Sunday, November 27, 2011

No Boys Allowed

Every year, me and a few girlfriends take at least one trip together. I am not sure when this tradition started, but I know that my first girlfriend trip was to Acapulco with 2 girlfriends, my sister, my Mom and my aunt. We laid around poolside for DAYS eating nachos and "pool hopping" in order to be present for each happy hour!
As I plan my travels for the year (yes, I plan them out far in advance) I always set aside 2 or 3 vacation days for my girls get away. Even though we get together throughout the year for various reasons, our get away is highly anticipated.  Our planning usually begins 6 – 9 months out when I email my girls to see who is interested in going where, giving 3 or 4 suggestions. The email discussion is always part of the fun as we joke about who is going to respond, if they respond at all, and why I'm always talking vacation. We re-live experiences on the previous get away, take jabs at each other and voice our roommate preferences. Since I'm the planner of the group, I typically narrow it down to 2 locations, send price estimates for each, and voila - after months of email chains and maybe some in person discussions over dinner - a decision is made and I begin to work my get away magic.
As I look back on previous get aways, I have come to realize that the location isn't as important as the time spent.  Sure, we enjoy luxury accomodations and super soft sand; but it's the therapy of being together that makes it so important to us. Our poolside sessions have helped each other through break-ups, divorces, weight gain, loss of a parent, and career decisions. We laugh, cry, discuss bad hair dos, bad (and good) boyfriends, remember bad karaoke sessions and even bad lap dance attempts. We talk about who has the most grey hair, who is the oldest (as if that ever changes), who has a new relationship, who is keeping their marriage exciting (and how). We eat, drink, nap, swim, snorkel, jet ski, shop, explore, get massages/facials and dance our days/nights away.
On our latest girls get away, we broke a cardinal rule. We allowed a husband, a boyfriend and a male friend to join us. Don’t get me wrong, we love our men; but there was something about having male counterparts present that made the conversation less open – made the fun, less – well, fun.  We couldn’t possibly talk about menopause symptoms, grey hair “down there”, or the botched attempt to be sexy.  There was no talk of thong versus boy shorts, waxing versus shaving, sexual likes and dislikes.  We couldn’t talk about the things that make us, us.   
Collectively, we realized just how much we missed our time alone and while we still enjoyed each others company, one decision regarding the next get away had already been made: NO BOYS ALLOWED.