This weekend I found myself at the movies with a group of women, excluding one, I’ve known 20+ years (well, excluding two if you count the niece of my oldest and dearest friend, who is only 14, so I’ve only known her 14 years). It wasn’t a carefully orchestrated event. It was just one of those random –
Hey, I want to see that movie, The Help this weekend because I read the book and it was rad.
Dude, I’m in.
Did you say The Help? Me too. Name when and where.
There will be drinking and a general lack of husbands, right?
I’m in too.
– kinda things that grew into a gaggle of 30-something married ladies (and one teenager) grabbing dinner and a movie.
I looked around me at one point and realized that even though these people have all grown out of teenage acne and the early-90s/late-80s hairstyles we had when we met, even though many of them have children of their own and careers and homes and the like, nothing significant has really changed. We may get grayer, have more expensive purses and answer to ‘Mommy’ now, but we’re still apparently teenagers (who drink) at heart.
Then – We hid cans of Sprite and Dr. Pepper in our purses to get out of paying exorbitant movie theater prices for drinks. We coughed for each other when opening the cans during a quiet part in the movie to keep the ushers from catching on to us.
Now – We hid tiny bottles of red wine in our purses to drink during the movie. We still coughed for each other to cover the sound of the clinking bottles when removing them from our purses during a quiet part in the movie. In our defense, this is really the fault of whoever designed the strip-mall at San Tan. Putting a Total Wine in between the Kona Grill we ate dinner at and the movie theater is just begging for a pit stop to procure adult beverages.
Then – Rebecca’s older sister, Christy, drove us to the movies.
Now – Rebecca’s older sister, Christy, got to the theater early enough to save a giant row of 10 seats for those of us running late because we had to make a stop at Total Wine. I think she may have resorted to violence to protect those seats. What we’d do without her I hope I’ll never have to find out.
Then – Danielle was always the cheerleader, the Energizer Bunny, the one voted Most Spirited at our high school and who never said no to going out dancing.
Now – Danielle showed up, 10 months pregnant, due that very day, to have a burger and see a movie made of a book she hadn’t even read. I don’t think I’ve met another gal who wouldn’t be holed up in her house, on the couch, eating ice cream and crying over her swollen ankles and late arriving baby on her due date in mid-August in Phoenix. Not one word of complaint from Danielle, though.
Then – One summer right after I had started college, I would pick Amanda up to go out and we’d spend the entire drive to wherever we were going complaining about our boyfriends and what idiots they were. We compared the emotional torture they put us through and resolved to move past them and find real men. Then we’d meet the boys out to play pool or hang out at one of their houses and moon over them, silently willing them to love us more than anyone or anything else.
Now – I picked Amanda up and we spent the drive to Kona Grill complaining about our husbands and how we’ve each somehow found ourselves in a polygamous marriage we didn’t agree to where our sister-wives are Work, Stress and Life, respectively. And then we went home and thanked our lucky stars we ended up with the ones we did, despite the bitches we have to share them with.
Then – We sobbed at Titanic and Romeo and Juliet (the Leo and Claire Danes version).
Now – Not a dry eye in the house at The Help.
Then – Rebecca and I were inseparable. I spent the night at her house. I went to her church. I made friends with her friends. We even dated several of the same boys.
Now – When Rebecca said, “These are recyclable, right?” and dropped her tiny, contraband wine bottle in a box outside the theater that said ‘Recycle’, I agreed without really looking and did the same. Turned out it was a recycling box for 3D glasses. Apparently I’ll always assume she knows what she’s talking about, even when she doesn’t.
Then – They made me laugh till I cried and feel generally lucky to be around such awesome chicks.
Now – They made me laugh till I cried and feel generally lucky to be around such awesome chicks.
I’m glad things never change.