Several years ago, a couple of “old” friends and I decided to meet for the weekend in Kansas City, since it’s approximately halfway between our homes and an easy drive for all of us. We wanted to get the chance to spend some time together without anyone having to be the hostess, and without any distractions from our families, jobs and everyday responsibilities. I don’t think we knew we were beginning an annual tradition, as up until that point, we often went a few years without seeing each other and probably just assumed that wouldn’t change.
We stayed at a hotel on the outskirts of the city, and spent the weekend just hanging out, shopping, talking, drinking a little wine and beer, and eating huge amounts of food with very little nutritional value. In short, we had a wonderful time and couldn’t wait to do it again. So our girls’ weekend became an annual event, and I can’t begin to tell you how glad I am that it did.
It is such a gift to be able to step out of my everyday life and spend a couple of days with two good friends I have known since sixth grade. We may not all live near each other, but we have managed to remain connected for almost five decades, even during the crazy hectic years when our children were small and we had to rely on letters (remember them?) and expensive, long-distance phone calls to stay in touch. And that means that there is very little we don’t know about each other, very little we can’t talk about, and that we can be completely and absolutely ourselves in each other’s company.
We can discuss something as trivial as my need to “do something” with my eyebrows (or so they assure me), and as serious as what our wishes are when we are old and unable to care for ourselves. We talk about family issues without any sugar-coating because we know there will be no judgement, only support. We laugh at our silly mistakes, confess things that we wouldn’t dare tell many others and ask questions that are completely inappropriate, knowing that we will get nothing more than a simple and honest answer in response.
I know a weekend spent in a Drury Inn in a suburb of Kansas City, eating at chain restaurants and shopping at the same type of mall that can be found all across the country doesn’t sound like such a big deal. Most people think of a trip to Kansas City and immediately think of the Crown Center, Country Club Plaza, the terrific clubs and unique restaurants, the first-rate museums, etc. And I’m sure I’ll get around to visiting all those someday. But for now, I’d much rather have a weekend with two of my closest friends, the laughter at inside jokes, the support and understanding we give each other, and the realization that I am so very lucky to have this kind of friendship in my life.