Monday, October 4, 2010

Girls Weekend

Two weekends ago I was honored to spend 72 hours with 3 fabulous women. We laughed hysterically, drank too much, ate dip for breakfast, lunch and dinner, stayed up late, asked each other inappropriate questions, rallied, hiked, drank some more, watched a movie, went on a boat ride, teased some duck hunters, ate lobster over the campfire, danced with a gorilla, and acted half our age.

It was divine.

I absolutely am not writing about these women in any order whatsoever. They are all wonderfully made, uniquely different and fulfill the word "friend" in their own personal, perfect way for me. They each make me laugh until I pee and lift me up when I need it most while offering such different perspectives on life. I am honored to know them all.

One of my cohorts is the curly-haired wild child who picked me up every day for school my senior year, despite the fact that the High School was literally in my backyard. We could have walked to school and burned a heater or two in the student smoking lounge (yes, seriously - one really did exist - even though I knew nobody who smoked). Or we could have strolled up and down Jock Hall (again, yes - it really was called that) oogling the boys for an hour before the bell for first period rang. Instead, she came into my house to banter with my parents, who absolutely adored her and would have adopted her as their own, while I finished primping for school. Then in our infinite wisdom, we piled into her car, smiled sweetly for someone to let us out of my driveway into a line of cars slowly making their way to the school where we all paid a little old lady in a booth a whopping quarter for the privilege of parking in the High School parking lot. Proof that teenagers are dumb.

But maybe we weren't so dumb. During those morning car rides, we dreamed together, agonized over boys together, laughed and cried together while becoming friends for life. And this is us on girls weekend, night one, after we mutually decide it would be better for us to gab on the dock, in the drizzling seventy degree rain, with just one more cocktail, until 4:00 in the morning.

Because we haven't had enough yet.

Gabbing or alcohol.
This girl and I have absolutely nothing in common when it comes to politics or religion or preference in Big Ten Universities, yet we connect on so many levels and depths that I can't imagine life without her. She is my go-to girl in times of joy and disappointment. I love her.

Her Girls Weekend pseudonym?
Feminist Chick.
See and understand.

The next one I met probably about eighteen years ago or so. Our husbands were fraternity brothers, and she might just be the sassiest, most independent, headstrong woman I've ever known. Yet she sacrificed a lucrative career to stay at home with her babies when they were little. We all at one point or another have been challenged with the struggle of balance. After working so hard to get that college degree (in this gem's case - Microbiology!) do we stay at home with kids? Does that mean that we'll never get hired again? Are we throwing it all away for domesticity? But shouldn't we, as nothing is more important than the well-being of our family and children? How can we possibly juggle full-time work with picking up and dropping off at daycare while maintaining the home and cooking and cleaning and finding time to keep our marriage strong?

It is not easy. Ever. For any of us. And what might be the right answer for some is not for others. I've come to learn that there is no right answer for all. Because we are all unique, and the perfect solution for one family might be something just as different and wonderful for another. This girl figured it out. I don't think it was easy along the way, but she was determined to maintain her independence while staying home to provide the balance her family needed. She now runs a successful food science consulting business - from the comfort of her own home.

Last year in a hysterical, cocktail-induced moment of the day I about busted a gut when I took in my surroundings while riding along on the boat.

Behold...I give you...Jackie-O.

And she made a special, repeat appearance this year. In character, of course.

Last, but in no uncertain terms least, there's the girl I've known the shortest amount of time but you'd never know it if you saw us together. Again, her husband and mine were fraternity brothers. Am I forever indebted to Kappa Sigma? Probably so. I met her six or seven years ago and my life has been the better for it since day one. This girl oozes and epitomizes independence, passion and simply stated, fun. This one never ceases to amaze me with her uncanny ability to get her groove on and have a great time no matter the circumstances. And just when I think I've nabbed her number and I've got her all figured out, she throws me a curveball. Example:  We're in a bar with our husbands. She and Mr. Musky are blathering back-and-forth about the Detroit Tigers and the Chicago Cubs. To the point where her husband and I just shake our heads and drink our beers. After jarring on and on, he challenges her with naming the starting lineup of the 1984 Tigers roster. She whips 'em out without batting an eye. Then he asks: "Who was the reliever in the final game?" At last, he thinks he's stumped her. She takes a big draw off her beer, thoughtfully sets it down, throws her arms in a "V" above her head and screams "WILLIE F*&KING HERNANDEZ!"

The bar goes wild, much to Mr. Musky's chagrin.

Months later, while exiting Soldier Field, Mr. Musky tries again. This time it was hockey - Blackhawks vs. Redwings. And the girl simply...would. not. back. down.

My absolute love and adoration for this amazing girl, her passion, and her ability to continually surprise me grows exponentially every time I'm around her.

She is hot.

She is also a mess.

Meet Hot Mess.

Not having my own nickname at the start of the weekend, we all agreed that it would just come. And it did. While watching a movie, sipping on a Bloody Mary (the official first cocktail of every day on Girls Weekend) despite being awake in the rain on the dock until 4:00 a.m. earlier that day, I said something about being a Rally Monkey.

Nickname official. Someone's got to keep the priorities straight and the idiocy moving.

I could go on infinitely about the fun we had that weekend, and the girls weekend last year. There's just something about shucking all day-to-day responsibility to act like complete and utter lunatics without judgment by your girlfriends. While I can't reveal our antics, just know that they were outrageous and hysterical and harmless. And I look forward to doing it all over again next year. My girlfriends make my heart sing.

In the spirit of the sisterhood of friendship, I promised to not post any of the 300+ preposterous pictures of the weekend. But I can't resist just one little nutty one. I commanded: "Give me your best sexy pose!"

The result:
We've got a little work to do.

Now go have dinner with one of your best girls.

XOXO,
Jen

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