We fit each other into crowded lives that have gone in many different directions. Our interests and life experiences are not necessarily the same. Decades of adulting has a way of twisting and turning each individual path. But at one time, many years ago, our paths converged and we found ourselves working at the same college job. The five of us were waitresses at a Little Caesar’s restaurant in the early 1980s and that seemingly uneventful kid-job resulted in a friendship that spans decades of growing up and growing old. We’ve witnessed each others’ idealism and doubts, successes and disappointments, and basically LIFE in all of it’s glories and difficulties. The Little Caesar’s girls as we call ourselves: together we’ve seen a lot.
What is it about this group of girls, (in our minds, when we are with each other we are always girls, never women), that has carried on through 7 marriages, 2 divorces, 13 children, 4 grandchildren, 1 out of state move and too many jobs to count? All of us can point to other friendships that have come and gone with the ebb and flow of life. The seasons of our lives change and so do the people who share them with us. We have our work friends, our neighbor friends, our work out buddies, our parenting friends. The Little Caesar’s Girls are none of these to one another yet have stood the test of time when other friendships have faded away. We expect everything and nothing of each other all at the same time and somehow that has caused us to be there for each other through all of life’s joys and sorrows.
Maybe it’s the fact that when we are with each other we ARE the girls, never the women. We give each other a free pass to be ourselves, to let our guard down. This is the group more than any other in my life to laugh with uncontrollably, commiserate with unabashedly, and be myself with unapologetically. They’ve seen all my layers. The successes and proud moments, but also all the faults, insecurities, mistakes and missteps. And they show up anyways. When we are with each other, we are the collective of who we were at 18, at 28, at 40 and now at 55 and somehow that gives us a free pass to often act like 10 year olds around each other and not blink an eye.
This tribute does not de-legitimize the other really good friendships we all have outside of the Little Caesar’s Girls. I see many of them lasting for years to come. But at the end of the road, in my quirky imagination, there we are, the 5 of us, sharing a table at the senior care facility dining hall telling the same stories over and over again and laughing just as hard with each subsequent telling.
Like sisters, the Little Caesar’s Girls started out together quite young and we have been in the background of each other’s lives ever since. There are times we tire of each other, complain about one another and wonder how our friendship has stayed the course; but then we always circle back in no time with an evening of group texting, a dinner party, a night out, a weekend away or a celebration. Others proclaim how lucky we are to have one another. And they are so right. 37+ years of memories is a lot to stand on. Our children all look back on the soundtrack of their growing up years and hear the laughter coming from the kitchen hours after they were supposed to be sleeping. Recently one of them saw one of our silly facebook posts and her comment was #friendgoals and that one acknowledgement of what we have in each other is the very reminder we need to be ever so grateful for this unique and lasting friendship. The Little Caesar’s Girls have been a part of my adult life from the very beginning of it until now and I know I can count on them to see me to the end. And THAT is a friendship like no other.