I had dinner with an old friend from school and his girlfriend tonight. This guy has been one of my close friends for over a decade, give or take a few brief and minor fall outs. He has been with this girl for about six or seven years, and I know her well. But I’d never really been able to care too much about her. Maybe that’s not the way to phrase it. She had never really made me feel much for her. She had always been pleasant enough, but just didn’t stir anything in me. But in recent weeks I’ve been spending a bit of time with them as we’ve all been living in the same city. This guy was the first of our friendship circle to properly move in with a girlfriend (in another state as well), and this was the first experience I had seeing their level of domesticity. I found it a little strange at first, and wasn’t sure how I liked the changes I was seeing in my old friend. But after tonight I’m convinced that I’m happy for them. Both of them.
She had just had some medical procedure this week and was still feeling very sore and groggy. She was upset, as the condition (though non-life threatening) is ongoing and will require regular surgical maintenance over time. I saw it in her eyes. For the first time since knowing her, I felt for her. I felt sad with her, I wanted her to feel better and be okay. My friend had taken time off work to stay home and look after her in the days after her procedure. Watching him speak about it, I saw seriousness and genuine care in his eyes. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but he’s only 23 and he has really made her a part of his life. I am a cynic when it comes to relationships, especially young relationships. But this moved me. I’m not sure why, it just did.