A group of five women over the age of fifty usually goes unnoticed in a world that celebrates youth, wrinkle-free skin, and perky boobs. The older women could be ignored as a bygone bevy of broads chattering over lunch before nap time. But for five feisty friends who met more than 40 years ago at the University of Idaho, life continues to be one grand adventure, and we have earned every laugh line on our wise and smiling faces.
The five of us met this weekend in San Francisco to attend the wedding of one of our daughters. We arrived at the Oakland airport, all wearing sensible shoes and black pants suits while rolling our eyes at the young ladies hobbling about on stiletto heels. We are seasoned travelers through life, and we tossed the heels many years ago.
As we shared coffee and laughs while waiting for the shuttle bus into the city, we planned how we would perform the Leg of Mutton Dance at the reception, just as we did back at the Delta Gamma Sorority and at every DG wedding since then. Some of the more sophisticated guests at the prestigious Fort Mason venue will be shocked at our exuberant antics, but as usual, we don’t give a rip.
The five of us met during the start of our freshman year in college. Freedom was new and intoxicating, and we discovered that the uncharted life away from our parents was best shared with good friends. Since then we have participated in each other’s weddings – two of us have had more than one and three have been married to their first husband for more than forty years. We celebrated the births of our ten children and mourned the deaths of our parents. And then came the weddings of our children and the births of grandchildren. We also worked in rewarding careers and juggled the complex challenges of life by the seats of our ever-expanding pants.
Though we’ve never lived in the same towns, we have continued to get together. When our kids were little we enjoyed family slumber parties, float trips on the river, and vacations at a mountain lodge. After our kids got older, we enjoyed women-only trips. To celebrate our 55th birthdays, we traveled to Maui, Hawaii to hike across a volcano, savor spa treatments, and watch the sun rise over the ocean.
The next five days will be mini-reunion, and we’ll laugh at the same stories, reminisce about our lives, and prove that a woman is never too old to throw off her shoes and joyfully dance at a wedding. We will eat too much good food, drink too many delightful drinks, and visit too many wineries. But we’ll also visit the gym in the hotel because we want to stay fit enough to continue to party.
We’ve known the bride since she was a baby, and our wish is that her life will be full of passion, laughter, and good friends. During the inevitable bad times, she’ll need her friends more than ever. We can be there in a few hours, and we promise to sing and dance until the sun comes up again. We know how to do that.
Today’s blog is fueled by a delightful wine tasting at the Eno Wine Bar on 320 Geary Street in San Francisco. For $15, try the flight of Italian red wines: a 2011 Rio Alba Valpolicella Veneto, a 2010 Lanari Rosso Conero Marche, and a 2010 Alovini Aglianico Basilicata. If you’re lucky, the charming host Greg will bring an excellent selection of imported cheeses, bruschetta, and chocolates. Yes, we ate and laughed until we ached, just like we did forty years ago. www.enowinerooms.com.