In high school I tended to gravitate toward classmates (read "nerds") like myself and I befriended one such guy as a lunch table buddy. Like me, he wasn't terribly popular either and our half hour a day friendship was more of a misery loves company kind than a deep one. A few mutual interests brought us together from time to time and we enjoyed each other's company when involved in working together besides daily at lunch, but we never really hung out together nor spent much time with each other out of school. We graduated and went our separate ways.
After many years of advanced study my lunch buddy came home to hang up a professional shingle here in the community, and when I needed the services he could offer a few years later I gave him a call. My visit to his place of business was a warm reunion. When I received his bill it was marked, "Paid in full." Every bill I've ever gotten from him subsequently for the use of his services has read the same with literally thousands of dollars being written off through the years.
But here's the icing on that substantially generous serving of cake. My old pal has become a genuine mover and shaker here and each year he throws a lavish Christmas party for his family, friends, staff, and professional associates. The kind of party at one of those places downtown where filthy rich old men smoke fat Cuban cigars while wearing suits worth more than my entire wardrobe, and where the hors d'oeuvres alone are more sumptuous than most meals I'd order at a restaurant. And every year Dee and I are invited. Simply because over thirty years ago I invited a fellow nerd to break bread with me in the high school cafeteria.
To be sure, I feel totally out of my element when I attend this yearly affair and, in part, I dread going to it because of the esteemed status of many of the other attendees. I'm humbled to sit among them, but I'm so honored to be there. Honored to know that my friendship meant that much to somebody and made such a difference to him. Honored that this wonderful person who has done so much for me still thinks of me as a friend dear enough to sit at his table. His party this year is tomorrow. The dread is setting in, but I'm smiling as it does.
Dee flashes the camera a bit of thigh at the
Christmas party to which we're invited every year.