I can't remember the last time I had such a great time as this weekend. I flew down to North Carolina--solo--for my friend Stephanie's bridal shower and had such a fabulous time.
Stephanie picked me up from the airport around 4:30pm Friday afternoon. We went straight to the mall, specifically Banana Republic, where I helped Stephanie pick out some wonderful outfits for her shower and rehearsal dinner. (How fun is it to get to pick out great clothes but not spend a dime!) We went to her house to drop off my things and pick up her fabulous fiance. Off to a wonderful restaurant in downtown Raleigh for great food, great wine and wonderful conversation. Poor Will, he just zoned out a bit at dinner while Stephanie and I talked and talked and talked. He was a great sport!
The next morning we were up bright and early for our drive to Charlotte for the actual shower. Our friend Claire hosted at her beautiful home. The whole thing was just lovely. The best part is that things moved along at a good pace and after the presents and dessert the guests didn't linger. That left the hostess, the bride, the bride's sister, me and two other bridesmaids with the afternoon to talk and catch up.
After a few hours of conversation we headed downtown to a fabulous, modern and trendy restaurant for a delicious dinner, then back to Claire's home for an evening of...bachelorette fun! We stayed up into the wee hours of the morning and woke up fairly early--by about 9am for more talking (and laughing!) before we went our separate ways.
With the exception of the bride's sister, the rest of us are fellow alumnae of the women's college we attended as undergrads. The bride and I were friends in college but didn't become really close friends until after college. I knew and was friends with the other girls, but not really close friends. Now, here we are almost 10 years out of college, with Master's degrees, fabulous careers, husbands (all married or soon-to-be- except one) and two of us have preschoolers. And we talked and talked. Talked about life and love, marriage and husbands, sex and money, kids and family.
At our college we were all leaders--involved, told we could have it all. We went out, degrees in hand, and truly did have it all. We conquered the world. Six master's degrees among us, amazing career accomplishments. The one thing we didn't learn in college, in this women's college where women empowerment was a constant theme--was how to have it all and balance it all. Yes, go out and conquer the world, but what about the husband and the kids? How does that all fit in?
We talked about our struggles with losing our identity. Yes, I'm still working, but since having Lucas and by working part-time I've definitely put the brakes on my career and remained on a plateau--if not even taken it down a few steps. And I know that is my choice and feel grateful to have that choice. But, sometimes in the mind-numbingness of playing trains, again, or wiping a butt or making my millionth PB&J sandwich, I just want to shout out to the world: "This isn't all I am, I have an MBA!"
It was awesome to hear these women, these smart, funny, amazing women, voice the same problems, the same challenges. To get advice on some issues and give advice on others. And to drink. And to laugh. It was amazing.
To sum up: No men. Much laughing. Much talking. Much support. (Much drinking.) Yeah, this girls weekend was just like college!