It was college reunion time, about 15 years ago.
In the build-up to the big event some clever person in the alumni office decided to entice graduates back to campus with a postcard.
“Create Your Own Reunion,” it read.
The school asked us to return the cards with the names of the two classmates we’d most like to see at the party.
I didn’t hesitate.
I scrawled the married names of two of my best college buddies: Jackie and Irene. I hadn’t seen either in almost 20 years. We’d lived together in what our college called an “honor” house. One of the once-elegant homes the college had purchased near the small private school we attended. Students lived together sharing meals, housekeeping, secrets, and - although it was illegal - booze.
Oh, and our house had a Great Dane, although there was a no-pets rule. I thought her name was Shotzi, but Krys, my German-speaking editor, pointed out that it was probably “Schatzi.” German for sweetheart.
Sweetheart? Not exactly.
I can’t remember the name of the girl who owned that enormous dog, but I vividly remember the day her tan galoot had an explosive attack of diarrhea while we were all in class. Clearly, the dog had run from room to room, leaping on beds, looking for a way out.
Last time I’d seen Jackie was right after I’d returned from three years in Ireland. She was a brand new mom and living in suburban Washington. I was divorced, broke and looking for a newspaper job.
We didn’t have a whole lot in common.
It had been even longer since I’d seen Irene. Last I’d heard she and her husband were living in Pittsburgh.
In a bit of serendipity all three of us named each other on our create-a-reunion cards and the school quickly put us in touch.
We skipped the official event, however, and staged our own. Not exactly what the alumni office had in mind.
We met in Georgetown and spent an entire weekend catching up, sharing pix of our offspring. And drinking. After a few rounds we were finally able to laugh about Shotzi er, Schatzi.
Ever since, we’ve gotten together regularly. For weddings. And long weekends to New York, Boston, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Virginia and even - at my urging - a football weekend in Oxford, Mississippi.
Girlfriend getaways are one of the hottest trends in travel. Don’t take my word for it. Google the term yourself. I got 143,000 hits when I tried yesterday. Popular destinations include Lake Placid, Charleston and the wine country of - wait for it - Minnesota.
Proof that girlfriends will venture anywhere together. As long as there's wine.
The reason this post is on the short side is because by the time you read it, I’ll be on my way to New Orleans for yet another reunion.
Just the three of us. On Bourbon Street.
We’re arriving at different times on different airlines but - if history is any predictor - we’ll meet at the hotel and head straight to the bar.
Laissez les bon temps rouler.
Packing lots of Advil.