on why catch-ups are overrated

ok, don't get me wrong; i love hanging out with old friends. but, when did seeing my best mate (who actually has lived in the same city as me for the last three years) every six months or so, or only on special occasions become okay for me? meet kaitlin. i've known kaitlin since before she was legally supposed to be coming down the pub with me. we met through mutual friends, and were as thick as thieves for a good few years. mostly surrounded by alcohol or loud music, she saw my boyfriends come and go, and i just saw her chew hers up and spit them out without a care in the world. we had an absolute ball together.

until, i decided to move to new zealand.

we were both having the time of our lives, but we emailed or myspaced or whatever the alternate was back then, and just kept up as best we could. when i moved back to australia, kaitlin came to visit me (and my now-ex - who she hated, i should have known) in melbourme. it was like no time had passed, and our friendship had never skipped a beat. she was as i remembered her, and we fitted right back into where we left off.

until she met a boy. well no. until she met the boy. and together, they moved to london.

the week before she was due to move, she came to melbourne to see me for one last hurrah. i hardly recognised her; she was tiny. she'd lost so much weight, had all of her hair cut off, and was nothing like what i knew her to be. while she was still as outgoing as before, and her personality was very much still there, she was different. i suppose, she was in love. i had never even known she had that in her. she was growing up.

shortly after her move, is when the phone calls began. emotional, teary and heartbreaking calls during the day and into the night. i'd never in our friendship seen, heard or knew of a reason that would make kaitlin cry. this boy, that she'd followed half was across the world for, had gone and done the one thing i'd never thought someone could do; he broke her heart. and i wanted to kill him.

i arrived in london exactly six months later. we talked almost immediately. she was living in acton, west london, and i in essex. my first few months were hectic - travelling, making new friends, seeing the sights; it was a whirlwind of missed opportunities to catch up. six months later still, we finally agreed that enough was enough, and she came around to our flat for dinner.

we chatted about home, drank lots of wine and talked far too loudly until it was far too late. she'd replaced the boy with another, and the promise of meeting him was granted in the following weeks at my birthday party in town. she'd come up after work and together, we'd carried on as if we were still our old selves; me, not quite so old, and her, not quite so in love. it was clear that yes, we had changed. we weren't living the same lives we once had, but our friendship was as strong as ever.

since then, i can count on one hand how many times i've seen her. it's literally been a string of birthdays or special occasions bringing us together, and it appalls me to think that's partly my fault. i adore this girl, and 'catching up' with her last wednesday was an absolute delight.

we dined on delicious pan-asian food and drinks, and then shared a bottle of wine and a thousand stories in a bar in soho. we snap chatted her bevvy of beautiful men, while i talked about buying homewares and what colour paint i'd quite like to re-do my lounge room walls. we agreed that we've both been bad friends, and that we've simply been "too busy" to catch up more often - which is not necessarily a reference to having no time to do so, but in london, it becomes more about the time it takes to physically get somewhere to catch up. we have agreed to try harder. i have agreed that once my walls are painted, she may come around and watch me knit.

so, as i said. i believe in this case the term 'catch up' is overrated. i would gladly hand in all future 'catch up' opportunities to have a regular date with this girl... if only i had the half of her energy, i'd rule the world. although, she has said she's happy to come around and watch me blog while i drink tea, as long as i provide the alcohol (for her). i think that sounds do-able.

love your whole face, keets.