Some people say that the benefit of a lifetime friend is that they've known you through all the ups and downs and while there is a certain truth to that, that very knowledge can limit their understanding of the person you've become. The flip side is the joy of conversations started midway. Every time you see them. You haven't seen them for a while, and before you know it you are sitting in a half busy bar near your old college in your home town thrashing out the world's problems, creating perfect solutions to your own messes and pontificating like an expert on all aspects of their life and yours.
And they don't get offended by a sentence imperfectly imparted as long as the intention is good. They don't comment on your ageing or outfits because you don't notice those things after the bubble skirts and ripped jeans and big glasses of the 80s and 90s. Quite frankly, anything you are wearing these days is a vast improvement.
But they know that there is always part of you that is going to be pleased that you finally grew boobs, and you know that they worry about turning into their mother more than most. You look at what they have achieved and you are so very proud of them and they look at you and wonder if you're ever going to work out what you're doing with your life. And there is a comfort in that.
And vegemite - well thats like an old friend. You might not have vegemite sandwiches all the time, but making them for a road trip and pulling them out of the bag all squished and consuming them two thirds of the way through the journey is immensely satisfying. And seeing the vegemite smeared faces of your little people in the backseat. Well that is priceless. Just like old friends.