Things are less different than I thought they’d be. My family and I slipped into our old habits and routines (even though they’re technically new habits and routines) as if I hadn’t been away at all. Mom and AB went to work. Kat and I decorated the tree. My cats are older and more neurotic, but even they seem to be set in their ways. Even though so much has changed (our dining room is now a meditation room, Mom and AB have new jobs, things have been rearranged and gotten rid of, etc), I was still unprepared for the familiarity of it all.
To further perpetuate this feeling of comfortable newness, I went out with my friends Natalie and Nicole. Nic and Nat and I first met in pre-school. We were exclusive, strawberry ice-cream hating mischief making trouble makers fondly referred to as the Three Musketeers. We kept in touch until junior high, but then like most childhood friends, we drifted apart. We recently found each other again on Facebook and decided to get together for drinks.
My sister kindly drove us to Downtown San Jose (another familiar place) where we had dinner and pints at the Gordon Biersch Brewery. A near fiasco occurred when I couldn’t locate my CA driver’s license, but thankfully my gaijin card has my birth date on it (I found the CA DL later). From there we bar hopped and caught up and reminisced. Even though we’re all grown up and doing different things, I still took comfort in the fact that we were still able to connect after all those years. Natalie brought her bear, and her bear and my bear hung out together on a chair while the three of us passed out in the living room just like when we were little.