I have such a difficult time remembering movies. I always thought I had some sort of “comprehension ” issue with them because I can literally watch a movie twice and it be like I’m watching it all over again for the first time. But, there are scenes that can stick with me forever. Any “Sex in the City ” fan worth their salt will remember the scene after Carrie and Big got married by the Justice of the Peace (after he left her at the alter of their posh wedding) where he had her girlfriends waiting for her and he said “Go, you guys have fun”. I thought it was so touching. As corny as it seemed I thought he gets it. That’s what my girlfriends mean to me. And Frankly , all of our husbands on some level knew they had to be like Big this time. We all needed some time alone together so badly. My girlfriend Claire joked she had been living for the weekend. She wasn’t alone. With my Dad passing and the stress of caring for 3 children it was a MUST to get away.
I met my college girlfriends very shortly after I first entered college. We were all 17 Freshman year. We were those kids that everyone “red shirts” or “holds back ” now. There were four of us and we were all born in late November (me) and the rest early December. We celebrated 21 together, 30 and now we were all turning 40. I knew we had to do something monumental. I planned a trip to NYC. With me in Dallas, it’s only a 3 hour plane ride and the girls in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, it’s about a little over 3 hour trek for them as well. It seemed like a fun and fair place to meet.
When we planned our trip we kept saying how fun and crazy it was going to be. We used phrases like, “We will take New York by storm”, “We would light up the night” and some other rather funny things I’m embarrassed to write. While the trip was pretty tame for us, it ended up being one of the most emotional ones for me.
I started the weekend flying into the airport and taking a cab to the hotel in the city. One of my favorites things in the world to to is to ride in a New York cab and take in the sights and sounds of the city. From the moment I see that New York skyline I am struck by exteme emotion. When I was about 21 years old I visited a friend in New York. We were in a bar in the Village and I had this feeling come over me that I had lived there in another life and that I HAD to live there at some point in my life. New York was electric to me and I saw it as the center of the Universe. I graduated college and got my first job. Oddly enough, it was selling Mutual Funds and Insurance for a financial company. I became the third rookie in the company on some crazy list one month, saved my money from commissions and plotted my plan to get to New York City. One day, I boarded an Amtrack train from Providence to New York, met with a recruiter who set up two interviews for me that day and headed back to Providence that night with and offer from Prudential Securities as a Legal Assistant in their Law Department. During the interview I sat in a corner office talking to one of the Department Heads overlooking a spectacular view of the city. I was 22 and in AWE! When I went home and told my Mom and Dad they said they were in shock. My mother said she had never seen anything like it. I joke to this day and say that’s what motivation looks like. I was extremely motivated. My father, who never got mad at me, screamed, “You are my daughter and I love you very much and I don’t want to see you killed in New York City”. They supported my decision. Not sure they could have stopped it as it was all my own money. My Mom became secretly excited that she had a fun place to visit. Christine was in graduate school at Yale at the time and I moved into her tiny apartment and slept on a futon until I could find a place of my own. I was young, determined and I figured it out. I hope my kids have even an ounce of what I had. Christine talked about it again on our girls trip. Like my parents, she said she had never seen anything like it.
The cab ride into the City brought back so much of my time there. I drove down the FDR and saw my old apartment. An apartment I shared with a Vetrenatian student that used to rescue chihuahuas. I remembered the girl I was then and kept wondering how is it am I going to be 40. Like seriously how? It all seems like yesterday. That girl I was was really cool. I remembered the utter freedom I had living in the city at 22!
The girls met me later and we were so excited. We got up in the morning ready to take on the city. Breakfast and shopping was well underway at 9am. At breakfast we just talked. Talked and talked about the demands of homework, being tired and then somewhere mid stream we just relaxed and started laughing like we did years ago. There is one friend in particular, Christina, that can make me laugh like no other. Christina is someone that if I just look at her I laugh. I know exactly what she’s thinking and we are probably the two most similar in personalities. We talked, laughed and even cried at breakfast. Then she whipped out her makeup case and started showing me her beautiful Chanel lipglosses. She told me to try them on. Of course, I loved them so I had to pick one up on the trip. True girlfriends know when it’s time to whip out the lipgloss, let you try it and tell you honestly how it looks. Then they march you right over to the Chanel counter to pick it up.
There are so many funny things that happened to us on the trip. Like when we asked a young clerk at Bloomingdales where a fun hip spot would be for lunch and she responded “There’s a Johnny Rockets around the corner”. Talk about feeling 40 then. We couldn’t stop laughing. We ended up at a pretty popular lunch spot called Dos Caminos. There we all talked about college, all the crazy things we did, the boyfriends and all the stories. No shock but Christina and I had the zaniest stories and the most boyfriends. Ha! We were both so full of piss and vinegar. This was my favorite part of the trip. Taking a trip down memory lane with some of the best Mexican food and some really stiff drinks in hand. The best part was there were no little people bothering us. Eating that many decent meals with no interruptions is a feat in itself. Eating and reminiscing with a 40 year old perspective. At one point we were remembering a story and Christina blurted out, “Oh my God, what if my girls do that?”. So frightening. Hopefully they will have some good friends to do it with.
At dinner that night we saw a Jonas brother and some reality star named Gigi that the Jonas brother is dating. Christina approached Gigi in the bathroom. This Gigi told Christina she was very stylish. I think it made her year. Some lady in a North Face coat walked right up to me, snapped a picture of me and walked off. Although I was utterly flabbergasted and annoyed, I was flattered maybe she thought I was someone famous. I mean I do write a blog! What a laugh.
Much of our time was spent eating and talking. It was a brutal reality coming back to normal life. On the plane ride back I thought how lucky we all were to get the time away but also how lucky we were to have found each other. Two of my girlfriends are twins so they are already sisters but to me my girlfriends are my sisters. I can’t imagine life without them and I always say I don’t want to. I thought about celebrating 50 with them. Christina said at lunch we all found each other. Everyone should be so lucky. Everyone should plan a girls trip , take a trip down memory lane, drink stiff drinks, bump into a few celebrities and buy overpriced lipglosses with their best friends from time to time. I hope we are still celebrating birthdays until we look like the ladies pictured above. Something tells me we will. Because, just like the memories we were remembering last weekend, this trip will be a memory we tell in the future. There is something very frightening about that, but equally as comforting.