I adore my former roommate Christine. We lived together for a year and a half in 1997, and we’ve stayed friends ever since.
I see Christine every few months now. We’ve both gotten so busy with our lives and work, we don’t just have the time to hang out much anymore. Right after she heard about the fire, she invited me to stay. For the first few days, I couldn’t do anything new. I didn’t want to talk to anyone besides people I loved, people who went through the fire, or people who worked with fire. Friends near and far offered me places to stay. I had two requests: It had to be within a few miles of my house (er, former house) in San Francisco, and it had to be a house I’d visited before. More than anything else, I needed continuity.
I knew I’d love staying with Christine, but it’s been even better than I’d imagined. In 1997, us five Ashbury girls would meet in the living room late at night (or early in the morning) and rehash dates and parties. In 2012, Christine and I are meeting in the living room over burrata and caprese salad and rehashing asbestos reports, family funerals and arson investigators. We’ve gossiped and giggled and talked about clothes and shopping and work and boyfriends. It feels like the closest thing to home I have in San Francisco.
Here’s my question: Why don’t we all do this more? Let’s bring back the adult sleepover. Er, let’s invent the adult platonic sleepover. I love having long-distance friends, since I often stay in their guest rooms while visiting. We stay up late at night and chat about whatever we want. Because I’m staying over, there’s less pressure to formally entertain.
Make a plan. Find a friend and agree to it today, for no reason whatsoever. Do it before your house burns down.