Since I was in middle school, my Aunt Rita and I have had these epic girls' weekends. I'd visit her wherever she was living at the time and we'd shop and watch movies and eat a lot. She introduced me to chick flicks and showed me just how great Pretty Woman and Ghost really are. She introduced me to the world of mani-pedis and facials. And with spur of the moment trips to Charleston in high school and college, she taught me to love that city for all that it is.
Around the same time one year, we both met these fellows. And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared that they were going to jeopardize that precious girl time that I'd loved and looked forward to for so many years. But during the first spring break that Andrew and I were together, he spent his time doing relief work in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and she and I skipped off to Charleston for some pampering (yes, we felt a little guilty while we enjoyed our steak and lobster...) I realized then that our time together was not threatened at all. We'd always make time for those weekends.
And when she emailed me on a Monday and asked if I wanted company that weekend, I was reminded again that no matter the boy or the baby and no matter how many states are between us, those girls' weekends aren't going anywhere.
She got in around dinnertime on Friday and we chatted through dinner until we both realized just how tired we were. We reconvened at breakfast, enjoying that happy baby and talking about our plans for the day. After Jack's nap, we headed to the mall where she treated me to some much needed grown-up makeup and picked out a few outfits for the boy, who is quickly growing out of the 9-month size and into the 12-month size. I don't want to talk about it.
Then we made our way to downtown Mystic, where we had lunch at the famed Mystic Pizza and over-ordered and enjoyed every bite like we'd never had pizza before. We tend to do those things when we're together. From there, we checked out the shops with the most patient and charming baby in tow. He never made a peep - he just took in the sights and had a little cat nap here and there.
After resting up at home, I had a sitter come out and take the boy off our hands so we could enjoy a nice dinner out. But not before we watched him crawl for the first time. Then it was off to S&P Oyster, with a table by the water. We dined on soup and lobster and oysters and scallops. The food was delicious and the company was ideal. I always, always treasure those dinner conversations with her.
The next day, we'd had enough of the un-air conditioned box that is my house and decided to take advantage of someone else's AC before she had to leave for the airport. We headed to Skipper's Dock and sat at a table with a view and enjoyed burgers and fries and beer. Because we were still on vacation, you know. And as for that baby, he was happy just scanning the crowd, looking for someone to flirt with.
She left that afternoon and I cried a little - because I was back to an empty house and because I just like her a lot.
As Andrew said in an email later that night, "She's good people and I know that it did you good to spend time with her."
He's so right.