I have a pretty solid core group of friends. They do not turn up here in the blog much, because our lives and times are pretty sedate and suburban by most standards. We are married, or involved in committed relationships, or serial monogamist daters. We have grown children, aging parents, jobs, aches, pains, and the headaches that come from being a maturing woman in a youth-obsessed society. And it’s all good.
We also do not get together nearly often enough, and when we do, raucous laughter and off-color queries, ponderings, and stories happen. Marriage, dating, relationship, children, family, work tales are both brilliantly touching and painfully, hilariously awful. Our children are afraid, very afraid, that their friends may be working in the restaurants where we meet and overhear snatches of our conversations. My son has told me on more than one occasion that his ears cannot unhear some of the stuff he’s overhead walking to the bathroom when he lived at home and I was hosting these friends. I shrug and welcome him again to the being an adult. Moms have these completely separate lives that do not involve carpools and sitting in the bleachers at track meets and band concerts or working in the snack bar as part of the sports boosters dues; we do a lot more than cooking and cleaning and laundry.
Secretly, I think my kids are both pleased that I am not a conventional mom-like parent. While they might never openly admit it to me, I believe they are relieved M and I do not sit at home and wait for real old age paralysis to overtake us.
Anyway, probably a month ago we were hanging out doing the summer bbq thing with our husbands and significant others and talking about summer vacation plans, etc. One of my friends was heading to Europe for a combination of work and vacation and would be meeting up with friend J. Now, once upon a time they had a brief relationship/fling, but that ended and they kinda/sorta remained friends. Friend J only visits us a couple of times per year, and my gal-pal has admitted feeling weird about hanging out when he visits. It’s not so much the relationship ended poorly, because he is always honest with women about his intentions and feelings (or lack thereof), but she fell a little harder than she anticipated. Things have mellowed out between them as the years (about 6 since the fling ended) have passed, but I was still kind of surprised they made plans to get together. In Switzerland.
We ladies were joking around and is our custom, began a friendly wager as to what would happen between these attractive single, consenting adults during their time together in Europe. Both of them said it’s not like that – we’re just friends and are going to hang out, see the sights, eat good food, drink good liquor, listen to good music, yada yada yada. And much my cleaner minded posse of gal pals all believed them and bet against me and anything more intimate happening than sharing a bottle of wine. Buy-in minimum was $100, which would be split among the winners.
Now, being the 2 involved, my very reasonable, conventional other friends assumed they could control themselves at best, or would lie about it afterwards at worst (suckers!). But when they were both incommunicado for an entire weekend, I knew I would be collecting this week. And collect I have.
Best part is both parties involved confess to having enjoyed really excellent time together and remain cordial friends. Well, maybe not the BEST part … I love my cash and prizes and bragging rights … but a really close second.
Since I was solo winner, I cleaned up. I requested cash and merchandise, please, because just cash is kind of boring. So, I received a box of Godiva chocolates, a lovely assortment of Sherrie’s Berries (chocolate dipped strawberries – so yummy!), a 6-pack of Guiness, a bottle of Fireball, a bottle of dom perignon, and some sort of scotch that I have actually never heard of but assume is really tasty stuff. All delightful gifts that I promptly turned around and regifted to others to great surprise and delight. The chocolates and strawberries, while my absolute favorites, are like heroin to my system and had to be given up because they are not foods on my eating list right now. If I have learned nothing else this last year it is that I simply cannot even start on the sugar or it will take weeks to overcome that addictive response if I have even a taste of it. My entire office loves and adores even more now. The Fireball goes to my son-in-law (his favorite drink), the champagne is for G and K and honeymoon celebrating, and the scotch and the beer are in a goodie bag for trainer J. The actual cash is going toward my next block of training sessions.
So all good, all fun, all around.
And lest you feel sorry for my poor friends, I have been on the losing side of such wagers many times through the years. This was just my turn to win, and it was such a slam dunk I was actually quite surprised there even was a wager. But oh well. This is my week to be feted with gifts that I give back to others, so it feels super swell.
Now I just cannot wait for the Saturday night to get together and hear all about my friend’s trip in more detail. And since I won, I’m probably buying dinner. But that’s okay; I am a gracious winner.
It truly is the little things in life that make it fun, interesting, and such a delight. Another year passes, another little wager, and fun is had by all involved. Friends like these beautiful ladies breathe so much life to my very rich life, and I cherish all of them.