Saturday, June 04, 2011

The Gathering of the Girls

Yep. It's that time of year again. What used to be called Girlfriends Weekend has now been expanded to Girlfriends Week, as we head down to a fun/sun-filled week in Orlando. I don't really remember how it got started, but sometime in the mid-90's, five friends decided we didn't see each other enough - all those child-rearing, career-slogging years seemed to get in the way - and vowed to get together once a year.

Four of us have been together since we were in first grade at Barger Elementary School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We survived six years there and three at Brainerd Jr. High before heading across the river to Chattanooga "City" High, where we met girlfriend #5.

Years of slumber parties, Twist contests, transistor radios and 45's, pimples, bad hair days-weeks-years, Bobbie Brooks sweaters, Weejuns, pep rallies, and English compositions mean that not a one of us can bullshit the others. We all know too much. We knew each other when.

Do you know how freeing that is? And more comfortable than sweatpants and a baggy t-shirt.

One thing's for sure. We can't lie about our ages. We're all 1951 babies, so we have a lot of decades to celebrate this year. The members of this little quintet are stereotypically named (according to the Most Popular Girl Names of 1951): Linda (#1), Mary (#2), Susan (#6), and two - count 'em, two! - Sharons (#13). No mistaking which era we're from, no siree.

We will catch up with each other - grandchildren, childrens' milestones, one new marriage, vacations, mission trips, work, aches and ailments - and, of course, we'll talk about other folks (good Christian gossip, of course). We'll eat and drink well, sun ourselves, swim, laugh, and do a lot of remembering-when. And after five full days, we won't have scratched the surface of stuff to talk about. That's just what happens when friends get together.

I'll try to report live from Orlando, but I may be too busy talking. Or eating. Or drinking. But probably talking.


Joy Des Jardins said...

How wonderful you all look...then and now. One of the best things to do is get together with old girlfriends...looks like you had a great time Mary. Love that photo of you and your friends on the bars... ~Joy

Liz said...

Have a fabulous time, Mary. I remember when they came to NY to see you and did they stay in your apartment? No, they can't have surely I've got that wrong, but I remember you showing them the sights.

SACLMT said...

Wish I knew how to post that "when" class picture from Henry L Barger in 1958. You guys are lookin' great half a century later!
(SAC=Steven A. Clark)

MaryB said...

Thanks, all. Yes, Liz, everyone stayed in my tiny apartment when they came to NYC (years of slumber parties taught us how to pile up and bed down).

Steven - Yeah, too bad you can't post that "when" picture. ;-)