28 May 2010

Girls Night Out: Sex and the City 2

I went tonight to see the most universally derided and poorest reviewed movie that I can remember. And yes, parts of it were ridiculous. I asked myself more than once "What on earth is she wearing?!" I completely agree that you could see some of the jokes coming from the parking lot. 

That being said, I had a great time.  Because yes, I enjoyed the movie. But let's face it. No one in their right mind going to see SATC2 was expecting a cinematic masterpiece.  With a movie like this, I'd argue that cinematography doesn't matter.  I'd even argue that not even plot truly matters.  The thing is, with the SATC franchise, it is just as much about the experience as it is the film itself.

Many women feel some kindred spirit to Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha, and Miranda.  When it was merely a television show, we talked about the previous night's episode. We made Cosmopolitans and virgin Flirtini's and hosted viewing parties. We celebrated girl friends as much as we did the series itself.  When the first movie was released, we planned elaborate Girls Night Out events. Husbands, boyfriends, and children were left at home.  The movie was an EVENT.  We had cocktails and/or dinner beforehand. We filed into the theater. We gasped collectively when Big told Carrie he just couldn't get out of the limo to come into the wedding.  Our hearts ached when Carrie and Miranda fought. More than one of us teared up when Charlotte found herself pregnant. And we all cheered when Carrie and Big finally tied the knot.

And I was satisfied with the resolution of the first film. I felt it told the story. I was skeptical of the second movie. But then I remembered, the movie is only a small part of the event.  Really, it is about time with your girl friends.  So I bought advance tickets to go see the movie opening weekend with my friend Kris.

A rainy Friday night found me in four inch stiletto sandals and a cute top and jeans. Nothing like I would normally wear to a movie.  Yet I wasn't alone.  At dinner, in the ladies room at the theater, waiting for concessions, filing out after the movie was over, I noticed all the women had dressed up a bit for tonight.  It's been said more than once that women dress for each other, and I think that is true. It certainly was tonight.  But it was also for ourselves.  We did it because we were inspired by Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha (though, someone, please shoot me if I ever decide to make muffins wearing vintage Valentino).

Collectively, we laughed and gasped and cheered throughout the movie.  We smiled knowingly as Charlotte and Miranda lamented the not so glamorous side of motherhood.  We saw parts of our own relationships as Carrie questioned the sustainability of her marriage as she felt it was falling into a rut.  We laughed together at the silly, obvious jokes, and I'm sure more than one of us grinned at Liza's take on "All the Single Ladies."

So critics, go ahead and pan the movie. None of us care.  The movie isn't what it's about.  It's the whole experience. The celebration of our tribe of girlfriends- those who are there no matter whether we're single or married, a mom or not.  Our sister soul mates.

23 May 2010

The Things You Do For Some Friends- The Concert GNO

There are some things you do only because someone is a close friend.  The people who know where the bodies are buried. The people that have you doing things so out of character that other people ask if you lost a bet.

Ashby is one of those friends.  We were college roommates. She's one of the smartest people I know.  She's an attorney, and if I ever need one, I hope to be able to hire her.  She's not afraid to tell you what you need to hear. While I implicitly trust her advice on nude hose, wearing purple, flirting, and the appropriate number of rings to wear at any given time, I question the girl's taste in music.  While I'm more of a fan of U2 and any kind of Rock, Ashby tends to favor the Pop Princesses.  Which is how I found myself on the Atlanta MARTA last September, heading to a Britney Spears concert.

In the interest of full disclosure, I did get myself into this predicament.  It was I, after all, who sent the email to Ashby telling her that Britney was coming to town.  Her husband had no interest in going to the show, so we turned it into a Girls Weekend.  She came to visit.

We dressed cute. We updated Facebook to say we were heading to the show. Ashby's friends told her to have fun. Mine asked how on earth this had happened. Ashby asked me why her friends weren't surprised she was going, but mine wanted to know what dirt Ashby had on me.

We joined the throngs of women our age, tweens, and gay men attending the show.  We saw Kim from the Real Housewives of Atlanta (and her entourage, all wearing Bedazzled T-shirts reading "Team Kim").  And we saw the Circus. I refuse to call this a concert.   I think Britney actually sang (live) only one song.

So yes, it is no secret here that I am not a big Britney fan.  Despite that, I had an unexpectedly good time.  Ashby has a wickedly sarcastic sense of humor and can make me laugh in ways few people can. She's already seen me at my best and worst- it is hard to hide much of anything in a dorm room, after all, so there's no pretense, no need to impress the other person.

Ashby and I are on the same wavelength politically, so there are things I can talk about with her that I don't discuss with other people.   We did have one massive argument back in college, but thankfully we grew up and got over that.  Our friendship is stronger for it, I think, because we learned something about the people we want to count amongst our closest circle, and those we are content to keep in touch with periodically.

So now, Ashby's asked me to consider another thing I wouldn't normally- a Lady Ga Ga show.  We'll see.

By the way, the rest of the weekend was a lot of fun- the quest for the perfect jeans, and martinis and tapas and dueling pianos. But those are stories for another posting.

03 May 2010

Girls Weekend- Catching up with my BFF

My best friend came to visit over the weekend.  To me, that's the ultimate GNO.  Vanessa and I go way back, all the way to high school.  And our friendship has survived some pretty incredible things over the years, not the least of which is the distance between us and Vanessa being a wife and mother and me still being single and a perpetual pseudo-aunt rather than a mum myself.

I could write for days about our history, but I'll save some of those old, juicier stories for later.  Instead, I'll focus on what makes our visits so special, especially now that we aren't in high school any longer.

I moved a lot growing up.  That's one of the reasons I love Facebook.  I've been able to reconnect with people I went to junior high and high school with and no longer live near.  With us moving so much, I don't really feel like I have a hometown.  "Home" is wherever my mother is  but it is nowhere I've lived or plan to live.   Having someone who has known me since I was fifteen, and is still a part of my life, makes me feel as though I have some roots.

A weekend visit just seems too short now. No matter what, there's just not enough time for everything we want to do.  We did dinner Friday night; Saturday we shopped all day, then went to dinner, then shared a bottle of wine and watched a chick flick.  Sunday, we lingered over coffee before Vanessa had to head back home.

It's just easy when you have a friend you've known so long, and who knows you so well.  We often laugh about how we share a brain.  And we're so often on the same wavelength that it can be eerie.  Like the time we met for a Saturday of shopping dressed identically, down to our novelty socks, with absolutely no consultation about what each other was planning to wear.

Vanessa probably knows me better than anyone else. She is that true best friend to me. The one with whom I discuss the REALLY BIG ISSUES. The person with whom I dissolve into a fit of giggles for no apparent (or at least no sane) reason.  

Having no sisters of my own, I feel like Vanessa is what I would want in a sister, if I could create one.  The sense of familiarity and loyalty. Where we have fun no matter what we do.  Saturday night we had planned to go to dueling pianos at a local tapas bar.  And we would have had a great time (which reminds me of another post that needs to be made from when my college roommate came to visit).  But we had just as good of a time just talking and hanging out, a nice low key Girls Weekend. Part of what I think is the best thing about friendships in general, and especially best friends.