Friday, June 12, 2009

Should old acquaintance be forgot ? - Never!

"Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got. Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot." from the Cheers theme song
I had dinner last night with an ex-bartender, an ex-restaurant manager and a waitress. In other words, I hooked up with three women I worked with at a neighbourhood bar about 24 years ago. Imagine the "Cheers" bar of 80's TV fame and that was it, a place where "everyone knew your name". It was great. We had quite a few laughs about old times and told stories only the four of us could relate to over drinks and Greek food on The Danforth. The thing I came away with was how little people really change over time. Each old friend had taken paths away from the restaurant business with one exception, yet we all shared a bit of our life history that bonded us together even now in a warm and unique way that I will always cherish. Only two of us had children, and I was the only one still married. One is still working as a waitress and the other two never ventured far from the old neighborhood where we once worked, one living in Riverdale, the other in The Beach. One an accountant working in the movie industry, the other the administrator of a large medical clinic. Although I seemed to be the odd man out in some ways, living in the west end with a husband and my own business, and they in the east, we had more in common than we had differences. The real common bond was our age ( I was still the youngest - Yeah!) and the fact that as women in mid-life, no matter what direction our lives had taken, we all faced the same challenges in one way or another. We all worry about our kids, our families, our ever-increasing laugh lines and we all celebrate our kids, our families and our ever-increasing laugh lines. Those lines tell our stories and not one of us had regrets about how they got there. On the whole, we didn't look too bad for a group of old broads. There was no question, we all still possessed the same spirit and joie de la vie that drew us together in the first place and it was fun to relive the crazy days of times past. We offered up our knowledge of "what ever happened to so and so? ", and got teary-eyed over the recent death of one old colleague from back in the day. How could she be dead? She was the one we all thought would set the world on fire. Turns out she fell into a tailspin of booze and drugs that finally did her in. It was unthinkable. But true. It's funny. I have worked at many jobs in my life, some longer than others, but for some reason, this little known bar in Toronto's east end where I spent three years during university serving up drinks and chicken wings was one of the most fun places I ever toiled. And apparently, some of the people I worked with there turned out to be life long friends. Go figure. Maybe it's because we all know some of each others naughty secrets. Maybe it's more. All I know is - I'll always enjoy these women. Catching up with them from time to time reminds us all where we came from and that's always a good thing. No pretension. No kidding!

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