Eight months ago, and I only managed to meet her last week.
I've had a gift for her sitting on my desk for ages - a small, blue elephant, purchased during the Christmas rush. Plush, of course. Friendly-looking. Adorned with a jaunty red bow about the neck (a sweet addition, if I do say so myself).
I was looking forward to handing it over. I was sure the baby would like it.
But nonetheless, as I drove across the city to Nick's house (way up in North York's east end, where he and his wife decided to settle in order to get something of a decent size that was at least semi-affordable), I thought to myself, 'this is what our friendship - no wait, our lives - have come to.'
Eight months to plan a simple visit.
And then I realized I'd forgotten the elephant at home.
Which, just, you know... figures.
And that's just the way it is.
That's being grown up and living far away and being busy with work and grocery shopping and exercise and family obligations and all of the general hoo-ha that goes along with being a (reluctantly) upwardly mobile thirty-something living in a major city.
It's related (somewhat) to the money issue I wrote about a few weeks ago. Mo' money, mo' problems, remember? We're too busy, mostly because we think we need more money. I think that's what it comes down to.
Like I said, that's just the way it is, but at times, it's hard to reconcile with what I remember.
Were someone to call, I'd be ready, at the drop of a hat, to do whatever was suggested. I was always free.
And my fluid, free-time filled lifestyle continued all the way through university. Once, when we were both still students at Queen's, Nick called me up in the wee hours of the morning and said, "I'm going to Toronto. Want to come?" And 30 minutes later we were on the road. Three hours later we were in the city. And by nightfall we were back in Kingston. I didn't even have to think about it. He called and we went. That was the extent of our planning.
Now it takes us eight months to sort out a simple lunch.
And I'm not even popular! That's the real shocker. I'm well-liked (I think), but no social butterfly. And compared to most people I know, I'm positively lousy with time. I work part time. I play sports for fun. We have no children and Nate is an academic, which means he's often at home. My life is shockingly easy, and still, I find myself saying no to half the things I'm invited to, and constantly apologizing for being absent. And at the very same time, I feel like I'm failing at being busy enough. It's mental. Mental, I tell you.
I'm not sure what my point is. I guess this is just something to work on. For the time being, I've visited with Nick and I've met the baby (adorable, chubby, sweet). But the elephant is still sitting here, on my desk, staring at me.
Judging me. I can tell.