This post has taken a long time to write. Last week was a little busy, and so it left little time to assemble my various thoughts into something cohesive, much less interesting. Also, I noticed I would switch from 1st to 2nd person all the time, or from past tense to future tense, and this drove me nuts! It made me realize I must not know very much about grammar and instead I write like I talk. It seems as though I talk bad. Badly! So, I would be writing and all of a sudden language just seemed so weird and I thought I was thinking about it too hard and so I stopped thinking about it and, nothing happened. What follows is my last, best effort.
I spent last weekend with the girlfriends I have known since grade school. These are the girls who I was with in Brownies and Girl Scouts, elementary school sports, middle school drama, and that weird microcosm that is High School in a Small Town. In other words, these are my homegirls. We go aaaaall the way back. They have known me for so long that anything I say to them is already in context. I don't have to explain anything, they just get it. There is so much history between us.
This is nice for several reasons. There is no pretense, because while everyone remembers that in 4th grade I had that really bad haircut, they love me anyway. We all have one of those in our closet - either the bad haircut or its crisis-level-relevant-to-adolescent-crises equivalent. We've had sleepovers at one another's houses, we've gotten into trouble together (some more than others...me more than others...Hey! I used to be a lot of fun.) We've survived boyfriends, breakups, and petty fights; teased to the ceiling bangs and neon-colored accessories. Yikes, the 80's were full of trends I'd like to forget.
I admire these women. They are all mothers, and all excellent at the endeavor. They are strong and disciplined and creative; they are funny, sweet, and genuine. Any one of them I would consider an honor to raise my child if something were to happen to my husband and myself, God forbid.
(Meanwhile K, who has four kids, is frantically pointing to the friend on her left. "Pick her! I've already got four!")
This year's trip was different in a number of disconcerting ways. First, not all of us were there. "Us" consists of the four friends - J, J, K, M - and myself. One of the J's had to go to the county fair to help their kids show and sell their chickens, and of course that took all weekend. It couldn't be helped and we don't blame her, it just stunk. For all of us.
Friday started off with that disappointment, so on Saturday we consoled ourselves with a pedicure:
My foot wasn't in this, the close-up shot.
After that we took photos because! Did you see the tiny flowers?!?
It's Lincoln City, so of course we went to the outlet mall to shop for our kids, mostly. Such deals to be had in August at the outlet mall. Deals must not be passed up.
The second thing that was different was the number of us that went out Saturday night. Friday night is usually our night to talk nonstop and catch up with each other's lives since we don't all talk throughout the year, and all have kids and jobs and things that keep us busy and unable to talk on the phone when we please, unlike the high school days when we had each other's phone numbers memorized. M and I wanted to go out so we went first to the casino, then to the karaoke bar. Still, it was fun but not as fun as it could have been because our friend K can sing. I mean, really sing, and I always love to hear her sing. It makes me cry. I like to cry when I hear her sing, it's just my thing. I was sad to be deprived of this emotional experience, if that doesn't sound too crazy.
She can do justice to Martina McBride people, not many American Idols can say that.
We had a kind of argument, no, debate, about the bathroom lights. It was to do with the wording of a label. The downstairs bathroom had a lightswitch labeled "can lights". I thought, "haha! They labeled the lights in the bathroom - otherwise known as the can - as can lights! HA HA HA"
This delighted me to no end, and so my friend J decided that it was a weird thing to deduce. She looked at the lights recessed into the ceiling and noticed they were canister style lights. (BTW, who besides construction workers know there are things called canister lights??? Nobody, that's who.) I was then the dumb, non-canister-style-light-knowing-about person. No one referred to me as such out loud, but it was implied.
Next unusual thing was that J had to leave early. Evidence to the fact:
I think it is a near miracle that five women can get away for an entire weekend in the summer and leave behind various family members and eschew other plans in order to spend time with their friends from way back. We've been doing this for, I think, six years now. AMAZING! I also know that things will not always be this way.
In time, for one reason or another, life will come up and our schedules will not allow for this kind of togetherness.
Change, the only constant there is.
I felt that I really needed this weekend this year. I needed to be with people who knew me. I needed to let loose and have fun and talktalktalk to people who wouldn't try to fix things or judge me, but would provide that all-important sounding board. Through the action of talking I would feel better. Knowing the information would not be used against me, I could relax and let it out.
We'll always have the past six years. And who knows, if we're lucky, we might even have next year, too.