Years ago, it would've involved shots, faux bridal veils, strippers, singles, catcalls, and inappropriate flesh-colored straws. Instead, we lounged poolside in a cabana, sipped champagne, wore sunscreen, and took naps.
The bride opened gifts of beautiful lingerie that made me envy her new lacy wardrobe. Someone gifted her a leather whip and a Michael Jackson red leather glove. I didn't even ask. A whipping glove for the bedroom? Someone means business and is stuck in the 80's.
Our bride gave a heartfelt speech telling everyone how much they meant to her. The closest we got to men was a group of guys who presented the bride a shot of Patron Silver, which we shared while discussing how to appropriately remember the groom's mother at the wedding. She passed away several years ago. On her deathbed, she told her son if he's smart, he'd marry this girl. The woman deserves a shrine.
What's great about spending time with friends you've known for a lifetime is the conversations that remind you of who you were before life got serious. It's easy to get caught up in the present moment, fixing the current problem, achieving the next goal. It's refreshing to talk about simpler times when we were kids. And also to vent about life with people who remember us as teenagers and don't know everything that's happened in between.
I don't know why I bothered to download a sweet 90's playlist on Spotify. I thought we'd sing along and recall memories of high school dances and dates. We didn't listen to a single song during the drive to Palm Springs or the way back. The four of us jousted verbally, one-upping each other with something truly horrifying or awesome, but more often horrifying. When one girl took a breath, another jumped in with a piece of advice or a snarky joke or highjacked the conversation with her own sordid tale. In the end, it was like an episode of Dr. Phil. Not Maury Povich. Nobody's worried about who's the father. What kind of people do you people think I associate with?
It was one of those conversations that inspired me to click back on this blog. The last time was September of 2011. Nearly three years ago. It's about time.
I was talking to my girlfriend Melisa about my father's Parkinson's disease and she said to cherish every moment I have with my father. When we were kids, she lived around the corner from me, so I would always run away to her house when my parents and I had a fight. When they couldn't find me, they'd call her mom to send me home, but at least I had made my point. Life sucks without me! I also spent a few afternoons hiding in my closet hoping my mom would look for me and call the cops to report a missing child and I'd come out acting all sleepy and say, mom, I fell asleep in the closet because I was cleaning it and she'd cry tears of relief and feel proud that her daughter was practically Cinderella, exhausted from cleaning so much. Nevermind the rest of my room was a disaster. She never did come looking for me. I'd get bored of waiting and pretend-sleeping in my closet and come out for a sandwich.
Melisa says she remembered waking up at my house and instead of watching TV I'd be at the kitchen table reading the newspaper next to my dad. She says she thought it was strange, but remembered it fondly, like I was trying to be just like my dad. She didn't realize I wasn't copying my dad, I just loved to read. So did my dad and that's why we were fighting over sections of the newspaper. My little brother also started drinking coffee as a toddler. Black, like my parents drank it. We were little adults, or just wanting to show our parents we were just as smart as they were. Two against two.
Still, that memory triggered all sorts of memories of loving to read, which I still love to do, but it also reminded me that I love to write.
I am a romantic writer at heart. I love passionate, dramatic, sometimes scary and wistful stories and observing people and acting like I know what they're thinking and making up a story about it. I write about what excites me. A friend once said it's like I have a marching band playing in my head. That's why writing about challenges has always been easier for me on the other side of the journey, because then I can act wise and give advice to everyone else after I've learned through my own crappy experiences.
Spending the weekend with lifelong friends made me feel renewed and reminded me of something that makes me happy. And clicking on this site and seeing that people still visit it everyday to find a photo from three years ago put a fire under me to do a little writing this morning.
I also got blonder and Instagram happened. Thanks filters!