When I was in high school, I became friends with a group of pals who were a year older than I. Interestingly enough, I’m still friends with them, and somehow now I’m more than a year younger than they. Back in the day they ribbed me plenty about being a lowly frosh and all of that, but since I was one of eight siblings, I took teasing as the highest compliment, and loved the attention, or at least pretended to…or sneered, depending on my mood.

Once they graduated and headed to college, I had to suffer through my senior year without friends to hang out with. It might have been character-building (or just proof that I was a stubborn, arrogant idiot for not noticing people my own year I could have been friends with), but it wasn’t particularly fun. But that was a small price to pay for the reward I received this past Saturday.

I wasn’t able to attend any of the parties in Maryland this year as that crowd turned 50, until this Saturday when Kelly took her turn.  It might have been her birthday and people might have gathered in her honor, but (as I remember it anyway) I walked into her kitchen triumphant, hugging a bunch of 50 year-old women while I remain happily ensconced in my 40’s. What foresight. I’ll be happy enough to see them on the other side, but I’m just tickled that my strategy paid off in the end, or should I say, in the middle?