Moving Experiences

By Jeanne Marie Laskas
Sunday, February 3, 2008

You shouldn't be angry when a friend announces she is moving. You can't take it personally. She got a new job, or her husband did. It happens every day. Everything about America says it's the right thing to do. Follow the dream. Reach for the stars. Expand those horizons. Don't look back. Embrace change.

"Why are you looking at me like that?" Wendy asks.

"Like what?" I ask.

"Like you want to bash my head against the wall," she says.

"I'm embracing change," I say.

She looks down at her shoes. We both fall silent. I'm sitting down. She told me to sit down before she made the announcement. "I'm . . . sorry," she says.

Five hours away. Maybe six. I don't know. It doesn't matter. It's not in the neighborhood. It's . . . not here. My friend is leaving. "We should fight," I tell her. "We should have a big dramatic argument, so we can dump each other and feel good about walking away."

"All right," she says.

"You start," I say.

"Look, we hardly ever get a chance to see each other anymore, anyway," she says. "You're always so busy."

"You're the one who went back to work!" I point out, realizing even as I say it how stupid it sounds. She restarted her career a few years ago when her daughter began school. Before that, Wendy was a stay-at-home mom and was always available for lunches and play dates and iced tea in her back yard around the little inflatable pool.

"And you were always working, and I had to fit in around your schedule," she says.

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