I'm going to get my best friends pink satin jackets with tassels and embroidery and white stripes down the sleeve. And perhaps an emblem of a unicorn or rainbow or bear in a snow globe holding up a sign that says "Girlz Rool!" We're going to form a club, but not a snotty one that exists just to keep other people out. It's going to be a kick-ass club, and no one will have to be the Rizzo because we are all nice, pretty girls (although Rizzo does kick ass), and we'll wear our pink jackets and share cigarettes and cocktails and stories and anytime someone orders something to eat, it goes without saying that everyone else in the club is welcome to have a bite or two.
And to all the people who ever looked at the hype and press and brouhaha surrounding Sex and the City and scoffed or bitched or said Real people aren't like that, Real women aren't like that, I want to say Suck it, suck it, a thousand times SUCK IT because while my feet may be clad in Adidas instead of Laboutin, I am here to tell you that girlfriends are warmer, brighter and more valuable than gold and that if you get four of us together for brunch you can damn well be sure we're gonna talk about blow jobs and shopping and in those few hours of sex and shopping chit chat, loyalties stronger than NATO will be forged and will stand, years and years from now, if only in memory and spirit, because if there is one thing a woman never forgets it's how damn much she needs her friends.
Is it so totally mainstream and predictable and clichéd to say that No, really, my life is like that, my friends are like that? It is, isn't it? Because don't all groups of friends claim something similar, argue over who is who and role-play just a little? Well, I don't care. Because at the heart of the show and at the heart of my life are my friendships, and I would rather be a happy cliché who emails her friend 12 times a day to discuss outfits than the rule-breaker who has never met Brit or Beck or Em or Pastry or PG or Lee or S or Emilie or Caroline.
That's not to say we are ordinary. We are anything but. Some of us have traveled oceans to reach the here and now, some of us are about to leave home for the first time. Some of us have questioned our marriage, some have wondered what was done to deserve such an ideal mate, some have cried fat, salty tears over meeting someone else who in another time, day, life could have been everything and then some. Some of us run far and frequently and some of us stare at our own pasty legs and dream of running marathons. Some are blond, some are petite, some are shy, some glow, some radiate, some take longer, bloom slower, but surprise you with the depth of their loyalty. You can call me a cliché but do not pretend for an instant that my friends are not extraordinary.
If you're wondering what spurred this deluge of estrogen and ooey gooey love, it's nothing more than spending time with people I love. I came home from Texas and frankly was a little depressed – are you familiar with the commercials for Royal Caribbean in which people bemoan their return to real life after being treated like royalty on their cruise? Now, I would rather stand in line at the DMV for 5 days straight than take a cruise, but the sentiment is much the same as mine last week. Baby, do you want to go out for dinner, Kent would ask me. SHUT UP AND LEAVE ME ALONE I WISH I WAS IN TEXAS WHERE I GOT FREE CHAMPAGNE ALL THE TIME AND PEOPLE KEPT TELLING ME I WAS PRETTY AND WAAAHHHHHH.
It's hard coming back to the A Train and Key Food and walking the dog after that. And I spent more than a little bit of time last week re-examining my life (you know, just for fun, in my free time) and pining for warm sunshine and inappropriate flirting (heretofore known as Brain Sex, tm Caroline). And the whole re-examining-of-ones-life-in-light-of-sudden-male-attention-received-sans-husband-which-makes-one-wonder-what-one-might-be-missing is incredibly tedious and also quite retro, in that I found myself with a case of the BooHoos not seen since 1996 when Andy Reeves chased me all summer then slept with me and never called. Not once. (Although, I am pretty sure he Rued The Day, because I showed up at various bars looking hot and repeating my Ice Queen mantra many, many times and I did an excellent job of Ignoring Him Because I Was Too Busy Laughing At Something Else Because HELLO I am Popular And Breezy, and eventually he crawled back. Eventually. Which kind of makes me wonder where he is now, because he was really, really cute. Um, what was I talking about?) Right, so last week was a rough transition back to reality, and I much preferred the life of a bridesmaid to that of a product development coordinator.
So um, last week I was in a funk. Big ol' ugly one. And what got me through the week was knowing, 1) that Brit understood exactly how I was feeling and 2) that Emilie was coming to visit me on Saturday. And after many angst-filled "I know just what you mean!" type emails, the week was ending and the weekend was beginning and I came home from dinner on Friday night to a series of voice mails from Brit, in progressive stages of drunken incoherence. The final one sounded something like EIIYEEEEEE MMOOOLLLLLY GGFRSSTEALLHBBYYVD LOBO DRINKS FRENCH GUYS FFDDGWIYAGKDH EIYYEEEEEEEEE.....to which I grabbed my coat and my husband and headed down the street to the bar where Brit was dancing and exchanging phone numbers with patrons and inviting strangers to her birthday party. In November. The girl needed to blow off some steam.
