Thursday, January 22, 2009

Old Friends. My Bookends.

It's been hard to make friends since I moved to San Diego, and lately, I keep getting bombarded with blogs and movies and comments about women who are soooo happy to be surrounded and supported by a circle of good women. I want that for myself so much, that all this in-your-face warm fuzziness dangled in front of me is almost like being cruelly teased.

I have met some wonderful women since moving here and I think they have the potential to become that support network with some intentional group time together. To that end, I am arranging for us all to get together once a month for girl's night out to see what develops. It seems we could all use a circle of feminine solidarity!

But the other night I got a wonderful and unexpected gift!

A very dear and very old girlfriend (no, that came out alllll wrong! I mean we have been girlfriends for a loooong time!) was in-state and she and another old (young), dear friend who lives north of here and I decided to have a slumber party.

A no-child, no-stress, no-curfew slumber party!

We met at my up-north friend's house (who has no children to be quiet for, past bedtime!) and we gathered up a big pile of cheese and crackers and fruit and chocolate and wine and incense and pillows, and we headed out to the back deck that looks out over a forested canyon.

We drank wine and feasted on goodies and we talked for eight hours straight, deep into the night about our histories, our memories, things that shaped out lives, and what we have been doing in the years since we last spent time together (at my wedding - they were both bridesmaids).

At 3:30 we moved into the house to go to bed, (and then talked some more) and when we woke the next morning, we just didn't want to go home. My friend Karen realized she didn't really need to begin her interstate road trip that morning, and my husband was home with the kids, and Carla had no clients that day... wouldn't lunch on the beach and a continuation of our non-responsible time together be better than ending the feminine euphoria and going forward with our lives?

Of course, it would.

And so, we made some calls to the people who were expecting us, and informed them not to expect us just yet, and we grabbed out suits and our sunglasses and hopped in the car, driving through Laguna canyon to one of the most beautiful beaches in southern California.

We gossiped and laughed over cocktails and lunch at an Irish pub, and then walked across the street to the beach.

It was one of those golden days when the light was just right and oh so lovely, and we were high on our carefree-ness, and lack of need to be anywhere at all.

By the time the sun began to set and we headed back through the canyon to Carla's home to gather our things and pack up our cars, we had spent 24 hours together.

And it was probably the most refreshing, renewing thing I have done since my twins were born three years ago!

Now, my husband is very big on making sure I get breaks and I go out alone at times, or go have a drink or see a play with a friend as much as possible. But while as nice as that is, its short and fast and I always feel I have to have as much fun and suck up as much rest and renewal as I can possibly muster within the time constraint. And I am always looking at my watch the moment I walk out the door.

Being with women I know deeply and love, combined with having to be nowhere and have no guilt about being gone in such a tranquil space, was sooooo cleansing and rejuvenating!

I am certainly not going to give up on creating my own circle of sisterhood here in town; I have learned that having no curfew and no guilt about being gone (thus, unfortunately a husband home with the kids instead of a grandma or a babysitter that needs to be relieved) is the most nourishing time-away I could possibly devise.

Now I have to figure out how to give this gift to my husband... so we can both approach parenthood with less frazzlement (yeah, I know that isn't a word!) than we currently experience! Carla's husband sometimes hosts all-night LAN parties where a bunch of guys come, order pizza and play group computer games all night and into the next morning.

That might just be the thing!

Although you wouldn't catch them calling it a slumber party.


Snowbird said...

I'm glad you guys had such a great time. And I'm sure it helped to unwind after 10 days of company too! LOL.

gail said...

I envy you your bookends, and wish you luck in finding the rest of the library.

Shama-Lama Mama said...

Thank you! I just wish I could see them more than once every six months or a year.

Emily said...

That sounds magnificent. So glad you got some much-needed rejuvenation!

Dawn said...

hey sista....i am trying to connect with you!

Karin Zirk said...

Sounds like a wonderful time and much deserved. You are worth taking care of. It's like the flight attendents say before the plane takes of. If you're traveling with someone who needs assistance, place your own oxygen mask on first and then assist the kids. If you don't, you'll be dead and they'll be floating in the ocean without you.