How many reunited high school friends does it take to mow a lawn?
That was just one of many life-altering questions that was explored this past weekend. Others included: How many ways can one mis-use the term ‘and such as?’; Can lawn darts really cause stiff muscles?; How often do the police knock on my door?; Can the community compost be both closed and a photo-op?; and Who ever thought that a mimosa was even remotely acceptable as a substitute for coffee in the morning?
New and exciting concepts were tested for validity – besides booze for breakfast. Those included HDMI cables for hooking up a laptop to a television; being befriended by a tuckered out toddler at the Farmer’s Market; actually cooking a meal to eat at home; Boggle-ing minds; and going to a pub to watch an NHL play-off game where only the oblivious and reluctant could win free drinks.
In a nutshell, the previous two paragraphs sum up the weekend where I spent approximately sixty hours with two dear friends from high school that I hadn’t seen in an estimated 26-years. Thelma and Louise came to visit me with one apparent objective: To reintroduce my middle-aged and previously sober system to alcohol. Well, maybe two objectives. We also had tons and tons of fun. It was like the last quarter century + of being apart never happened.
Besides having Thelma and Louise (not their real names in case you were wondering) as house-guests, I discovered a few things that I may have already known intellectually, but now know emotionally and spiritually. I’m not too old to have fun. Houston is really a pretty cool little town. And staying in touch is one of the most precious things in the world. Here we were, three nearly-fifty-year-old women who, in spite of having learned a thing or two over the years, still full of passion for life and still filled with genuine love for each other. I’m in total awe of how marvellous we all are.
Our children (nine, collectively) are all grown up. We’ve had a variety of jobs and experiences. We’ve all been married (two of us still are). Two of us are grandmothers. We are strong, intelligent, creative and amazing people. From being thrown together randomly in classes in school, we forged a bond that somehow, though highly elastic, has never been broken.
Before their arrival on Thursday evening, I have to admit to thinking that this might be an elaborate joke of which I would be the butt. I couldn’t believe that they would actually make the 13-hour journey just to see me. It was a moment of deep self-doubt. Why would they do that? Then again, why wouldn’t they? I would – if I wasn’t too chicken to drive all the way to Chilliwack by myself! When the phone rang and they announced that they were passing the welcome to Houston sign, my heart soared. Then dropped like a stone. Dear God, what if we couldn’t find anything to talk about? Should I change my clothes? It was like preparing for a blind date. I even tested my breath in my hand.
But all inhibitions were pushed aside when they hugged me! Well, most of them were. Having to sing Do-wa-ditty during my turn at lawn darts was extremely, extremely uncomfortable. I can’t say I was overly crazy about spending an evening in a pub either, but that was just my inner hermit balking out of habit at the chance to have a night out. I have come to the conclusion that pubs are not so bad when you are with people you love and can laugh with. (Hockey games notwithstanding.) Thelma and Louise reminded me who I used to be. While I’ve always thought of myself as being somewhat unconventional, I realize now that I’m not as avant-garde as I was wont to think of myself. I’ve a propensity of erring on the side of caution, taking the safer, most comfortable routes to originality. I contain my creativity to that which is not too far-out or quirky.
So I’ve decided to join the Red Hat Society.
I’m not old enough to wear a red hat yet. But I figure that I will have a whole year to find just the right red hat. And I shall wear purple!
As for how many reunited high school friends it takes to mow a lawn, well, the answer is three, three ex-eighteen-year-olds who are all thankful that the lawn is small.