One of the benefits of growing up in a small town is that you know everybody. That being said, one of the bad things about growing up in a small town is that you know everybody. Who's who in a small town is really quite easy because eventually you will find the branch on the tree that leads you to the knowledge that the cute boy across the street is actually your cousin so you'd better stop looking in his window at night. Eeewww--yes, it happened to me. When my aunt informed me of that little tidbit, I shot milk out my nose all over her warm cornbread in shock and disbelief. But I wasn't really looking in his window at night, just perving the shadows I could see through the curtain. The only way I came to terms with that was to blame it on the hormones of a preadolescent.
The coolest thing about the small town is that the friends you had during grade school and high school (and I mean your true friends, not the chicks that make Mean Girls look like an episode of Barney) are still your friends today. You know, the kind of friend that doesn't care how long its been since your last conversation, they are just happy to hear from you. I happen to have a few friends like this, and a couple of them are -gasp-boys. I'm not talking some of that 'When Harry met Sally'-can't be-friends-with-a-girl bullshit either. These are guys that I could spend the night with, even today, and Mr W wouldn't bat an eyelash and their wives wouldn't come after me with loaded weapons.
One of them lives really close to me, and I tracked him down about a year ago, using the time-honored tradition of siccing the Moms on him. I simply put a bug in my best friend's Mom's ear to ask his relatives about him because she still lives in our hometown. I was so surprised that he was living just down the way that I played a prank on him by sending my police officer husband over there in uniform to say hello. He'd not seen Mr W in quite some time, so he initially didn't have a clue that the cop knocking on his door wasn't there for some sinister reason. Once he got over his surprise, he welcomed him in, they called me, and we had quite the chuckle over it. I took the kids over on Halloween and we had a nice visit. Unfortunately, that was last year. Hey, simply living can get in the way of the best of friends...he works nights, I have all these little ones to chase around, they just had another baby. Our schedules just could never mesh.
I missed him so much the other day, I decided to call him. I spoke with his wife, another friend of mine, and then played phone tag with him for about a month. A month!! Can you imagine that? I even went by and left them a note last week. Well yesterday, I tried again, and we actually got to talk. For an hour. Sure, my kids were eating every piece of junk I could hand them so I could continue my conversation (bad Mom! bad Mom!), but it was so good to talk to him. Today, we went over, and everyone had a great time. I got to visit with his brothers, and we got all caught up on what's been going on since we were together last. It was so easy, so comfortable, and I am so stupid for not having made the effort sooner. I won't let that much time lapse between us again. It's important to keep tabs on the people who know where the bodies are buried.
Of course, he's moving back to (groan) Tucson in the spring. But at least I'll know where to find him.