Last Friday night, I organized a reunion. It wasn’t a high school or college reunion. It was a reunion of people who worked together in Baltimore for a baseball team called the Orioles. Having spent many seasons as an employee of the club, and having many friends who did the same (some of them still there enjoying last year’s great season as well as this one), we decided it was time for a big get-together.
Many folks may say that it sounds crazy that former colleagues want to get together—but the fact of the matter is—that’s where many of us “grew up” in our 20s and 30s when we were getting know who we were as people. When you work 81 home games, spend countless hours working on projects and events during the off-season and in-season, you get to know people pretty well. Lifelong friendships are formed.
I recall nights working the games when we would stay until the last pitch, and then we would go sing Karaoke at a club or hang out and have a beer on site. The antics that went on during that time of our lives were fantastic. I was reminiscing with Paul, the O’s former groundskeeper, as we recounted times past on Friday night. I reminded him of how he used to make Julie and me take off our shoes for team picture day, and how pitcher Mike Mussina decided to confiscate our shoes and hide them in the clubhouse. We were a pair of shoeless dames for hours after that happened.
In cases where you spend inordinate amounts of time together, bonds of friendship can be quite strong. In fact, my best friends were made there—people who love you for you—unconditionally, and without question. It’s also quite special because I met my husband there. But I wasn’t the only one—many of us married people we worked with as well.
For a moment, I stood on that rooftop bar at Camden Yards on Friday night, and took it all in; it was as if not a day had passed. Everyone looked fantastic. Everyone was smiling, hugging, catching up, and wishing the night didn’t have to end. Even though we don’t see each other as much as we used to or want to and are busy with children, work, and activities, we just pick right up where we left off.
That evening was so special to me—and depicts the true meaning of friendship.