Meet My Friends, They are Just Like You…

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These are my Ya Ya’s:

Commitment
Perseverance
Determined
Creative
Consistent
Faithful

The terms above will be the descriptions I use for the women that I spent a wonderful, funny, joy and tear filled weekend with in North Carolina a couple of weeks ago. I find these words strong and meaningful. As I keep going, they will know who they are.

For some of us, it has been over 30 plus years since we have laid eyes on each other. During our days in a small high school in New Jersey we went in and out of each others circles for four years. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes not, but always constant, as the closeness was there because we were all experiencing the same high school things in different ways.

Spending five long and relaxing days in the mountains was suggested a couple of months ago and we gathered on Facebook, discussed and committed to it.  Funny how as much as we criticize social media, it has brought so many people together in our huge world to share good times and bad, reunions and family events, when we otherwise may not have known about it.

My four years in high school were filled with many ups and downs,typical roller coaster ride we have all been on.  My last two years were fun and I finally felt like I fit in after moving to such a small close-knit community in the 8th grade in 1973.  From the South.  Can I hear a yay Y’ALL??

So, from all over the country-and I mean all over-Georgia, Florida, Carolinas, New Jersey and Arizona we plane, train and ‘automobiled’  it there and landed at the lovely home of Creative’s parents.  The hospitality was amazing, especially since Creative is an unbelievable cook (as is her older brother-an executive chef in the Hamptons…).  And, since Creative has her own line of baked goods like salted caramel brownies, affectionately called ‘crack’ brownies by us, we were set for a weekend of food, wine, and fun.

I have been to the few high school reunions that we have had and Creative was always there.  As was Consistent and Committed. Our bond has been further sealed by our communications on Facebook.  They were not my best friends in high school, but they certainly were fun and always nice. I consider all of the Ya’s my best friends now.

We Are Mid Century Modern

To accept whatever comes, regardless of the consequences, is to be unafraid — John Cagle

We graduated in 1978.  Billy Joel, Peter Frampton, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Eagles, the new Saturday Night Live, Welcome Back Kotter, were part of our pop culture. We were off to school, to work in Manhattan, to travel, to become adults.  Through the years we re-grouped and sent letters, cards, phone calls, but as time wore on most of us lost touch.  Then came social media.  And we rekindled old and new friendships through this unique new channel.  I am sooo glad we did.

So in North Carolina we decided that it was time for us middle-aged, no, mid-century modern gals to get together, eat, drink, laugh, cry and re-hash those incredibly crazy stupid days of  high school.  We talked about crushes we had that we now laugh at that were totally unrequited and thank god never materialized. We drank entirely too much wine and beer.  We ate an insane amount of sweets and steak.  We even went to see the local production of “Hairspray” where Creative’s daughter had a featured role.   There were so many things we talked about and I can’t describe it all here.  But there is evidence that we have become stronger and particularly resilient over the past 30 years. . .

The Ya Ya’s and Why I have Named them So…

Creative because she was our hostess.  Love, loss, divorce, single parenting, and re-inventing herself and living her true artful creative life baking in the North Carolina mountains. We do truly adore you and your family.  You got us together and made it happen!

Commitment because after living the crazy media life she settled down, had three children, adopted from Eastern Europe, home schooled them and gave up her journalism dreams to be a Christian wife and mother.  Two are in a great college now making them proud and becoming terrific adults. I’m thinking the writing will come.

Perseverance left our school in her junior year to have her first-born son and become a very young wife.  Over the years and two more kids later, single mothering for a bit,  and a cross-country move she has pushed through the death of her parents, her kid’s teenage years, her own horrible bout of colon cancer, the after effects of radiation and raising her grandchildren with humor, wit and good beer.

Determined because she met and married a guy from spring break that her brother said she would never see again, moved to the cold midwest and raised two children.  She endured the sudden death of her husband by a freak accident, the loss of her only son 10 years later from a rare form of cancer, raised her teenage daughter to be a wonderful young college student, assists her mother, and still goes to live rock concerts in Florida and is a secret beach bum she just won’t admit it.

Consistent because she is.  She has not changed one iota, in looks or personality. Tiny and quick-witted, she has raised two sons virtually on her own while maintaining her friendships with many of our townspeople in NJ and coordinating many of our reunions.  She always has the time to stay in touch, and rescue animals, who make all of us laugh on social media.

Faithful.  She only came for the afternoon and dragged her poor husband along, whom she met while they were missionaries.  She also raised a family and is a nurse.  She embodies her faith and lives it.  Unlike many out there.  That’s why I admire her.

