Sunday Morning~Savannah Spirits

Ah, it’s girls weekend, the annual event that started six years ago as a buck-her-up weekend for a few of us going through hard times back then.  Well, it has turned into a phenomenon I think we should market.  We’ve outdone ourselves.

This was never meant to be exclusive or cliquey. Nine high school classmates just ended up together one MLK weekend at my house, hodgepodge style. I had invited Joyce and Paula to come up for some cross country skiing.  Paula needed to get away. Then Kathy called and said she’d love to come, too. Then Mike died, and I thought we should see if Carol wanted some girlfriend time. Then Patti was going to be in Maine dropping her son at school and said she’d love to come and thought Margie needed a break from caring for David, so asked her to come, too. Then I got a call from Margie asking if she could invite Doreen. Then I got a message from Tricia and told her about it and she said she’d love to come, too. That’s how the nine of us ended up in my living room for a long snowy weekend. We shared our souls and secrets and had a blast. And we vowed to do it again. And again. And again.

Patti was cheerleader captain in high school. Yes, four of the nine, including me, were cheerleaders.  And we were good! We won tournaments! It was hard! We practiced a lot!  And we were not sluts! We were cute! We got good grades!  Anyway, Patti always has good ideas, and she had made a 60 by 60 list.  Sixty things she wanted to do before she turned 60.  Isn’t that brilliant? Well, that was six years ago and we are turning 60 this year. She has eleven left and has till August. She’s so cool. And it got us talking about our own bucket lists and we toss them out and in our spirit-soaked weekends we think they are great ideas! Yes! Iceland in the winter! Let’s do it! So we did!

A few years ago we decided girls weekend should be a trip every other year. So it’s cozy up together in Bar Harbor one year and meet up in a pre-determined place the next. This year was destination-Savannah, and we picked a winner, though after last night we may be on a local no-fly list.

I really think everyone should consider doing this. Call up a few high school friends and get snowed-in someplace. Think of the money you’ll save on therapists! Okay, that might be offset by how much you spend on libation, but really, if everyone pitches in, it’s not that expensive. Cheap wine works fine to get the memories flowing. And when you discover that everyone’s families were as screwed up as yours, you’ll feel so much better! Hmm, there might be another TED talk in here somewhere.

I’m surprising myself with all the exclamation points this morning. They are not an indication of my head condition after last night’s martini tour. When Tricia got up to get a drink of water she said, “Oh. I feel like I am wearing a crown. A….very…heavy…crown.”  I started laughing so hard I couldn’t get back to sleep so decided to get up and write. My throat hurts as much as my head and I couldn’t figure out why until I started laughing again. Oh, right. It was from laughing. God, last night was fun.

As I said, we are all turning sixty this year, and Joyce’s big day happened to fall on this very weekend. We rang it in yesterday with no holes barred. In trying to do something to surprise her, Patti (queen of good ideas), learned that the martini was invented in Savannah and they offer a martini tour. It’s basically a girly pub crawl (and I do mean crawl) with a little history thrown in at the beginning. Because, believe me, no one gives a shit about history by the end of the tour. Four martinis are included in case anyone is considering signing up. Four large martinis. We did not need anything else to drink, though, we were such a hit about town that people were buying us shots by the end of the night. One very generous woman, with equally generous breasts and a boyfriend who wouldn’t dance, came out with a tray of fireball shots for us. Apparently we impressed her with our dancing skills. Or that was my take on it.

We weren’t allowed inside one of the high-end establishments, so waited on the sidewalk while Rebecca, our guide went in to get the martinis to go. (Savannah, bless it’s little heart, has an open carry law.) While waiting, we sang a repertoire of all our wedding songs like Christmas carolers at the door of the restaurant. Can’t remember whose idea that was. When Rebecca, came out I said, “I’m sorry if we are embarrassing you.”  She said, “Are you kidding? You are the most fun group I’ve ever had!” (We heard that a lot last night. They were probably just saying it to be nice. Southern hospitality or something.)

We were allowed into a dive bar, formerly a speakeasy, and sat in the back where they used to hide people and booze. There, Rebecca told us about the ghosts and spirits inhabiting this city. I’ll check my photos later for any strange rings or whatever she said to look for. There was something about insane asylums and being buried alive and some other insights I now can’t recall, but some weird shit happened here. I’m not surprised they sat around concocting very strong drinks.

Between there and the final destination, some guy on a motorcycle took Joyce, the birthday girl, on a spin around the block. Ok, I was a little worried about that one, but Rebecca reassured us he was ok. Then Patti took a spin with him and he was gone longer, I thought too long. More drunken anxiety on my part. Then when she happily returned, off we went to the final bar, also a restaurant, where Rebecca had arranged cake along with the real martini. (Remember, we are three in by now.) We were seated at tables and I said to Margie I was really worried about Patti being gone so long on that motorcycle. Margie, in the running for sweetest person in the world, says, “Oh, no! I wasn’t worried!  He was so nice! He was showing us pictures of his parrot.  How can you not trust someone who shows you pictures of his bird?”  There was a split second of stunned silence before our table exploded with howls of laughter, which caused a, let’s say, humorless patron to come to our table to tell us we were ruining her meal. Scolded, we quieted down and I leaned over and said, “Margie, that is going to be the title of my blog tomorrow.” (I was drunk. I didn’t realize at the time it was too long for the title.) Sweet Margie responded, “Oh! I’ve been secretly hoping you would write about me in your blog!”

How can you not trust someone who shows you pictures of his bird? There’s a better story in there somewhere.  I’m going to work on it. For Margie.