Monday, April 19, 2010

"Cel-e-brate Good Times - COME ON!"

Remember that song?  (or maybe it just dates me!)  I used to love it!  And it seems fitting to encapsulate my weekend.

Girls' weekend "Calgary 2010" came to an end last night.  Though it was sad to say good-bye to everyone, my memories of the weekend are etched into my brain's hard drive. Perhaps those memories will eventually merge with the memories of our previous weekends together - either way, they are great memories.  What’s not to love about hanging out with really good friends for three-and-a-half days, doing basically nothing!
  • We didn’t have to worry about cooking a single meal - though our two Calgary hosts had done a ton of shopping and preparing for us before our arrival to make this possible (Shelley, Jeannine, you were amazing hosts!).  They even put together beautiful gift bags for each woman, filled with:  chocolate; jelly beans; more chocolate; some lovely stationary; hand cream; a piece of costume jewelry; even more chocolate; and a feather boa! My boa was a lovely blue-green.
  • We went to bed guilt-free between 1:30 and 2:30 in the morning, knowing that our children would not be waking us up at the crack of dawn.
  • We talked...and talked...and talked some more.  It was great to catch up on each other’s lives a bit, and feel like we could share in a year's worth of joys and sorrows.  We compared notes on our partners and children, and I certainly felt like I benefited from their cumulative parenting wisdom.
  • We ate very well...including lots of chocolate.  A few baccardi coolers went down pretty well, too!
One thing we have learned over the past number of years is that we actually like to do very (very) little.  During our first girls’ weekend in 2007, we planned several optional activities; but we quickly realized that if five women are still un-showered, in pajamas, and lounging on the couch at noon, not much is going to happen for the rest of the day!  So we just relax now - we try to get in a walk or two (and for two of the group, a 22 km run!), and enjoy one evening out on the town.
This year, our evening out was on Saturday night.  We went to a popular Calgary hangout called “Aussie Rules” - a place where you have to reserve at least a month in advance if you hope to get a table.  Basically, Aussie Rules is a piano bar - a very loud piano bar!  The food is mostly inexpensive pub food (appies, burgers, stuff like that), but you don’t go there for the food.  What you go for is the music and the atmosphere and maybe a long island iced tea and a martini.  We arrived at 7:00 and munched on food for a couple of hours.  Then, for the next almost-four hours, we got to partake in the piano bar atmosphere.  The place was packed...and, did I mention, loud!  Two guys played grand pianos up on stage and sang songs...all at the request of the patrons.  People would just walk up onto the stage while the guys were playing or talking, and give one of the piano guys a slip of paper with the name of a song and artist on it, along with a tip ranging from $5 to $20.  Eventually, the guys would get to that song.  

(Bob, one of the piano guys)

Most of the requests were very familiar 1980s pop rock, and the piano guys were really and truly and amazingly talented!!  They seemed able to sing and play absolutely anything and, in case I haven't already mentioned, the place was screamin' loud for the entire time we were there.  For hours, they sang and played, and pretty much everyone listening danced, swayed, and clapped their hearts out.  My palms are still sensitive to the touch.  The only rule was that people couldn’t dance on the tables...but let’s just say that the chairs were very well used as dance platforms!  Though I’m not really a dancer of any variety (I am of Mennonite origins, after all, and regrettably never learned to dance well), it was freeing to be in a relatively anonymous environment and to let loose a little and do something that I’d not normally participate in - it was a hoot!  With hoarse voices and ears that took a couple of hours to recover their ability to hear, we left after midnight.  It was a terrific evening, in my opinion, and one that I'll remember for a long time.
One of the side benefits of the weekend for me was an opportunity to get out of the negative head space that I've been in for the past number of weeks.  With every discouraging piece of adoption-related news in the past couple of months, I've been increasingly stuck on a downwards spiral, and finding it increasingly difficult time to pull myself out of the point where, in the last couple of weeks, I haven’t been able to do it anymore.  I’ve been so emotionally tired.  The tank was, quite simply, empty.  Though I know we’re a long way from seeing anything happen with our adoption yet, it somehow feels right now as if I’ve had a bit of a fuel-injection experience.  Between this weekend, and a beautiful, hope-inspiring card that a friend sent to me last week (thank you again Sharla!), I’m hoping that, just maybe, my reserves are built up a little again. Shelley, Jeannine, Liz and Yvonne - thanks for an awesome weekend together.  I’m so glad you’re in my life; I love you all.  Already, I can hardly wait for next year: Vancouver 2011.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome that you had a great time! Love the feather boa! Your plane story gave me a describe things so well that I felt like there was a nipple staring me in the face!!!