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It’s gone on for a couple of years now: On a Saturday toward the end of each month I meet one of my closest friends for coffee.

Rarely have we canceled. If one of us has to, it better be for a good reason. A very, very good reason. None of this “I’m too busy” or “the weather is lousy” talk. If one of us is out of town, we may change the coffee date to a week earlier or later. Or we might switch the time from the usual 9 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. or 10 a.m. to fit in an emergency hair appointment or other commitment. But, again, that rarely happens. We tend to keep our mornings to meet clear.

A day or two before, we text each other to confirm things. We used to talk about changing the location, but we don’t even do that anymore. One date. One time. One location.

Why complicate things?

The reason we did this is that we simply were never getting together. We only talked about it. “Call me sometime,” we would say. But the “sometime” rarely came.

I recall the first few times we met for our coffee chat. Morning coffee was turning into lunch hour. That’s how much we had to catch up on. These days, we can wrap things up in an hour or so, if we choose.

We cover a lot of territory, my friend and I. We update each other on family and work, of course, but so much more. I have spread new kitchen countertop samples across the table and asked her opinion. She has shown me photos of a family trip. Then, before we depart, we whip out our calendars and mark the date for the next month.

It’s marvelous.

This is not to say that we are brilliant planners to have come up with this idea. Many people – including other women I know – make routine dates for getting together.

It might be a monthly lunch or Bunco night. A weekly yoga class or tennis game. Even a regular gathering when the kids are shuffle ball changing in tap dance class.

I feel like I’m on a little bit of a social roll here. I recently joined some other women friends for dinner. Sure, it took 2,000 texts ahead of time to decide on the restaurant. But after lingering over dessert and staying up very late for us, we all wondered, “Why don’t we do this more often?”

Next month sounds very good to me.

email: smartin@buffnews.com