We plan to get together now on a yearly basis–and I hope we do.  So much of the weekend was a cathartic experience for all of us.  Different than a college reunion.  Even different from a high school reunion.  Just a group of pretty awesome girls that I am honored to know.

And we are now one circle.

This post is dedicated to them.

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When Life is one Giant Silver Medal

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I am the ultimate silver medal award winner. Have been all of my life. You know-if you aren’t the lead dog, your view never changes?

Numbah 2!!!

Well, last night those chipper reporters on NBC made some sort of silver medal quote. Something like, “She will have to settle for the silver

OMG – NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO –kill me now, there go the endorsement deals, there goes the Wheaties Box, my life is ooooovvvveeeerrrrr, SOB, SNIFFLE, cough…..

Ladies and Gents–how many times have YOU won the silver?

Me? LOTS!!!

1.  Life:  I was always the last picked for dodge ball – I know it’s a cliche but I LIVED that cliche!

2.  Love:  Especially in high school-I was ‘one of the guys’, not the one you asked out.

3.  Boobs:  They didn’t show up until my sophomore year in college.

4.  College:  I did not get into my first choice

5.  Cheerleading:  My sister made the Varsity squad, not me–and we tried out at the same time-AWKWARD

6.  Prom:  My sister was asked to go before I was — double AWKWARD

7.  My first job was at Burger King–when they had those red & orange polyester dresses and caps-and I wore support hose and earth shoes, IN HIGH SCHOOL

8.  My Period:  My sister…well, you know…..and I promise I won’t go there about Homecoming…..

9.  Senior Yearbook:  I won for ‘Tries Hardest”

10.  College:  I went to a woman’s college..enough said.

11.  College:  I was invited to football games by the frat boys because I had a big handbag-yes, really-you can stuff at least 3 bottles of Jim Beam in there

12.  College:  See big handbag-great place to puke when you drink all the Jim Beam

13.  Career:  Wanted to be a Journalist. Worked as a waitress in a Greek restaurant and at a local Arts non-profit for $8K a year in 1982.  Then got hired at an FM radio station–did voice overs for a local jeans store and my largest account was a Lube place.  Wanted the McDonald’s account but wouldn’t do what was required for that.  If you know what I mean.

15.  Career:  Selling real estate–this really toughened my hide–I was pretty used to being ditched by guys, well in real estate it is a requirement for your staying power.  My therapy skills as a great friend has served me well in this career.  And, showing pretty homes all the time definitely makes me think every time I walk in the door to MY house that it is the silver medal winner.

But here is the secret-the silver medal is good.  It makes you try harder.  It makes you resilient.  It makes you appreciate the little things.  It makes you thankful.  It strengthens your faith. It makes you laugh and not take yourself so seriously. It makes you go out of your comfort zone.  So, I guess, settling for something is not always that bad……and silver looks much better with my other jewelry!

But, I HAVE received the gold medal.  In family, in friends, in humor, and especially in BC.  To put up with my crap, he deserves a Nobel Peace prize, not a gold medal!

 

Page Turning, Bodice Ripping, and Scandalous

I was having lunch today with one of my best longtime girlfriends-who, by the way introduced me to my husband 25 years ago, don’t know whether to thank her for that or not….and the Grey discussion came up, AGAIN.

I mean, we have to stop talking about this.

Anyhoooo, she is probably one of the most voracious readers I know-can remember and quote just about any book, especially thrillers, and she has had a passion for bodice ripping novels as well. Has a whole trunk full of old ones she recently donated to the local used bookstore and they about peed in their pants when she brought them in and said, “my donation to you for your Grey’s readers.”

And we reminiced about our first racy novels that came out in the 70’s. Our introduction to impassioned heroines, cads, forced sex, bodice ripping, and more. They call them historical-I can now look back and call them hysterical women with heaving breasts who pined over hot, muscled, douchebags who rode horses and carried a sword.

Those novels were Sweet Savage Love (1974) by Rosemary Rogers and Kathleen Woodiwiss’s The Flame and the Flower (1972).

Page turning, bodice ripping, and scandalous!

These were so scandalous at the time, with graphic scenes for the 1970’s reader and they were instant hits.  They were the grandmomma’s of today’s mommy porn!

I remember those books being passed around in high school and we kept them under our beds so big momma wouldn’t catch us reading them. Today our teens just go on the internet into chat rooms and flash their boobs. At least they could do this in period garb for some fun….