Monday, March 10, 2008
Girls' Ski Trip- I Could've Danced All Night
Last time, we made the front page of the paper. There we are, five out of the eight of us, plus some weird guy, emblazoned on the cover of the Summit Daily News. We were captured, frozen in time, dancing to an 80’s band in the town plaza of Breckenridge, our faces still burning pink from the day on the slopes. I was clutching a Coca-cola cup in my hand, a cup that did not contain any Coca-cola, but was instead full of warm beer. Tonya was doing air guitar. Betsy's eyes were lost somewhere behind her huge grin.
The band was called Latex Limousine, and they went all out, dressing in animal print spandex and teased hair-band wigs. We requested song after song, and they complied, so we stayed there dancing and singing until long after the last amp had been loaded into their beat up van. We felt like mini-celebrities, blazing into town, partying like rock stars, (minus the drugs and groupies, of course) and then getting hounded by the paparazzi, or in this case a part-time, freelance photographer/ski bum living the dream in a mountain town and actually getting paid for it. But that was last time.
This time, we are all two years older. We have all, for the most part, settled into relationships, married or moved in with our significant others, and come to terms with the fact that our thirties are here, or at least for the younger ones not far off. We are grownups now. Some of the girls from last year didn’t even make it. Pregnant? of course. Overtime? Yes. Relocation? Yeah, that too. This year is definitely different. We won’t make the paper this year. We’ll be a little more laid back, a little less intoxicated, and a little more comfortable just hanging out in the condo relaxing in front of the fire, sipping glasses of wine, and talking about our futures. We will compare notes about our men back at home and the things that all men do that make all women crazy. We will tell hilarious stories and laugh until our abdomens cry for mercy, and we will cook great meals and take time to really enjoy the company of the other smart, funny women with whom it seems we never get to spend enough time. Then we will get dressed in our comfortable jeans and sensible turtlenecks and we will go do what every intelligent, successful, mature woman comes to Breckenridge, Colorado to do. We will go forth, and we will dance our asses off. Like nobody’s watching.
Friday night, the scene was at the Gold Pan. It was said that there would be a great DJ, although I’m not sure how whoever imparted this knowledge found all of this out. I never know where the scene is anymore.
We ate dinner and had a couple of cocktails at the condo, and then we wandered out to catch the bus downtown. We were riding in ski-town style, now, and it was The Gold Pan or bust. We made loud jokes on the bus, hoping to entertain some of the other riders. One guy smiled. A lady rolled her eyes. The bus driver never looked up from the road.
Upon our arrival, the Gold Pan was indeed quite the scene, and as foretold, the DJ was awesome. We were nine strong in number, (having left two back at the condo, one with a cold and the other dead-tired) and we wandered in like we owned the place. Lena stole a table from some guys. Jen went to buy a round of beers only to have all nine of them purchased for her by a man on a barstool who apparently liked her style. We peeled off our puffy vests and hit the dance floor, and I was dripping sweat before the first song was over.
The boys were on the prowl. We ignored them and kept dancing in our girls-only circle. We had the luxury of being confident enough not to need the male attention, and the good sense in being slightly old enough to really appreciate it. We resorted back to our junior high alter-egos. We smiled back at them, but we didn’t let them break into our club. As Dane Cook said, “tonight, we just want to DANCE”
An hour later, the DJ finally answered my request. I jumped up and down to the beat, smiling, screaming “Josie’s on a vacation far-a-way…!!” My friends laughed at me. Life just doesn’t get any better than this. Great music, a couple of beers, boys who think you’re pretty, and a bunch of hilarious friends on a vacation faraway. Well, eighty miles or so away.
Outside the bar, this guy was chatting up another couple of girls from our group. He wasn’t being a slimeball, just chatting. Nice guy. He was there for his bachelor weekend, even sweetly producing a cell phone shot of his wife-to be.
I stared at him. I used a line. Only it wasn’t a line, it was really true. “I know you from somewhere,” I said.
He had been busy trying to get one of my friends to dance with his brother, but he looked up at me with a knowing smile. “Do you have kids?” he asked, still smiling.
I was already shaking my head violently before he finished the last word of his question, but still, I couldn’t stop staring at him. I KNEW him. This feeling of being sure I know someone happens to me quite a bit. When I get this feeling, it takes over my brain and defies all logic. I am immediately compelled to stare at, harass, and quiz the person I’m sure I know until he or she helps me figure it out or files a restraining order, whichever comes first. Usually, when I see someone and keep insisting that I know him, it turns out to be the person I yelled at for going slow in the left lane, or the guy from the dog park whom I firmly informed of the law regarding how he needed to properly dispose of his Labrador’s droppings. It never seems to be anyone good when I know I know them, but I still can’t let it go. This guy was helping me through it, though.
“Do you have nieces and nephews?”
I nodded. “Yes, one of each, but I don’t know what that would….” I just wasn’t getting it.
He had clearly been through this spiel before, and it was time for his dramatic reveal. “I played Joe on Blue’s Clues!” he said with a flourish.
I laughed and covered my mouth and hopped around a little bit, “I love Blue’s Clues!” I shrieked, involuntarily letting on that I was a freak who did not watch the show with my little niece and nephew, but instead by myself in the throes of Saturday morning hangovers during a solid portion of my twenties. “I have a dog named Blue! I loved that show! This is so awesome!”
At this point, Joe from Blue’s Clues began to realize that I was way too excited about a show with a target market between the ages of two and five. I wanted to ask him about a million things, but he started to look uncomfortable. It was the celebrity sighting of the weekend, and I was ruining it by being just a tad too eager.
I tried to chill out, but I had to tell all my friends. “Psst, guys... that guy Donovan over there? He played Joe on Blue’s Clues!” A couple of the girls had the attitude of “Oh, cool, nice” A few had no idea what Blue’s Clues even was, and the rest of the girls were totally unimpressed. No one had the same reaction I did, and so I sighed and then let it go. Back to the dance floor where people understand me.
We brought the night to a close by screeching the lyrics to “Don’t Stop Believin’” in the middle of the dancefloor. We were a chorus of sweaty, Journey-loving, throwbacks, and we didn’t even care. Even Joe from Blue’s Clues got into it, singing loudly while one of my friends finally danced with his brother.
We left the bar with the intent to walk the mile or so back to our condo. We all hated this idea, but it is almost impossible to get a cab in downtown Breckenridge the way you can in the city. The buses had stopped running at this late hour, and our thighs were burning from the hours of modern dance that had just preceded. We had just grudgingly begun our trek when a beat-up 1980’s Chevy Blazer pulled up. It was disguised cleverly as a cab with the simple addition of a yellow TAXI sign stuck to the top. Legs and arms everywhere, we all managed to fit inside with the cheerful driver who did not seem to mind the illegality of the situation one bit He drove us a mile right to the front door of our condo and asked us for twelve dollars in return. Cash came from everywhere. We were so thankful for the miracle Taxi-Blazer that I think he ended up netting around thirty bucks. Definitely his best fare of the night.
We wandered in to the condo together, some us with our arms linked, still singing.
“Hold on to that Fee-ee-lin!”
First photo courtesy of The Summit Daily News. Second photo courtesy of Amazon.com.