I spent the last two nights of my spring break away with The Gals.
Not my own girls, but with the most genuine girlfriends a gal could ask for.
College is a time of stress and growth and fun.
In those circumstances, bonding with those you share it with is only natural. I am blessed that those bonds remain strong to this day -- though time and distance try their best to weaken it.
So before I begin overindulging in Oreos while I cry over the topics of love, bonding, and the difficulties of long-distance friendships, I'm going to change the emotional direction of this post and reflect on some superficial guidelines that made my weekend the BEST gal pal reunion....
- Jumping up and down, squealing, and hugging are acceptable when reuniting with old friends, even in a public place such as, say, a hotel parking lot. I know we are 45. But that's the thing about being 45 -- we don't care what others think!
- Bring sleep aids to share: earplugs for the light sleepers and nasal strips for the snorers. No, I don't mean the pore cleaning ones, though someone could provide those too. It will help keep the peace if everyone is offered one, especially the ones who deny being a snorer! I seriously wondered how my sound-sensitive bed mate didn't suffocate under the two pillows she buried her head under. Hmmm. Must have been the others in the room, I was quiet all night!
- Snacks and drinks must be brought by all. There will be too much of both, but you may get a couple tasty new dip recipes out of it. (Bonus tip: Five women cannot eat two large pizzas for dinner. One will suffice. Especially after all that good dip.)
- Individual checks at meal times are required if you want the peace of mind that comes with knowing you aren't going to be paying extra for the lush at the table. Unless of course you are the lush at the table.
- Husbands need not worry when we call the 20-something bartender "Hon." He looks at us as if we are his mom, not a hot cougar. With a drink.
- Have an escape line at the ready when talk about politics or religion gets too un-comfy. These examples worked for us: "Soooo, what's your favorite candy bar?" and "I like what you did with your hair."
- Keep health talk to three minutes a person. This includes mental and physical health. Seriously, pull out the cell phone stopwatch and go around the table. Then be done. We are at the age when talking about our health problems is comparable to events worth medals of honor. But no one wants to hear about your medals. We want to talk about ours. As we get older we may need to increase the time allotted for this activity.
The camaraderie of old times came back in a wink. The trust we established in our young adulthood allowed us to waste no time opening our hearts to each other from the get-go.
So, thank you, gal pals, for continuing to be each other's cheerleaders, advisors and counselors.
That will come in handy when, let's say, one of us ends up in jail for jumping a turnstile at the El.