I drive down the freeway for my last trip of the summer tomorrow. For the next four days, I'll be holed up at a lake cabin with a bunch of young women. And by young, I mean women exactly my age. And believe me, we'll be feeling really young when we're together. When we aren't also feeling every bit our age and more besides. We're probably beginning to sound more and more like our mothers, but I'm here to tell you, the day we start sounding like our grandmothers, I'll be out.
Read all this to mean that it's "The Girls'" weekend. There will be much eating and talking and laughing and talking and eating and laughing. We'll be caught up into certain dramas in each others' lives--things that are large and overwhelming dramas, and we'll be right at the heart of them for a weekend, just as we were for all those years when we knew every move each other ever made, practically knew every new pimple on each others' faces.
One of these friends first shared a now-familiar quote about friendship with me when we were about 15 years old. "Real friendship is the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with someone..." I've never forgotten the bull's eye truth of that statement and how she aimed it not only at us then but arched over the forty years we've been friends since. I do feel safe with these women, like I can curl up in my pjs for a whole weekend, not worry about what I look like (because, after all, they've seen me with raspberry jello in my hair, and anything's better than that!), and do any old thing I please (and I've been known to be more than a little foolish--all without alcohol, too!).
Yep, no matter what, --even if I do something silly enough to be laughed at (which, trust me, I'm sure to do!), I'm also accepted. Because I'm me. And they're them. And we're us.
And that's just about as good as it gets.