Make New Friends and Keep the Old: Making Plans

Do you remember those two friends I talked about before?  The couple who recently got engaged, the guy in the Navy and the girl in college?  Well, now they’ll be farther away from each other than New York to New Jersey – try New Jersey to Washington…state, that is.  See, Navy Boy just finished his first two years of training, I guess it is, and after that comes his assignment.  In this case, he’s being sent to Washington State.  College Girl, on the other hand, is still in college, and will be for the next couple of years – not even taking grad school into consideration.  On the one hand, she could go with him.  However, for the Navy to pay for her housing Navy Boy needs to sign on for another six years – that’s a really long time.  College Girl would also have to go to school out there, and leave all of her family and friends behind for the foreseeable future.  Or, they can be separated for even longer.  It’s a tough choice, and I can’t honestly say which is better or what I would do, because their situation seems so extreme.  Navy Boy’s brothers are all in some sort of service; his younger brother is also in the Navy and is about to be shipped overseas, so I guess his family has adapted to these big changes and grown used to talking to each other over Skype only.

The reason I bring this up is because College Girl and I were recently making plans for next summer – like driving to Vegas once we’re both 21, or even just a day trip to DC when we both have the time.  These kinds of plans, though, can all fall through depending on where our lives bring us over the next year.  Like Navy Boy, just last June the thought was that he would go to Virginia…Washington is a lot farther away than Virginia.

There’s that Death Cab for Cutie song, “What Sarah Said.”  In it, Ben Gibbard sings, “And it came to me then that every plan / is a tiny prayer to father time.”  Now, okay, that song is about watching someone die, but those lyrics really work in any situation.  In two years, a year, none of us can really know where we’ll be no matter how many plans we make, or vacations we plan.  But we still make plans, hoping that despite everything else we’ll be able to meet up with so and so for this or that.  I’m not really one for change, but it happens every day regardless of my feelings or opinions.  So, College Girl and I will make our plans for trips across the country cause that’s what friends do, and Navy Boy and College Girl will make their plans to get married and talk every night, no matter where they are, because that’s what people who love each other do.  There you are, father time, a few more prayers to look over.

-Mary K

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