Chances are, most people are no longer friends with their old high school pals once real life settles in. Maybe for a few years after graduation people manage to keep in touch here and there, either through parties or old hangouts, but eventually the bonds of high school camaraderie tend to break down like stretched out chewing gum, inevitably tearing apart for good. Oh sure, you might still be considered "friends" through social platforms like Facebook and the like, showing support for others' statuses or posts, but for the most part (exceptions are, of course, life-long friends whose relationships are far more profound than normal-level friends) people never really spend time together like they did when they were younger. It's not that any cataclysmic or profound event caused these friendships to drift apart, it's just life. People and their interests change, that's all.
And you know what?! It seems like people's interests change all the time! Have you noticed this, too? If you have a kid, you definitely know what I'm talking about. Luckily, my little half-pint is still too young to form any strong opinion for himself yet; he wears what we tell him to, no fuss. It's actually a lot of fun seeing what we can get away with at this point. And to this date, no calls from Child Services, so we're doing good at just staying below the radar.
My folks, however, never stop telling me how much of an annoying little wishy-washy shit I was. So if you are or ever were in the same boat as them, you know all too well how your miniaturized version of yourself can enter and exit phases faster than your member of parliament can change their stance on pretty much anything. As soon as you get your kid's room all decked out in their favourite super-hero's overpriced bed sheets, towels, and limited-edition printed toilet paper, they tell you it's all too mainstream and now want everything blank, not willing to sell out their five-year old street cred to just any gluttonous corporation looking to feast on wanton consumer indulgence. Try finding anything blank in a kid's size 7. It can't be done! Commercial licensing rights flow through clothing manufacturers' wares like the sweat of the orphans making them. After months of fruitless search at every store in town, out-of-province and ultimately outer-space, my resourceful parents eventually found inspiration in Robert Munsch's The Paperbag Princess. It was practically their Bible. Grocery stores became their clothing stores, at least as far as their kid's wardrobe was concerned. And I'm not afraid to tell you, the venting afforded through an upside-down paper bag to a young boy is actually a welcome benefit, especially during my ascension into puberty at the tender age of sixteen. Always a bit of a procrastinator, I was.
But it doesn't matter how young or old someone is, they all eventually amend their own personal settings on an individual level. As the years on calendars change, so do people's interests, life goals, and waist sizes. Nothing is ever constant. Some guy was once quoted as saying "The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change" It was Heraclitus. How's that for research, huh? But more importantly, how's that for a truth? No one can argue with that. Some things may look like they don't change, even for millions of years, but they do. Physically, spiritually, mentally, atomically, it all changes. Even my opinion on this. Today I say that the only constant is change. I adamantly hold on to that opinion, you can't change my mind, I'll say. But come to me later with a hundred bucks to say exactly the opposite and you can bet I'll sell out that little truth for money. Shoot, I'll even make t-shirts that have "Change is a myth, everything stays the same, always." printed on them. I came a long way, haven't I? From youthful idealism free of corporate influence to selling out for just a bit more than the price of a tank of gas. See how people change?
My point is this. People will change, you can't fight it. They might even pretend to like something you like so they can use you. And since my loving wife isn't in the room at the moment to stop me, I'll use her as an example. When I was hopelessly smitten with her during our teenage dating years, one of our favourite things to do was watching monster movies together -The Thing, Alien, Tremors, Mrs. Doubtfire - and cuddling up close. Some nights, we'd have friends watch movies with us, and whenever the other girls would scream and cover their eyes, my future wife would tell them to just quit being babies and watch the next scene. I knew I'd found something special.
Eventually, we were married. But then I found work out of town, and my once vampire-slayer of a bride wouldn't watch scary movies anymore. My not being home several nights a week wrought too much scarium (Check Table of Elements #119) into her overactive imagination. Only if I were back home every night would she indulge in our old tradition once more. So I found different work, and I was home every night, looking oh so forward to creepy movies with my better half.
"Sorry, hon, I can't do scary movies anymore," she said.
Turns out divorce lawyers charge, like, six hundred bucks an hour, so that option was out. I was into it for the long haul then. I'd been swindled by the love of my life! Duped, hoodwinked, fleeced and hornswoggled! I never felt so used. This was a decade-long, deep cover infiltration operation for my wife to first get married, gain access into my pants, and ultimately start a family, that little shrew! I can't believe how she...I mean, the nerve of her to...but...but... Tremors 5 recently came out...eee....
Ah, forget it. It's not really important, is it? So I've lost one itty-bitty little thing we once had. Big deal. I've got some good buddies who love watching monster movies too, and though they tend to squirm uncomfortably when I try to cuddle, it's a good time. Besides, I've gained so much more in my adult life in exchange for a silly old teenage ritual. I have an undeniably beautiful, loving and supportive wife, a wonderful little boy who reminds me constantly the importance of living in the moment, and a life I wouldn't trade to anyone for anything. So keep your hundred bucks. Things change. People change. And that's the way it oughta be.