Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Yes, this weekend I got to go on "holiday" with my friends. Sister-in-law/friend, Molly, detailed the adventure beautifully on her blog: from anticipatory packing, to luxurious weekend away, to returning home grateful that our children were not only surviving, but thriving under our husbands' sole care.
Having been back several days now, I keep thinking about how grateful I am to feel so comfortable and "at home" with these precious friends.
My initial excitement about this trip had a superficial element. Living in Chesterton, IN is wonderful - I realize it more every day - but I do occasionally spot a plane zooming across the sky and secretly wish I was aboard. I love to travel - love car trips, maps, airports, foreign languages, different foods - I even vary my route home from the grocery store to see different houses and streets. I also, being a southern girl at heart, love to dress up and go somewhere pretty. My husband teased me by poking fun at the receipts from the girls weekend. I guess stores like "Oh my darling" and "Chocolate Cafe" sounded a bit "girly" to him. "Who cares," I replied, "What's better than champagne and chocolate cake?" Apparently wine from a box and white castle, but that's another story.
All of this to say, that I was delighted that this little trip was happening. I had visited some of the wineries and small Michigan towns with my husband, parents and little ones. I thought then that it would be so nice to go with girlfriends - take our time - eat good food - drink nice wine - read - talk....
We stopped for lunch on the first day at Tabor Hill winery and restaurant. Feeling especially fancy, I ordered a glass of champagne with lunch. It was at about this point - the height of my fanciness (dressed up, drinking champagne in a nice restaurant overlooking a vineyard, and discussing the latest books we were reading - mine was the historical biography Nicholas and Alexandra) that I - well - snotted. In my defense, I was coming down with a terrible head cold, but it would have been a bad thing to have happen on a first date. Not to be too graphic, but it was like I sneezed- I didn't actually - I think I sort of coughed - and much mucus came out of my nose. At the table. While drinking champagne.
And that's when I realized just how much I love these girls. They all went to college together and have weird, embarrassing stories about one another that never fail to crack me up. In fact - I've heard them so many times now, that they are apart of me and my history. I think the reason that they are so precious - these crazy tales of awkward calls to "boyfriends," strange outfit choices, and big (or little) hair dos is that I was so competitive and insecure in college I did all I could to prevent that side - my "real" side from showing. No wonder my relationships were shallow.
As women, these goofy, girls are intelligent, pure of heart, and extremely beautiful. I am honored to be one of their friends. But most special to me - is that over the years, their genuineness has helped me heal. Their ability to be real and vulnerable has allowed me to experience true friendship - and that (please excuse the Sara McLaughlin/Bridget Jones cheesiness) is definitely better than chocolate cake.