We all used to work together, but have now formed a sort of dinner club. No matter what we eat, the gossip is ALWAYS the juiciest course.
I think it's impossible not to grow close to the people you work with -- after all, you spend most of your waking hours together. This particular group of friends is very dear to me, they shared my excitement when my parents retired and first moved to Florida, and gave me a shoulder to cry on when things really didn't work out as planned. They didn't judge, they just listened, and it meant a lot.
Last night was a happy bookend -- sitting in my new apt, sharing the good news that my mom is doing better and my parents are back in the sunshine state. We ate and drank and laughed for hours, and as I loaded the dishwasher and gathered the trash, I realized it was the most wonderfully carefree evening I've had in while.