This I Believe

Mary - Aldan, Pennsylvania
Entered on November 30, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
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I believe in “Girlfriends’ Get-Away Weekend!” This special event is a yearly escape ritual I take with my five dear gal pals. We just returned from our twenty-second mini-vacation where we spent five Fun-in-the-Sun days in an awesome Sea Isle City, New Jersey, beach house!

This whole yearly escape plan was conceived innocently enough. The six of us were neighborhood girlfriends, each meeting and becoming fast friends while raising our children over twenty years ago. Some of our kids were schoolmates, others just playmates who got together when “the Moms” did! One night in my dining room, while chatting over coffee and donuts, we got to fantasizing about how much fun it would be to “escape from reality” for just one night – perhaps a quick overnighter down in Victorian Cape May? Surely, we all agreed, our husbands could handle one night with the kids, while we escaped to enjoy a single overnighter down the shore.

We all then decided that this fantasy, this wonderful “mommy heaven”, might actually work! We all agreed to arrange with our understanding husbands one single overnight trip to close-by Cape May, New Jersey. After all, we argued with our men, it is a well-known fact that women who take time out to regroup, rejuvenate, and relax come home totally refreshed and ready to take on the world!

So, after much planning we decided to arrange a short overnighter, leaving Saturday morning and returning Sunday night. Our plans worked out, and thus was hatched the most wonderful and cherished girlfriend getaway tradition! The only snag we encountered was the shortness of the overnighter and we all could not believe how quickly our time flew by.

We spent both days lazing on the sunny beach, and the rest of the time was spent shopping and browsing through quaint, Victorian Cape May. We enjoyed all it had to offer in the short time we spent together. Our consensus that final Sunday night was a united “We need more time – one night is just not enough!”

What resulted was a friendship pact to meet at least yearly. For our tenth anniversary we all went to Lakeland and Clearwater, Florida, making sure we spent some time on lovely Bradenton Beach. For our special twentieth anniversary we went to Las Vegas (Woo-Hoo!) and had a ball visiting every casino up and down the Strip, including what is known as Old Vegas! We caught a few shows, gambled, dined at some fine restaurants, shopped, and even vegged out poolside, enjoying the warm November desert weather. It was total paradise!

I believe that true friendship is a rare gift, one that I fully appreciate and cherish. I know that I am blessed with these rare friendships. But I also believe that people need to touch base with their friends, to set aside blocks of time to spend with each other in order to catch up with everyone’s busy lives. People just become so busy with their own families and their work schedules that it can become quite easy to lose touch with friends we used to enjoy. Girlfriend Weekend allows me to set aside some special time – time spent with my dear friends. It gives me the girlfriend fix that I crave.

Within this special group of gals we have all experienced each other’s positive life events, such as family births, anniversaries, graduations, first apartments, and even a great wedding. And, oddly enough, the only thing we have not experienced is divorce within our group, as all of us have been married for well over twenty years! I attribute this directly to our Girlfriend Weekend, which sometimes consists of talk therapy and shared girlfriend advice. We all return to our hubbies new and energized spouses!

Truth be told, much of our time is spent planning what we’ll be enjoying the next year! Our twenty-fifth GF Weekend is just around the bend, so we have all been thinking how we are going to spend that special time. Some of the wonderful ideas that have surfaced are: a New York weekend filled with shopping and Broadway plays, or perhaps the Rose Bowl Parade in sunny California, with a side-trip to Rodeo Drive or crazy Hollywood? The notion of a GF cruise to some warm Caribbean island is also on my mind!

Who really knows how long we will be able to keep up this terrific commitment, but all of us agree that we will enjoy Girlfriend Weekend for as long as we can! After all, in the words of singer Cyndi Lauper, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, right? Friends 4Ever!!