On Saturday I met Emilie and Caroline on West 37th and squeed and hugged and then sat down to stare at Ethan Hawke's bare ass. Three hours later we emerged from seeing "Hurly Burly" and stood outside the theater, discussing just how much Ethan Hawke and Josh Hamilton probably wanted to have dinner with us, and also whether or not Parker Posey would be able to introduce Emilie to Ryan Adams. We know they just broke up and all, but maybe Parker would help a sister out. She does seem pretty cool. Cool enough to be wearing gold clogs, exactly like the ones IN MY CLOSET. Cool enough that Emilie asked her to sign her playbill, along with Ethan and Josh. Yes, we are totally on first-name basis with both of them. If we hadn't seen the matinee show and they didn't have another performance in two hours, I'm pretty sure Ethan and Josh would have at least come with us to the Cupcake Cafe for a sweet treat, because Excuse me, but we are very fun girls.
"Fun Girls" has kind of become my theme in the past week or so, because it occurred to me that I am aging myself prematurely. I've been worrying too much about settling down and buying an apartment and hosting dinner parties and buying expensive sheets and not spending nearly enough time having plain old fun. 30 may not be the new 22, exactly, but it certainly doesn't mean I need to be so gosh darn civilized all the time. If at 25 I was playing house and day-dreaming about china patterns, then shouldn't I get a do-over at 29? Because goodness, I really, really would rather be having a margarita than shopping for end tables. And in that spirit I have not cleaned my apartment in days and days, I have stayed up late and overslept and gossiped. I did all of those things this weekend, actually. And also drank like a fish. But it felt so GOOD to be with my girlfriends. It really, really did. I love being married. Well, I usually love being married, but there is just something about getting AWAY from a life that exists in pairs and twosomes and matching rings, and going OUT with fun GIRLS and drinking A LOT and spilling secrets and talking and talking and talking, that is just incredibly rejuvenating.
After we saw the play, Emilie and Caroline and I met Nora and Hap and Meg and George at a bar downtown, and on our way passed the gorgeous Julianne Moore, who has the most beautiful hair I have ever seen. At the bar we looked for Bono or Gwyneth or Nicole, but didn't see them. It was probably just as well, because my hair was B-A-D and I would hate for Gwyneth to meet me when I was not looking my best, since she has such pretty, pretty hair. I was meeting Caroline and Nora for the first time and really wanted to have shiny, straight hair when I met my new friends but alas, was a puff-ball with frizzy, rainy-day hair. Gwyneth might have looked at me with scorn, even, although Mark Ruffalo wouldn't have minded a bit, I think.
My frizzy hair and my friends and I had dinner across the street from Pastis, at a quiet little restaurant in an old townhouse that somehow eluded all the girls from Hoboken who were out in their halter tops and heels. It was delightful, and so were the 4 gin and vodka concoctions I swilled, along with a gorgeous bottle of Umbrian red. Emilie has long been solidified in my heart as a life-long friend, but Caroline had me crushing on her in about five minutes, and I am telling you that the three of us at that little table were the best thing in town, bar none. Dinner was great and after eating we camped out at the bar downstairs and made our other friends go out in the rain and come to us. It was a smashing plan, as I ended up sitting in one place all night long and lots of fun people came and talked to me and bought me cocktails. I even forgot about how bad my hair was. Almost.
On Sunday Brit and I took Emilie and Caroline to brunch at Lobo, the site of much debauchery and tequila spills. It was the greatest brunch in the history of brunches. Brunches from uptown and from Tribeca and from Chicago and San Francisco and from Los Angeles stopped what they were doing and just watched us. They said, Damn that is a good brunch. They have cheesey-eggy food and lots of Bloody Marys and they are talking about sex and drag queens and strippers and work and the old people at the table behind them look a little uncomfortable and the Bloody Marys look extra spicy and DAMN THAT IS A GOOD BRUNCH. All those other brunches are now consulting with one another on ways to make themselves more like our brunch. Chicago thinks everyone should wear a Neighborhoodie. San Francisco suggested live music. Los Angeles felt too fat and left the meeting early, but that's okay because OUR BRUNCH ROCKED THE HOUSE. I can't tell you what we talked about, because that would break Brunch Confidentiality Rules, but just know that I love my friends with the heart of a thousand people, with the joy of a kid in a toy store laced with Fun Dip, with the thanks of a drowning person pulled to shore.
Which is why I am getting them the pink jackets.