This is the year we all turn 50.
School-year, I mean, so some of us got a head start last fall, but as of this past weekend, only one us is still waiting on her birthday.
B. had left a message for me on my birthday saying Hey, let’s all get together in Chicago in April, and mirabilis dictu, we all got together in Chicago in April.
We’re old now—one of us is soon to be a grandmother—and we have the wrinkles and dyed hair to prove it. And yes, there were discussions of creaking bones and medical tests and demurrals from that last glass of beer or wine. And yes, we talked about high school classmates and who died, who divorced, who married whose ex, and of old crushes and friends who’ve fallen away.
But mostly we talked and walked and laughed. We walked to Millennium Park and the Navy Pier, took distorted pictures of ourselves in the Bean (I have no idea what it’s actually called), wandered through the old Chicago Public Library building and decided that paying 10 bucks to get married by a justice of the peace in one of its splendid halls would be a very good deal. We took an architectural tour via the Chicago River (we were all terribly impressed with the tour guide) and wandered around the WGN building gazing at and occasionally patting the embedded stones from around the world.
We ate Chicago-style pizza.
Now, here I have to mention that I tried really (well, pretty) hard not to be a tiresome New Yorker and comment on everything Second City, but when it came to the deep-dish pizza, I had to say “Chicago-style”. (B. did, however, agree with me that “pizza” really did mean New York pizza.)
Anyway, it was good.
The whole weekend was good. The conversation zipped around and around and we were all quite agreeable with one another. I swore too much and P. and T. competed with how many steps each took, and the four of us in line for the river tour weren’t entirely sure the other two would make it back from the bathroom in time, but as we parted on Sunday we all agreed we should do this again, maybe in Chicago, maybe in Milwaukee, but yes, definitely, we should get together to eat and drink and walk and talk and laugh and laugh and laugh, at ourselves and all we’ve been through and all that’s yet to come.