Someone old and someone new / by Susie Lubell

Say it together with me.
Ahhhhhh....
I just came back from a much needed, too short and deliriously enjoyable weekend in Portland, a place I had never been, to meet one of my newest old friends and one of my oldest new friends.

Aimee is someone I met online. Huh? Yes, I met her online. I commented on her blog. And then she commented back. And then we started emailing. Very long emails. The kind you used to send in 1996 before people stopped writing in conventional language in favor of short phrases with no vowels. Yes, those kind of emails. And it just happened we were both artists with MBAs (so incongruous!) and mommies of small children and makers of ketubahs and well the list of similarities goes on and on. And so, one day, when we were both feeling the need to get away, we hatched a plan to meet in Portland. And that's just what we did. We flew in Friday night, I met her at her gate and we didn't stop talking until she left Sunday morning. And we wandered around freezing Portland and talked our heads off, drank coffee, ate amazing food, bought matching sweaters (well, different sweaters from the same woman at the Saturday market) and got lost in Powell's bookstore. It was like we had known each other our whole lives. And that is why Aimee is my newest old friend.




And my oldest new friend is Jenn. Jenn lives in Portland and is chef and owner of Lincoln Restaurant and Culinary Artistry. She is someone I worked with when I was 16 and a counselor at summer camp. We hadn't seen each other in nearly twenty years. About five years ago we were in touch briefly. And then about 8 months ago I saw a little blurb on her in Real Simple magazine so I nearly had a heart attack and looked her up to find that she had opened a restaurant in Portland. I immediately wrote to her and we even spoke on the phone. So when Aimee and I decided on Portland I knew I needed to see Jenn too. We ate dinner at Jenn's restaurant on Friday night and it was amazing to be in the company of two incredibly talented and creative women. Catching up. Getting to know each other. And eating the most delicious food I've had in a very long time. Maybe ever. Go eat at Lincoln if you're ever in Portland.

Aimee flew home early Sunday and I spent the rest of the day with Jenn. More talking. More eating. And even though in some ways it felt like we just slipped right back into the our old friendship, in many ways it felt more like our friendship, or at least this chapter of it, was entirely new.

So there it is. A weekend of grub and gab with two exceptionally inspiring and supportive women. It was just what I needed. Because, friends, I am not great at reaching out. I'm shy. I get intimidated. I assume no one remembers me. But I'm finding that the more I do it, the easier it is and the happier I am to be connected.