“You better not make fun of me in your blog again.” –my mom
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: October is my mom’s birth month. She’s turning twenty-nine next week, and it is imperative that celebrations be held every weekend from the 1st of the month right up until Halloween. If you’re a longtime friend of my mom, or a Facebook friend of my mom, or if you’ve recently met my mom in passing, you probably know this already. But I thought the PSA might be necessary.
I’ve been given a very specific list of items to exclude from this blog post. “Pre-menopause,” “hot flashes,” “middle-age,” and “just menopause in general.” By listing these things now, I’m 100% violating this request, but I’m only doing it because if these things hadn’t been mentioned, I never in a million years would have thought to include them in this post, and I think they add a little something special. But let me rewind.
Julie and I took a break from honoring our campus with scenes like this to spend the weekend in the White Mountains for my mom’s birthday. We were invited to join in on a “Girls’ Weekend,” a mystical and outdoorsy 48 hour getaway with my mom and a bunch of her friends. Why they wanted to invite us—two relatively uncoordinated co-eds who spend most of their free time discussing second-string Harry Potter characters—is still a little bit lost on me, but we packed up our hiking boots and went on our merry way.
(Side note: If you were wondering which HP characters count as “second string,” our roster includes Ginny Weasley, Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, and occasionally Fred and George Weasley. Dean Thomas, Seamus Finnigan, and Cho Chang are third string. Ernie MacMillan’s on the bench.)
The thing about my mom’s friends is that they’re not really just my mom’s friends. They’re my surrogate moms. When I was younger they bathed me and changed my diapers and yelled at me when my boots tracked snow in the house, just as loudly and with as much enthusiasm as my own mother would. I call most of them “Auntie,” and I’m pretty sure they make up about 73% of this blog’s readership. (Love you guys! Keep it up!)
Over our 48 mystical and outdoorsy hours together, my mom & co. taught Julie and me a lot about life, love, and how best to lose a member of the group on a mountain in the middle of a rainstorm.
Badass Lady Wisdom:
- Make time for weekend trips with friends, even if it feels like you don’t have any. (Time, that is. If it feels like you don’t have any friends, consider making some before you plan weekend friend trips.)
- Always bring a bottle of wine. Doesn’t matter where. Just bring it.
- Don’t be afraid to break the rules.
- Good friends make you a birthday cake. Best friends make you a birthday cake and hike with it for 8.4 miles so you can eat it next to a waterfall.
- Get up early. Go outside. Climb a mountain. Bring a raincoat. Life’s too short to say no to an adventure.
To my mom & co., thank you for all of your badass lady wisdom. I was raised by a team of experts. Readers—badass ladies and gents and everything in between—I hope you enjoy this wisdom too. (And remember to wish my mom a happy birthday. It’s the law.)