This weekend is lobster fest at our friends’ shore house in Sea Isle City. Somehow along the winding road of life I have accumulated a handful of friends who just ooze with fun. Allow me to explain.
I found Nancy (mistress of the aforementioned shore house) at the Highland station of the Chestnut Hill West train line. In typical EBW fashion I chatted her up (she looked friendly and had just enough train platform waiting vulnerability for me to feel comfortable enough to approach her). We became friends and in February of 1998 she invited us to a Valentine’s Day party. Since she lived only two blocks away she fell into the category of “geographically desirable” friend. At this party we met her then boyfriend (now husband) Calvin. I made my famous goat cheese and pistachio spread with Paris toasts, and her brother, who is a successful caterer, put out a tantalizing buffet of assorted dishes. A few other friends had contributed to the melange. From across the room I spied a platter of what looked like lavash (an Armenian flat bread) rolled with cream cheese, watercress and ginger. I said to my husband “I think that’s an hors d’oeuvres from Gillian Duffy’s new cookbook.” He shot me his familiar “You’re off your rocker” look and moved on. Out back in the cold we saw a group of people milling around puffing on cigarettes. We joined them and started talking to one couple. One thing led to another and the woman (our now dear friend Tammy) said “Oh, you made that goat cheese spread. It’s amazing.” or something of that ilk and I came to discover that she was the creator of the flat bread appetizer. I said “Did you get that from Gillian Duffy’s book Hors D’Oeuvres” and she responded “Oh my God, yes!” Of course, I spun around to give my husband one of my looks, the “See, I do know what the hell I’m talking about you sanctimonious naysayer.” Needless to say, we bonded with Tammy and John and have been great friends ever since.
They too will be participating in lobster fest, along with Beth, who, when we lived in Chestnut Hill, was also geographically desirable. Add in to the mix Marianne and John and what you have is one fabulous fun weekend with plenty of good food, good drink, and great company. I can’t imagine having it any other way.
How could I have ever guessed that a simple gesture of greeting at a morning commute would morph into a wonderful friendship? Or that this friendship would lead many other great friendships? I’m not sure what the big picture is, but I do know that if you allow yourself the opportunity to explore new people and give them a wide enough berth to flex their own personalities and generosity, you will be rewarded.
So go ahead and say hello to the person next to you. Who knows — it might just end up being one of the your luckiest moments.