Once upon a time there were four very smart, very funny, very charming and independent girls who went to a magical place called Hamilton, New York where they could study at the prestigious Colgate University. Three of the girls Judy, Kitty and Lucy all lived in the same dorm freshman year. Serendipity did not strike until their sophomore year when they met the fourth girl, Maggie. And they all drank happily ever after.
Day 1: Day
Fast forward 28 years to present day. The Cakes (so named because their Colgate intramural “sports’ team was dubbed the Muffincakes) are having a semi-annual weekend reunion in San Francisco. Maggie (me) was very happy because I (I’m stopping the annoying fairytale language) am the lone West Coast Cake and usually have to fly for 7-8 hours to get to a Cake reunion. Friday morning, Deren of Rail Thin Boyfriend fame, drove me to the Portland airport. There was only one false start when we got a couple of houses away and I realized I had left my carry-on bag at home.
Derwood got me to the airport with plenty of time to spare. I checked my gigantic suitcase (thank you to ever-generous ex-husband for loaning it to me) and made my way to security. The line was very long but moving steadily. While standing in line, I noticed a man in front of me wearing a black jacket with white satin letters on the back that read “Fruit of Islam”. I looked on Google for a photo of a similar jacket but didn’t find one. I did find this:
Anyway, the Fruit of Islam jacket also had a crescent insignia on the front and the guy was wearing his Fruit of Islam baseball cap. I rushed into action, texting my siblings to let them know what was going down right in front of me. One sibling bet that FOI man would get no extra security screening and the other let me know that Fruit of Islam is the male-only paramilitary wing of the Nation of Islam and still a third sibling asked why I was at the airport.
Sibling 1 (Katie) was correct FOI man just sailed right through security and may paramilitary allah (Sibling 2 Molly was also correct) be with him. You know who didn’t sail right through security? The 60+ year old woman in front of me in line and her husband. She printed out her boarding pass and it cut off one of her initials, so she got sent back to the airline counter at the front of the airport. That seems reasonable. You can’t be too careful with all those older lady suicide bombers. I’m glad the TSA was on the job. Call me a profiler, just don’t call me late for dinner.
I also sailed through security without having to take off my jewelry so that was super exciting. I bought a sesame bagel with cream cheese (dieting shoes had come off). I put the bagel in my bag and made for the ladies restroom. I’m almost 47 years old and I have been toilet trained for a couple of years now so it’s not much of an adventure when I go to the bathroom. I did the usual thing (#1) and stood up and heard something hit the water and I knew nothing should have been hitting the water. Turn. GAH! grab boarding pass just before it lands in toilet and realize driver’s license and debit card are in the toilet. I stick my arm into my own urine and grab the cards and then just stand there for a minute not sure what to do. Automatic toilet flushes, thankfully not taking my ID with it. Sometimes it IS an adventure when I go to the bathroom.
Great. This is great. I’m holding my debit card and ID that are wet with uh you know, boarding pass was saved and is in my bag, must figure out getting pants up and disinfecting cards. I wiped them off and then washed my hands and then put hand sanitizer on the cards. I didn’t know if I got them wet washing them if they would be ruined and knew I would look like a freak if I did it in an airport bathroom. The stupidity of that thought was brought to my attention in SF by Cake Lucy.
Lucy and I meet up in the airport and take a cab to our hotel. We get to the hotel, check in, I give the front desk guy my toileted debit card. And we laugh very maturely at this sculpture:
Once in the room, Lucy points out to me that of course I can wash my driver’s license and debit card. They were wet in urine and they’re okay, soap and water shouldn’t hurt them. Probably something I should have figured out on my own.
Day 1: Night
The time is August 1992, just seven short weeks before I am to marry M***. Don’t even try to guess his name and it’s not Mitt. M is back East visiting family (or his college girlfriend, now his wife). Reality of the situation comes to light, M returns to Portland, we break off engagement, much tears and then he disappears never to be heard from again. His family won’t tell me where he is, he left most of his stuff in the apartment he shared with my brother. Poof! Gone. That was one hell of a diet!
October 2011, I find M on Facebook and we correspond. He lives outside San Fran so I’m going to meet him for drinks and git me some answers. I meet him at Bix and we have some cocktails and talk and laugh. It was as if we had just seen each other not more than 19 years ago.
When I was in my 20s I never worried about back fat or being fat. If I needed to lose weight I’d eat broccoli for a week and the weight would drop off me. I never worried about whether my hair covered the lines on my forehead. I didn’t worry about mortgage payments or college tuition or my children’s happiness. Nor did I realize that Time truly does heal. I was too young to appreciate just how brief our stay is here on earth. But now at 47, my laugh lines can’t be hidden, sometimes my knee gives out for no reason at all and I have a hair that grows out of my chin.
Now at 47 I am able to see that M hurt, too…it wasn’t just me. And my years have given me the wisdom to realize that we all have to experience painful relationships to learn to value the right relationships when they come along. At 47, I can appreciate the beauty of genuine forgiveness and the importance of old friends. Not to mention old friends that bear a striking resemblance to George Clooney!
The night was wonderful. The rest of the Cakes met up with us. I was eventually “poured” out of the car. And that’s really all there is to it, nothing else, I certainly didn’t throw up or anything. Nothing to see here.
Tomorrow is Weigh In Wednesday but if I don’t like the number I’m going with Weigh In Thursday or Weigh In Friday…I must recover from the Caketacular.