Diary of a Marriage: A Husband-Free Girls’ Trip.
When my college girlfriends and I first talked about turning 30, we did so in dorm rooms, drinking cheap vodka and waving it off the way we did marriage and having kids and getting real jobs: It would happen, eventually. And when it did, we decided, we’d take a vacation together.
And then we graduated from college and scattered across the northeast. We all got jobs, some of us got married, Becky had a baby last week, Lauren is expecting one in three months, Liz is moving with her husband to Texas. But now it looms directly ahead of us (or sits just recently behind)—30—which is why next week I’m hopping a train (you can carry more bags on a train than you can on a plane), followed by ferry, and spending four days in Nantucket with eleven of my college girlfriends.
When we were planning the trip last year, we threw out the possibility of inviting our significant others, but then quickly decided against it. I think we blamed it on schedules and limited vacation-house rentals on the island—it’s much easier to find places to accommodate eleven people than it is twenty. So, aside from Lauren’s growing baby belly, we’re leaving our families at home.
Becky sent out an email this past weekend. As the first of our college group to have a baby, it became her unspoken responsibility to fill the rest of us in on how it really goes down. And she delivered: Her email was bracingly honest, covering everything from her initial contractions to, in her words, “the ugly truth.” I read her email three times over on the train home from work and squealed, cringed and cried intermittently. Then the flurry of reply emails flooded in, each littered with all-caps and exclamation points. I imagine that if we had all been with her in the hospital, we’d be screeching at levels only canines can hear. This is why it will be just the girls next week, I couldn’t help thinking. Because the boys would kill themselves if they had to spend four days listening to this.
But it wasn’t just that. Having a getaway with just the girls is refreshing. We’ll be able to pile into a bathroom—I can brush my teeth while, say, Kristine is showering—and parade around in ratty boxers without having to worry about accidentally flashing a friend’s husband. We can reminisce about college, the days when we were more excited about turning twenty-one than nervous about turning thirty, and share inside jokes over bottles of wine and maybe even (more expensive) vodka. It might feel a tiny bit like college: Too many girls crammed into one space, drinking too much and sleeping too little and spilling details about every little nook and cranny of our lives. I won’t be Mrs. J. Goulet, magazine editor, grown-up, train commuter, laundry do-er. I’ll just be Emily, the girl who went through a hippie phase and worked at a coffee shop and sometimes wore silk scarves as shirts in what wasn’t always the best sartorial move.
But I know that at one point during the trip, I’ll step outside on the porch while the rest of the girls are in the house and I’ll call J. because I miss him. I’ll get excited to get home and see him (one of the best results of a weekend away from your spouse—absence does actually make the heart grow fonder). I’ll be right in the cozy middle of the girls who loved me during my weird little hippie phase and the boy who loves me now that I’m out of it, and I’ll feel amazingly, incredibly lucky. And, okay, probably a little tipsy, too, but mostly just lucky. Hey, it is a girls’ weekend, after all.
Do you find sometimes you really just need some time with the girls? How far into girl time do you find yourself missing your groom?
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