Monday, December 05, 2016

Have fun, will travel

Even though Jane left Charlottesville before I left Colorado, we ended up meeting at Penn Station at the same time. Her train kept getting delayed because - and I am not making this up - it was "a little bit on fire."  We found each other across from the Duane Reade at 6 p.m. on Friday afternoon and rather than deal with cabs or Uber (one dude tried to convince us to do an off the books Uber ride to the apartment for $45, which was more than twice what an actual Uber would have been, so we told him to stuff it), we hopped on the subway and were at the AirBnb in no time.
We were the last to arrive - the others were already drinking and engaging in shenanigans, per the text thread.

Wendy you missed the boob contest these people are having. You would have won.

                     She can still join when she arrives!!

           Alcohol flowing heavily. One bottle of wine down.

Boob contest? Amateur hour until I get there.

M and I are competing on a different level. #ittybitty

People were grabbing my bra padding. this place is out of control.

We got to the place, put our bags down, and put on clothes to go out in. I did two tequila shots.

The benefit of us being in our mid-40s is that we can afford really good tequila.

We were so excited to be together that we were talking too loud and laughing too loud and being ridiculous. Boobs were compared and felt up, like the way you would test out a cantaloupe (or a little mango) to see if it's ripe. If I had been an outsider looking in on the scene it would have prompted major eye rolls, but as a participant it was hilarious.

The plan for the weekend was hatched in June at Reunions. Every five years isn't anywhere near enough. That time with old friends is too rejuvenating. It's too important to break up the regular patterns of life with a shot of nostalgia and craziness fueled by both alcohol and coffee.  The timing meant that I spent the last month flying back and forth across the country - to Ann Arbor for football, to Virginia for Thanksgiving, to New York for a girls' weekend with close college friends.  Fuck it, I'll sleep when I'm dead.

How is it possible that we have known each other for almost 30 years?  I don't feel old enough. None of us feels old enough. I don't think any of us looks old enough, either. As my brother Sam remarked when he met us out for a drink the next night, we're a "well preserved" group. 

The first night we went out for Italian food and then headed to a gay cabaret bar. My friends nominated me when the piano player asked who wanted to come up and sing.  The woman who was up before me was kind of awful, bless her heart. 

A youngish English woman named Emma was skeptical as I headed up to the piano.

"Can your mate sing?" she asked Christi.

"I sure hope so," Christi answered.

I did Etta James's At Last, and didn't humiliate myself.


Emma became my number one fan.  All night long she would come up to our group, 


It always comes back to the boobs. And Emma can only speak in all caps.


So I did Aretha's Natural Woman. 

We drank lots of beer and couldn't stop laughing and smiling and we made friends with everyone at the bar. We finally made it back to the apartment, gabbed until 2 a.m., and went to bed. 

I didn't sleep enough but woke up happy. We had a little bit to eat and then decided to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. It was a gorgeous day and meandering through the city in the crisp air was a great way to wake up. We walked through the Lower East Side and through Chinatown and past City Hall and across the bridge, along with every other tourist in town. I bought some souvenir magnets but resisted the siren song of the selfie stick.

We walked and walked and had some lunch. Then we wandered around Union Square and walked back to the apartment to rest and chill out and shower before going out for the night. 

We dozed and had a snack and checked our phones and shared pictures of our kids. We talked about people we had gone to school with - who had done what, which catty bitches who had been mean girls had been left by their husbands, which former hotties were no longer so hot, which people had shown up at Reunions looking surprisingly dashing.  We enjoyed the fact that all we had done all day was hang out, and looked back wistfully at all the time we had had in college to just hang out. We had so much time. It's hard now to find time to just hang out with friends anymore. 

We wondered about our ability to rally.  

In the end, we did fine. We rallied.

The evening's fuel was margaritas and chips with really good guac and little mini tacos. Then we went to a bar than played 80s music and served $4 PBRs and $3 Coors Light drafts. I drank copious amounts of both, but it's basically beer-flavored water. We spent a lot of time waiting for the DJ to understand that just because a song was released in the 80s (and he actually fudged a bit on that point) it doesn't make it a decent dance song. There were bursts of dance greatness followed by frustrating song choices that didn't inspire us. But even complaining about that was fun. It became a running joke. 

It was another night of walking back to the apartment to hang out some more. We stopped at a bodega for popcorn and chips and a chocolate covered coconut Luna bar. We washed it down with the last of the tequila and margarita mix. 

Jane and I climbed into the bed we were sharing and talked as we fell asleep. We've been close friends for so long, and were roommates for a while in Atlanta, after I graduated from law school. We can talk to each other, and we did, about life and relationships and frustrations and joys and getting older. I felt happy and relaxed and loved.

And also tired and like I needed the balls of my feet replaced. But content overall.

I'm not sure where the energy came from, but before heading to the train the next day, Laura and Jane and I found the will to head over to the West Village and wander around some more. We walked down the High Line and down to Jane Street - a pilgrimage of sorts - and had some coffee and then walked back across the island to pick up our bags. Our final bit of weekend sustenance came in the form of an egg nog soft-serve cone, courtesy of the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop. If you need big gay instructions on how to do the Heimlich maneuver, here you go:

You're welcome.
Today is another post-reunion Monday. I'm tired and my feet still hurt. But I've got that familiar love hangover and my emotional batteries are full, and we're already planning the next one.

No comments:

Post a Comment