I sit here, at the keyboard, with an enormous amount of trepidation. It doesn't happen very often, but every once in a while, it is important that I get the words in these entries exactly right. This is one of those times, and even worse, it's one of those times that I know I will fail.
So before I even begin, I want to apologize to my girls, because if there's one thing I'm certain of, it's the fact that I'll never be able to come up with the words that will adequately express how I feel about you.
For starters, I believe there was a general consensus that, for the time being, Rob Rummel-Hudson is a chucklehead.
We spent an hour and a half on the phone with him on Friday night, all of us quite excited about the fact that we were speaking to the (in)famous Rob. He talked to each of us in turn, and whoever was talking to him would laugh and laugh, and sometimes make notes so they'd remember to tell us what was so funny once they were off the phone. (Like you didn't know Rob was funny and charming.)
Since I'm the one moving halfway across the country, and since I really would like to have met him before I left, I was particularly insistent that he promise to call Colleen's cell phone the next day to make arrangements to meet up with us, and promise he did.
But did we ever get a phone call? No, sirree. Melissa checked her e-mail when we got home, and there he was, offering some lame excuse, blaming his blow-off on the unreliability of cell phones.
We have three words for you, Rob: blah blah blah. (And if you had met us, you would understand what that means!)
But now that I think about it, I suppose that being blown off by Rob is kind of an honor in itself. We did get to put a voice to the face and the words, and that was kind of cool.
Still and all: who comes to New York City only to eat Pringles from the gift shop and hang out with someone he sees every day anyway and thus passes up the opportunity to meet five fabulous journal chicks in one fell swoop?
Only a chucklehead, right? (We kid Rob, we do. He knows we still love him.)
So if you all remember, I was supposed to be a part of the last trip to New York, but I was grounded by a feline kidney infection. This time, neither hell nor high water nor sick cats nor law school would keep me away, and on Friday afternoon, I hit the highway going east.
I got to Colleen's around 8:00, and got to meet the dogs, the house, and the fiance, all of which were completely charming. (Well, the dogs were a little exuberant, but they were still charming.) We still had about an hour before Corina, Kate, and Melissa were to arrive, so we dashed out for Chinese, and I got the tour of the town, which was also quite charming.
We had just finished eating when we heard a car in the driveway. And then we were together, with no plays, no trial competitions, not a damn thing on the agenda but spending time together.
And let me tell you, we were quite good at it. We were so good at it that it was an evening full of drinking and talking and tears of laughter and tears of pain and tears of sympathy and a clock that read 5:15 in the morning before we let ourselves fall asleep.
And then, in the blink of an eye, it was 9:30, the absolute latest we could stay in bed (or on couch) while still having a chance at making our 11:15 train.
And, of course, we still had to run for it.
It took a little over an hour to get into the city, but one thing that seems to be constant is that time goes so quickly when the five of us are together. Hell will freeze over before we ever run out of things to talk about.
I sort of insisted on a re-creation of the trip I had missed, which everyone seemed eager to comply with anyway, so it was off to Pommes Frites, for the most fabulous French Fries that could possibly exist.
Then we headed towards Demeter, the fabulous scent store where you can buy perfume, lotion, and bath oil in every scent from Bamboo to Gin & Tonic to Ocean to Pruning Shears to Popcorn to Dust to Waffles. (However, on the way to Demeter, we made a pit stop in the K-Cafe of the K-Mart, and my goodness, that was a frightening experience. You haven't lived until you've been stalked by a very hairy guy in a New York City K-Mart cafe.)
But back to Demeter. It took me forever to decide which one I wanted. I loved the Graham Cracker, and the Celery, and the Fireplace, but I ended up going with Holy Water. It's a nice clean scent that's not too overpowering, and won't have anyone leaning in and saying, "Have you been eating Graham crackers?"
Besides, I am taking the bar exam in July. If I wear Holy Water every day until then, how can I go wrong?
There was Sephora, with every brand of make-up known to womankind. There was Kate's Paperie, where I bought cute change-of-address cards only because I really wanted the little shopping bag. There was a bridal shoe store that Colleen wanted to check out, and we probably should have realized when we had to buzz to get in that she maybe didn't want her shoes to cost as much as, say, the honeymoon. There was the MAC store, where I bought my first MAC lipstick... in fact, we all bought at least lipstick if not more and walked out looking fabulous. There was the Japanese restaurant for dinner, where I gazed in awe at the stunning array of raw fish that adorned the plates of Kate and Mel and Corina, but could not bring myself to try it.
And there was the train ride home, where we sat with our magazines in comfortable silence, not because we had nothing else to say, but because we were happy and tired and contented.
There was a quick change into pajamas, a bowl of popcorn, a screening of "My Best Friend's Wedding," a short burst of "Iron Chef" before we finally surrendered to sleep. This morning, there was cinnamon bread and coffee and gabbing, until we finally got dressed, took a few pictures, and made quick goodbyes in the driveway so as to avoid the temptation to cry all the way home.
What there was not, what there never was, was exasperation. Attitude. Impatience. Annoyance. Irritation. At least, not with each other. Not once did any of us mutter under her breath about where we were going or what we were doing or how long one of us was taking in picking out her scent at Demeter.
None of us ever had a reason to.
I have never in my entire life been part of a group of five adult women who get along like we do. It's uncanny, weird, freakish in its extent. I don't think I'm alone in my lack of ability to explain it.
In things superficial, we are different. We are married, engaged, in a long-term relationship, in a new relationship, and single. We are working in an office, working at home, cosidering a new job, starting school, and graduating from school. We had money growing up, and we didn't. Our parents are married, and divorced.
And none of it matters. If anything, we are closer because of it. The bond we share isn't about our daily environment. It isn't even about journaling, although that probably has added something to it.
Again, I sit here, and I can't write it. I can't find the words to explain to you why we are the way we are. All I can tell you is how thankful I am for it, how blessed I feel by it, and how determined I am, like I'm certain we all are, that my defection to the Midwest not diminish it.
To be totally honest, I don't think I'll have to work very hard at it, just like we never had to work very hard at becoming friends in the first place. This thing is bigger than us, and it won't be affected by a little thing like location or distance.
That's why I wasn't sad on the drive home. I could have been devastated, because it is likely the last time I'll see them before I move to Kansas City. But proximity or distance is as superficial an element of friendship as having the same background or job or relationship status.
At least where the five of us are concerned.