Years ago when I first moved to this community I met some interesting people through a women’s group. Not long after that husbands became involved and we formed a dinner group. Six couples took turns hosting, providing the main course and drinks. Everyone else brought something to enhance the evening – appetizers, vegetables, salads, desserts and in the beginning, punches. Over the years we did away with the punch so we have a floater each time.
Our families were young then and we attended ball games, then graduations, then hosted showers and went to weddings, celebrated grandbabies, etc.
Three of the women were especially close and sometimes just we four couples did things together, movies, dinner out, etc. Then two of those women and I traveled together each fall – our “fall fling” – to visit our grown children and shop, shop. The flings were great fun for ten or more years, but ran their course.
So what does this have to do with the title of this post? Well, we thought we knew these folks very well until the fateful 911 happened. Strange, isn’t it, how something so horrific affected people in so many different and insidious ways? I’ll bet there are many stories out there about the aftermath of that terrible event that has nothing to do with bombed buildings or terrorists.
It’s politics that got us. My husband and I vote independently, but are registered Republicans. (Let me clarify that. Before President Bush took a second run at the office I changed my party so that I could have a vote in who would run against him.) Others in our group are not only registered Republicans, but are extremely conservative in their thinking. One, however, is a registered Democrat, yet he thinks like the others. Then “W” decided to invade another country with contrived proof that it had been behind the World Trade Center bombings. The discussion at “gourmet” on the eve of that attack was heated and nothing has been quite the same since. Maybe because nothing has been quite the same in America since then.
Since then our country almost seems to be at war with itself – or at least the political parties do. They don’t compromise, they don’t even talk. We are still talking with our friends, but it’s “testy.”
It’s hard keeping up with friends who think so differently about vital things and are outspoken about it. It’s hard remembering who they were before and how much we enjoyed their company. It’s hard to put on a good face and hope we don’t discuss “politics” during dinner with these folks. It’s hard to keep quiet when we do.
We were so pleased to meet them in the beginning. I’m hoping someday that we can be pleased to meet them again, as we once were. Meanwhile, I’m barely keeping up.