“I’ve been thrown out of better bars than this!” Dixie shouted over her shoulder.
“Me too,” I smiled, recollecting the last time I got together with this same group. The bartender was not overly amused, but I certainly was. And that’s all that matters.
Three friends and I recently took a trip to my lake house and my, we had a wonderful time. No run-ins with the law, all limbs intact, bellies full, abdominals tight from laughing so hard, sanity restored, we never wanted to leave.
We arrived on Friday in clean clothes, make-up, and in tidy form, and took advantage of that state to hit the bars. A couple of cocktails down the hatch in the cabin before we met our driver, we were already a bit high when we arrived at the local bar for the meat raffle.
Right out of the shoot, we had success. Drinks poured, pizza ordered, pull tabs scattered in piles before us, I won a round at the raffle. Can anyone say steak! I was only disappointed that I forgot to bring a collection of my meat raffle signs. We take these ridiculous events seriously up north and I have about fifty random signs on heavy stock written with bold magic marker. Super clever sayings like: Meet Meet Meat, or Meat me in St. Louis, or Meat-a-Palooza! The rowdier we get the better. (I have a great picture of my five-year-old niece standing on her chair like Norma Ray, a wild look in her eyes as she holds a sign above her head. Teaching the young ones how it’s done!)
So while we were off to a great start, things began to go downhill, or uphill, whichever you prefer when the alcohol got the better of a couple of us. Not me, however. The writing on the wall, I slowed down and became the adult wingman. That was just fine. Sometimes it’s way more fun to be the sober one, collecting the stories, calming the wide-eyed clientele and staff, assuring them that all is in hand. Just be sure to tip big on the way out!
But our time in the first bar came to a stop when the pole dancing (not on designated poles, but support structures) began. Dancing in earnest, cussing loudly while we played shuffleboard, some of us had difficulty not flashing one another when they lost. Yes. You got that right. Tops and tails. It was awesome.
The bartender cut us off. My three compatriots were undaunted. There was a second-level bar in the place. One of the sharper minds announced the plan directly in front of the bartender. “Come on. Let’s go upstairs and get a drink!”
It was time to go. I called our driver and told him we were ready. By the time I got upstairs, two things had happened. Two of my buddies had accomplished getting served, but Dixie had not. She didn’t seem too upset, however, as she was wildly dancing with the lead guitarist of the band on the dance floor. Sweet Home Alabama was being done mighty right! I almost hated to break it up when the taxi came. My babies were having so much fun! They’d found a safe place and a way to spend their energy in a socially acceptable manner. Sort of.
I smiled and waved at uptight questioning customers. I pointed to my friends gyrating together and mouthed “I love them!” and clapped my hands. Regrettably, the cab came. Dixie was confused thinking we were being asked to leave. Hence the line about being thrown out of better places. Because that part is true. I was also a participant in those episodes and loved every minute of them.
The thing is, these women are the salt of the earth. They have responsible, important jobs, and have all raised wonderful, successful children. If we don’t deserve to party, who does.
“Why don’t we do this more often?” I questioned rhetorically later that night as I brushed the snow off my Uggs. I’d gone into a bank up to my knees when we made the poor decision to try to make it to the lake, the banks of snow still piled high and lingering.
“Scheduling,” my other friend said as she dove a chip into one of the ten dip options on the island. She was wrapped in a bath towel from the waist down, having lost her pants somewhere in the cabin after an aggressive laugh became too much for her bladder. (Giving birth to twins will do that to you!)
We didn’t leave the cabin after that, but we didn’t need to. We didn’t dress, or groom, but ate and drank like animals, danced, and played games from morning to late night. What did we talk about for almost 48 hours? I hardly remember, other than the laughter. A circle of trust. Close friends, no regrets. It couldn’t get any better.
Finally, I should mention that the picture is of the sign inside the cab. We were compliant with this kooky request, and we didn’t even point out the grammar error. I should also mention that we were later called delightful by a waitress at a restaurant on our way home. We can swing both ways!