You can’t make old friends, so when a college buddy of rather-attractive hubby and mine, who we have not seen in 4 kids or so, came to town, we wanted to see him.
He and his bride traveled across the country; the least we could do was get our married-with-children teenagers asses into New York for a night out. It wasn’t root canal; it was dinner and drinks with friends. Like grown-ups do.
We had 9:30 dinner reservations.
9:30 at night.
You know, halfway through Law & Order reruns, when your eyes get heavy and they bring in Sam Waterson to wake you up? That’s when we were supposed to eat dinner. In New York. Like in Manhattan, New York City.
Which never sleeps. But we do.
And the restaurant was a mere 20 min metrocard from Grand Central, where an 88 minute train ride would return us to a desolate commuter lot, where the car would be frozen and hopefully start for the 30 minute ride home.
This was not looking so good.
So I confessed: it’s not my kids, it’s me. I can’t do this.
“I can’t eat at 9:30. We have a crack-of-dawn swim meet, and hoops game, and birthday party, and I need to be in bed by 11 o’clock news. It’s what we do.”
To which he replied:
“Wow. Okay, Grandma.”
Them’s fighting words and now I HAD to go. And eat at midnight, or 9:30, and look like a hip New Yorker, and not some middle-aged, suburban, SUV driving soccer mom going to the city for a celebratory if not celibate night out.
Women who I myself made fun of relentlessly when pre-kids, I worked in the city and while never hip, I swore off and at the suburban Wednesday matinee loving groupies. Which I now am.
So we went. And drank. And ate. And talked and laughed and hugged and had the best time ever.
We went to the top of a hotel and had cocktails we couldn’t afford. We walked High Line Park in a wispy snowfall. Listened to Cuban music and drank Mojitos. Celebrated birthdays. Talked politics and healthcare and parenting and travel. Career goals. Retirement.
THE BEST TIME.
I tried to take a self-portrait of me peeing in the fanciest bathroom ever on the 18th floor of The Standard Hotel, but it didn’t come out. Which is probably a good thing. The photograph, of course, not the pee. The pee was just fine.
NOTE: When in New York, you simply must pee after dark in the bathrooms on the 18th floor of The Standard Hotel. Put this on your bucket list.
We missed our train home, and caught the last train out of Manhattan, which was filled the last-call-for-alcohol drunken slobs, their regretful dates, lost companions, sloppy decisions, and loud, f-bomb laden fighting words. Complete with police escorts.
It smelled like barf and cigarettes and hairspray. And everyone talks loud and dumb, with Jersey accents. Thank you popular culture. A living hell, or so I thought.
But the real hell began when a mere 90 minutes later after arriving home, at 6:30 am next morning, when life began again fast.
With swim meets and basketball games and birthday parties and snow storms. But I don’t regret it one bit. It was good to remember who we used to be, with people who knew us then, and got to know us again now, and love us anyways.