What do you do when you’ve just come back from a walk on the beach with dog # 1, have just played ball with dog # 2, and then your girlfriend texts that one of your girlfriends has passed away from her battle with cancer?
You reflect on when you knew her best, a dozen years ago, when she was one of the very first ones to welcome you into a singles’ club of beautiful women and gorgeous men, when she told you things about some of the male prospects, warning you to stay away.
“We women have to stick together,” she said.
When I was coming back from the bathroom and everyone was up dancing at the Greenery, I didn’t really know anyone. I started for the table. She grabbed me and pulled me onto the dance floor.
Thanks! I needed that!
She found the love of her life in the club, excited after returning from a Tahoe weekend. I saw her at the Hilton, and she told me about it. Then he walked in, and her face lit up. I knew the secret before most.
At a birthday party for Maureen, we were standing together when her cell rang.
“I’ve got to go!” she said.
“I bet I know who that was,” I said.
“Be quiet!” she warned me.
She wasn’t ready to tell the world yet.
I stayed at the party, barely knowing anyone. Then someone brought out the lit birthday cake.
“A moment on the lips, forever on the hips!” a guy named Randy said.
“Don’t say that!” I yelled. “That’s so tacky to say that.”
The party group fell silent. Then someone saved me.
“Randy and tacky go way back,” another guy said.
Everyone laughed, and I was off the hook.
When I was putting together our very first act for the singles’ club Gong show, I had the silly song, and I had the killer idea for the punchline at the end (thanks, Lynn). All I needed were some of those lovely women to stand up and do the song and dance with me. Somehow, I recruited seven women. She was one of them.
Rehearsals were the most fun. The eight of us would get together to rehearse with lots of Chardonnay flowing. We went over the steps again and again, but no one was memorizing the words. She still had the cheat sheet nearby when it was close to the performance date.
The act was a hit, Button Up Your Overcoat. We wore colorful trench coats. At the end, after the last boo boo bee doop, we opened up our coats and flashed the audience. Underneath we were wearing slips, swim suits, corsets, whatever made us feel sexy. The flash was only a few seconds, but we sure got everyone’s attention.
Those were the good times.
I ran into her guy on Friday nights at the club TGIFs when she was off playing softball. He told me how much she loved ice cream. He was smitten, that’s for sure.
We’d see each other from time to time on the dance floor when there was music in the park. I was amazed that she was out there, during her cancer battle. We’d run to each other and hug, like old times. I saw her in December at a girlfriend holiday gathering. We embraced. It had been a while.
This morning she passed away. As I am typing this, my piano livestream is playing Somewhere Over the Rainbow, a fitting song for a sad day.
Rest in peace, my amazing friend.