View from the Hill
LOS ANGELES—Remember the days when you and your friends would gather together and talk about boys, and plan for the weekend and the future with equal enthusiasm? Those days are long gone.
Amber, Jackie and I have been friends since high school. (I’m using different names and identifying characteristics so no one is hurt or embarrassed and jail time may be avoided.) Over the years, our conversations have changed along with our hairstyles and threshold for pain.
We used to talk about men, music and wardrobe malfunctions. We remember the days when we’d drop everything for a Jane’s Addiction concert or road trip to Mardi Gras. We used to be fun. We used to be exciting.
We used to be hot.
Lately, at the end of our marathon two-hour phone calls/happy hour events, one of us will inevitably wonder, “What have we become?”
Heck if I know. Perhaps you, dear readers, can tell me where sexy went.
Me: How’s our week shaping up? Anything interesting going on that I should know about?
Amber: I have to see my gynecologist on Wednesday.
Jackie: I have to see my GI doctor tomorrow.
Jackie: I thought my body was rejecting the organic beets I put in my salad. But then I stopped eating them and grabbed a Hemoccult test from the medicine cabinet. It came back positive so I had to call the doctor.
Amber: Who has a Hemoccult test in their medicine cabinet?
Jackie: I do. Right next to my Xanax.
Me: Why do you need to see your doctor, Amber?
Amber: Polyps in my uterus. They make life uncomfortable every month, but getting rid of them might make me fertile.
Jackie: Get rid of the polyps and get on the pill.
Amber: Birth control pills turn me into Dr. David Banner when he’s “angry.” Maybe I’ll just leave the polyps in there, name each one and become a happy family without college tuition payments or therapy sessions.
Me: I had a similar issue. Two years after giving birth, I still couldn’t see my feet. I called it “baby weight,” but it had more to do with baklava. I finally started eating right again and exercising, lost the weight, got into yoga, cut back on drinking and I’m as good as new.
Amber: But you’ve taken to mumbling, pulling your hair out and screaming into pillows.
Me: When my kids started talking in complete sentences, I did turn to whiskey for a while.
Jackie: Amber, you should quit smoking. You’d feel a whole lot better. Now where did I leave my lighter?
Amber: I’m sure you’re both right, but getting me to follow all your advice would take a reality show, three sponsors, two personal trainers, four psych grads from Harvard Medical School and a partridge in a pear tree.
Jackie: I hear you. It’s hard to stop bad habits at our age. Have you ever tried quitting coffee, Catherine?
Me: It can’t be worse than nursing twin sons through chicken pox with nothing stronger than green tea in the house.
Amber: I stopped drinking coffee once, but after two hours I couldn’t take it anymore and popped a Sudafed. It was the “non-drowsy-have-to-sign-a-waiver-so-they-don’t-think-I’m-cutting-meth-with-it” original formula. But at least I woke up and stopped drooling on myself.
Jackie: This conversation is scaring me. We all have to promise, right now, that we will always take care of each other.
Amber: If Jackie stays on Lexapro and Catherine stays away from soy, I will cut back on caffeine and start exercising. We will be rocking a retirement community before we know it.
Me: Now I understand why I’m suddenly depressed.
Amber: Maybe you need Lexapro.
Jackie: Don’t hang up. We have to discuss my colonoscopy and which meds go with wine.
We have a girls’ weekend coming up in about a month. Whatever will we talk about?
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