October 6, 2014
Blog # 5
Friday afternoon after a week of emails/texts/grocery lists and mayhem, myself and my three neighborhood “besties” packed the SUV to the brim with food, beverages, and the requisite cosmetics of the fifty something woman and headed out for “Girl’s Weekend” in the San Juan Islands. There was a general feeling of euphoria in the car as we merged onto the freeway and tossed our Mommy hats out the window and headed off to dance, laugh, cook, laugh, drink, laugh and act like people that would no doubt embarrass and shame our teenage children.
There are some definite advantages to travelling with compatible women – especially those of us who are “a few years out of the dewy glow of youth stage.”
#1 – Menopause Awareness. At any given time when four women of a certain age travel together one is quietly rolling down a window, stripping off clothes, turning on the a/c or fanning oneself. The other women all nod knowingly, assist with fanning, scramble to aim their air vents for helpful redistribution and no explanation is needed. We also are adept at continuing conversation when someone loses a noun mid sentence or can’t remember specific details of a past event – like yesterday’s phone dialogue.
#2 – Drinking. We can buy much better booze. We have moved past the stage of pilfering partial portions of disparate liquors out of our parent’s liquor cabinets and blending them into a fine cuvee to be mixed with diet coke and have thankfully moved into purchasing fine cuvees purposefully blended by professionals. There is also the innate knowledge that Happy Hour can start at any time of the day and the understanding that what happens on “Girls Weekend” does not need to get posted to social media and if it does that all participants must okay before the send button is pushed.
#3 – The Drugstore Factor. Between four women – there is always someone with extra Tum’s, tissues, water, ibuprofen, vitamin B-12, allergy medication, deep penetrating wrinkle cream, make up remover, hand sanitizer, under eye cream, chap-stick, breath mint or toothpaste.
#4 – Food. I realize that part of this advantage involves this particular set of gal pals, but the cooking and eating on these annual excursions is absolutely five-star. From the Prosecco picnic in the ferry line to the figs with goat cheese & honey that appear like a blink of an eye when one is feeling peckish to the multi course all night dinners, we eat well. We all like to cook and menu planning and plotting with cooking partners begins weeks in advance. Once the 200 lbs of food are unloaded from the car into the kitchen, music is turned on and the festivities begin. The sounds of sizzling and chopping are an accompaniment to the singing and gossip. This weekend involved “The Small Plate Evening” featuring Thai Shrimp, crab & avocado atop jicama, roasted baby potato bites with a bowl licking dip, deep fried jalapeno stuffed green olives and the “Autumn Festival Evening” featuring baked polenta cooked with goat cheese & caramelized onions topped with a plethora of roasted vegetables and a long simmered marinara on the side and crème Brule for dessert. Suffice it to say we were ready for long hikes and larger pants in the afternoons.
#5 – Conversations. Every important subject in the world is endlessly covered during girl’s weekends. From immigration reform, to Ted Bundy, the empty nest syndrome, ideal job situations, how to take a selfie without a double chin or whether or not the Kiss My Face Toning and Tightening Face Wash found in the shower can be used on your stomach and butt. And if you travel with the right gal pals, while you may not always agree – you do always respect.
So my dear readers – my advice to you is to never pass an opportunity to take that break with your friends. It is so easy to get caught up in the everyday fracas of life and taking that time for yourself refreshes the soul and opens your eyes to the person inside of you who is not a wife, mother, or employee. That person is funny and smart and self reliant and likes to laugh and dance. And although my liver may need a few days to renew to a normal state and my neck is stiff from boogie whiplash, my heart is full and my laugh lines are deeper. And that is a beautiful thing.