I went on a girls’ weekend recently.
These friends and I had been trying to plan this weekend for years, but there never seemed to be a good time – money was too tight, or we were all too busy, or someone was about to have a baby.
The timing was not ideal for this particular trip either, especially for me. I had just returned from a weeklong business trip, during which I’d missed my family desperately. My lovely in-laws came to help with the bambino during my absence, and by the time I got home they had the wild-eyed look of folks in the throes of Stockholm syndrome. Much as they love their tiny captor and were thrilled to spend time with him, I think everyone was ready for life to go back to normal.
Sorry, folks. There was a poolside cocktail with my name on it waiting in Austin, Texas. Mama was home for a full 24 hours, then re-boarded a plane. When three best friends with full-time careers and kids can all magically get together on the same weekend, you jump at the chance, timing be damned.
And magic it was.
I have been best friends with these two women since high school, which means at this point they have been in my life for almost thirty years. I know other women I count among dearest and closest friends – my sister, friends from graduate school, or my freewheeling New York days – but among our trio there is a particular bond that comes from being close in those early formative years and the cumulative memories we’ve created together.
We’ve been though a lot in our thirty years of friendship. Shopping for prom dresses, then commiserating over disastrous prom hairdos and even more disastrous dates. Seeing who could swing highest at the beach playground at midnight, singing show tunes at the top of our lungs. Experimenting with tequila shots before homecoming. The giddy joys of first love, the varied experiences of lost virginity, the crush of first heartbreak. We danced under the lights of the Eiffel tower as a century changed, and later at each others’ weddings, when we each took turns as bridesmaids.
And as we’ve aged, we’ve seen each other through life’s difficulties as well: a failed marriage, a cancer diagnosis, the devastating loss of a parent, as well as that of a child.
But life was relatively good for all three of us on that girls’ weekend, and for me, at least, it was an utter relief to sink into the cool waters of a clear pool, slathered in sunblock and under a straw hat, happy in my pink bikini, and talk with these women about everything under the sun. There’s a certain shorthand of conversation that comes from those accumulated years of friendship, and we took full advantage of it, diving into each others’ sentences and thoughts as though we see each other daily and don’t live in three opposite corners of the country. In a few days we moved seamlessly from topic to topic, discussing our careers, to time with our kids, to how to keep kids from interrupting sex, to favorite sexual positions, to favorite yoga poses, to our disdain for juice diets, to ordering another pitcher of cocktails and bring a plate of fries with that too, please.
This series of books I’m writing is based on a group of female friends, and I spend a lot of time thinking about female friendship and trying to accurately portray its intricacies and strengths. Savoring our friendships with other women make us better in all other areas of our lives, strengthening the myriad of other roles we undertake: professional, wife, mother, daughter.
So thank you, ladies, for a fabulous and unforgettable weekend. My soul needed it more than I can express, and I can’t wait for the next one.