Last weekend my college friends and I celebrated the holiest holy day of the year – girls’ weekend. Sort of like Christmas and Easter all wrapped up into one except no one gives birth in a stable or is tortured, murdered, and miraculously resurrected.
What began as a simple annual camping trip our first few summers after college has evolved to a weekend so critical to maintaining life as we know it that the countdown literally begins the day we return. Come hell or high water, the third weekend in July a mini van packed with eight of the most desperate women you’ll ever meet is on the road in search of fun and twenty uninterrupted minutes of bathroom privacy.
It’s the stuff dreams are made of.
These trips are fun not so much because of the hilarious antics, the carefree days basking in the sun or the catching up with old friends, but more for the fact that Nick is reminded of the pain that comes with being a stay at home mom to three little kids and his appreciation for me and terror of what might happen if I were to ever leave him is cheerfully refreshed. Sometimes I like to call him riiiight in the middle of lunch time and ask why he’s so stressed out. This comes in super handy for the rest of the year when I feel like he is taking me for granted. All I have to do is say, “Remember that time when I went on my girls’ trip to Chicago and you were with the girls all day by yourself?” He immediately tenses up and his eye starts to twitch. Flowers usually arrive the following day.
Our trip always starts out with a fast food run. This may be the most important part of the entire weekend because I love to walk into the restaurant to soak in the hoards of parents fighting with their crazy kids. Sorry, but nothing is better than seeing other parents struggle with their kids when I am without mine. It reminds me of why I needed this vacation so badly in the first place, lest I’ve forgotten in the 20 minutes I’ve already been away from them.
Despite the fact that I’m balancing a chicken sandwich and mountain of french fries on my knees squished in between two people in the back of a mini van, no meal has ever tasted so good. Mainly because I am actually able to chew and swallow instead of inhale or snort. One day I’m just going to get smart and take all food in IV form.
This year we decided to stay relatively close to home and go to the Lake of the Ozarks, though the location is the least important factor in our weekend. We could have fun in a boiler room. As long as there is a pool, a pontoon boat, wine, beer, perfect weather, a wide variety of shopping options, 4-star restaurants and a dance club.
We’re simple girls, really.
Saturday we rented a boat, though unlike years past opted not to go to party cove. For those unfamiliar with party cove, it is a spot at the Lake of the Ozarks where you go to be photographed, have the photograph uploaded to social media and then promptly fired when you arrive at your job on Monday. Also rumor has it that biologists have done some testing there and apparently you can get pregnant if submerge your butt in the water.
So we did it low key pontoon-style, tooled around the lake and saw the house my grandparents used to own, anchored in remote coves, and reenacted the movie Titanic from beginning to end.
That night we went to a club to show all of the college kids how old and white we are. The band played Jump Around, and, forgetting I was wearing a strapless bra, my boobs turned the song into Flop Around. Mid-way through my friends grabbed my arm and I was informed that they had found someone for me to have a dance contest with. I was neither sober enough or interested enough to have a dance contest, so I accepted. And, judging by the cheers/horrified gasps from the crowd when my friend held my feet and we did The Wheelbarrow across the dance floor, I was the clear winner.
Sunday morning came with the pain of 1,000 play dates. I awoke to my friend’s retching in the bathroom. Everyone sat silent around the kitchen table. After about an hour someone suggested we start packing up. They were then beaten and thrown into the lake.
I know what will happen when I get home. Nick will expect me to take care of our children. He has been “working” and I’ve had three days of relaxing. I call and explain how tired I am. How much work it is to have fun. He is completely unsympathetic. In fact, he seems a little medicated.
Reluctantly, we load up and start for home. One last trip to the fast food restaurant, though this time it only a painful reminder of what awaits us in two short hours.
“How lucky are we to have a girls weekend every year?” I say to everyone, praying our van crashes into a pylon on the freeway.