"Let's have an oldies' girl getaway!"
"I don't like being called an oldie! I don't FEEL old!"
"Well, you ARE! We all are."
"We all use Lady Clairol to look blond too." (When we saw our first gray hairs, we thought we'd dye.)
"Well then to match our hair, let's call ourselves Goldies instead of Oldies."
It was said. It was done. When all was said and done, more was said than done. But it was the first of several reunions with my college girlfriends. For a few days at the beach we are no longer wives, mothers or grandmothers, just girls again.
Sometimes there are half a dozen or more, other times maybe three. The fun remains. Let me share a few of our escapades.
Beverly arrived at my house a few hours before Jan's plane landed. So we ate lunch then headed to meet her at Florence Airport. It had been years since we'd seen each other, even though Jan and I go back to when we were 14 years old. Bev and I sat chatting in the white, wooden rockers in the waiting area. It's a small, homey airport. The plane landed and we watched the passengers parade before us.
"Excuse me," I intercepted a flight attendant, "but could you see if Janice Banks was on the passenger list please?"
After checking the roster, "Yes. Her name is right here."
But where was Jan?
I phoned her as we strolled to baggage a few yards away. "Jan! Where are you? What happened?"
"Where are YOU?" she echoed.
"Bev and I are waiting at the airport for you."
"Well, I'm right here!"
"Where? We just watched everybody get off."
"I'm right here in baggage..."
Suddenly I was hearing in stereo. A tall, gray haired lady in front of me was saying the same words I was hearing in the phone, "...right here in baggage."
She spun around and a spontaneous group hug combusted! OK. So we don't all use Lady Clairol. She had changed, grown older, so we didn't recognize her. I'm not quite sure why she didn't recognize us in our rockers though. Walked right by us.
Fast forward about 3 or 4 years. Same scenario. Bev and I are at the airport, determined to be alert this time; we were off our rockers, holding a sign like chauffeurs hold at airports for dignitaries. I even brought a pair of those ridiculously over-sized sunglasses and we wore bright leis. We were catching up as the passengers deboarded. So engrossed in conversation, we didn't spot her...again!
Until we heard a loud, "A-HEM!" as Jan froze in place, cocked her head and waited for recognition. I threw on the glasses as Bev hoisted the sign.
Too little. Too late.
The fun followed us to Myrtle Beach. Out shopping one day in Hamricks, we spotted red hats! Jan asked a lady to take our picture as we tried them on. Oh! We are so Red-Hatish!
Then we fanned out to find bargains with no particular plans to meet back up. Armed with cell phones, we knew we could find each other so we agreed to stay in the store. I eventually checked out, circled the store but couldn't find either of them. So I headed to the restroom, dialing as I entered the stall.
"Hey. It's Kat. I looked all over for you two. Did you leave the store? Where are you?"
Bev said one word, "Listen."
I did. A toilet flushed in the stall next to mine AND in my ear from the cell phone. Stereo again! Then her hand waved at me under the dividing wall. Jan was laughing from the other side of me, waving too. Great minds think alike and old bladders work in sync.
Our last trip together we strolled Barefoot Landing and had more fun with hats, groovy shades and '50's scenes with Elvis and the Blues Brothers. We're very easily amused.
One trip a larger group of us lingered at the restaurant table long after most patrons left. Our young waitress enjoyed frolicking with us. We started singing and she was obviously shocked, "Wow! You all really sound good!"
Bev explained we used to sing together.
"Well, you still sound good." Probably hoping for a good tip.
"We were cheerleaders too."
Even more shocked, the waitress, repeated, "Wow!" as she scanned the middle-aged, overweight oldies...I mean goldies. (Our circumference was from too much pi.)
"Yep," Bev continued, "This is what cheerleaders look like forty years later."
"Wo-oow!" poor thing murmured. Her young brain cells could not compute what she heard with what she saw before her. Now that's probably gonna hurt her tip!
Sometimes it's hard to look in the mirror and absorb it ourselves!
I flew to OK to be with Jan last year as she received her doctorate. She's the smart one. I know her husband, Jerry, was smiling at us from heaven that special day.
Dr. Jan Banks loses her dignity as I become the wind beneath her. . .stole!
But when we get together, the years melt away. We laugh, cry, sing, pray, talk and maybe next year we'll even cheer! Getting here together is something to celebrate, maybe even cheer about!