper West Side brunch haunts. We’d discuss things like politics, the Knicks, and why we found Mario Batali’s most recent restaurant a bit overrated. We took a trip to Aspen together to ski, staying in the town’s chanciest hotel with the Starwood points she accumulated thanks to a travel-heavy consulting job.
We’d get regularly together for sporting events, dinners, and countless evenings playing the board game version of the newlywed game (my husband I routinely kicked their asses – probably because were married and at the time, they weren’t) at our apartment, and we had a tradition of spending New Year’s Eve together, each December 31st butchering some way-over-our-heads meal because we were too inebriated to cook worth a damn. All in all, they are some of our dearest friends, a rare example of couple friends where you and your husband actually, genuinely like both the husband and wife.
This couple, on account of their late twenties New Yorker status, not to mention two Harvard Business School (dumbasses, huh?) tuition debts, see childbearing in their future, yet no time soon. They live in a West Village apartment that certainly isn’t baby-friendly, have big-time jobs, and eat dinner at 9:00 p.m… They jet to Paris on a whim, and recently visited Israel and Australia. They were much like us then, but are so not us now.
I was mortified all weekend that they would be incredibly annoyed by our new, child-centered lifestyle. Compared to the lifestyle we used to know together, our current one, to me, seems so incredibly dull. Despite this, they arrived with a willingness to join us in spending the afternoon in a park that was not Central but was chock-full of swings, squealing kids, and Moms who knew nothing about the pre-natal massages at Bliss.
They happily joined us for brunch at – gasp – a chain restaurant and didn’t bat an eyelash when we suggested grabbing sushi for old time’s sake, yet doing it at the very new – and early – time of 6:15 p.m. Despite the obvious differences in our current lifestyles, we still spent our time together doing mostly the same things we used to. As always, we loved every minute with them.
Perhaps it wasn’t all of those five-star dinners in New York and the ritzy trips that made our times together memorable. I’m thinking now that chic living involves just being with friends you love and who love you back, regardless of where you are – in location, or life.