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Sunday, June 29, 2008

I Like My Life

My friends and I finally went to see the Sex and The City movie Friday night.

In the spirit of SATC, we dressed for the event, albeit in Upper Midwest fashion. Jeans, of course. Our genuine Massimo-line tops. Our "good" underwear, Heaven forbid we are hit by buses on the way there. Nothing too fancy. One of the best aspects of living in Minneapolis? How walk-able it all is. We left our heels at home.

I’m not going to tell you about the movie. If you watched the show, you should see it. It does not disappoint. If you didn’t watch the show, wait until it comes out on DVD.

It was a little after 9:30 when the movie let out, and we went from the theater to Tuggs, a bar/restaurant with a fabulous deck in the Saint Anthony/Main area of Minneapolis. Stockcar Named Desire played rockabilly, a horse-drawn carriage carried an earnest young couple clatteringly over cobblestones and into the tree-lined darkness. It's no Manhattan, but then again neither are the prices – or the couture! The guy at the table next to us is wearing a shirt that reads “We’re Not Leavin’ ‘Til We’re Heavin’”. But it’s a happy, friendly crowd. Amy and I have gone in on a pack of smokes for the evening; Kathy is out with us in the giddy and slightly guilty way that only a new mother, Blackberry in-hand, can be; Stephanie is talking; Becky is listening; and Danielle’s hair remains, somehow, salon-beautiful even as the rest of us are tossed in the cool yet humid wind coming off the Mississippi River. We order drinks.

Or maybe I should say we order a Drink. Tuggs has what they call The Rocket, a tall, beer-bong/aquarium of a pitcher that served us all quite nicely.

The topic of conversation was – surprise! – sex. We were in agreement that sex was a good thing but that it sometimes led to indiscretions.

“Well a person has to have standards,” Amy said.

We all agreed that there are standards, but what are they?

“There should be, at least, a minimum standard,” I said.

And after a few moments, we came up with the minimum. The following is the list of requirements necessary for minimal sexual consideration:
1. He should not live in his mother’s basement.
2. He should have a job.
3. He should have a running car.

From there, we ordered our second Rocket, and the minimums took a delightfully tacky turn.

4. He should have teeth. They do not have to be his own, but they do have to be in his mouth.
5. His facial parts (eyes, eye brows, nostrils, lips) had to all be in the right places, although we agreed that limbs were optional.
6. He should not have a tattoo on his face.
7. He has to be capable of some sort of communication, although we all agreed that sometimes it’s best he not speak English.
8. He should not duck when the police drive by.
9. You should never get a call on his behalf from his parole officer, bail bondsman, the FBI, the National Inquirer, or anyone from any sort of “clinic”.

We were getting ready to make our way home by the time our waiter spilled a tray of food down Steph’s back. There appeared to be no real damage done, although she did suspect for a while that a “kettle chip” (a term implying you’ll pay more for it than you would have had it just been called a “potato chip”) had dropped down the back of her jeans and wedged in the crack of her ass. We called her “Salty” and “Frieda Lay” until we tired of it.

Next stop? Elsie’s Bar, a mile or so walk to a Northeast Minneapolis mainstay.

But again, it’s not where we were but getting there, being there together, that made the night. Sometimes, it’s not that anything happened at all. Sometimes, it’s just being there, knowing that these people are your friends, that they think only the best of you, and that you are free to be your goofy self.

And it doesn’t get much goofier than six women, between locations, who probably should’ve used the bathroom before they left.

“Ooooh, I have to pee so bad.”

“Remember that time, Danielle?” Amy asked. “Remember down by the U?”

“I had to pee so bad I was ready to go in the parking lot.”

Kathy, lagging behind, thumb rolling along the side of her Blackberry, looked up from its screen. “A parking lot wouldn’t be the worst place I ever peed.”

I raised my hand. “Cornfield.”

“A coffee can.”

“A coffee cup!”

“My pants.”

“Whaaaaaat?!”

OK. That’s a lie. No one peed their pants.

It was midnight by the time we got to Elsie’s, a low-key kinda joint, the black-light glow of Moonlight Bowling going on at one end, karaoke at the other, and various degrees of drunkenness, flirtation, and mayhem going on in the middle.

Another round of beers, a man singing “Babe” by Styx (quite well), a drunken couple singing “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” (quite poorly), and the night was slowing down. Danielle and Amy had worked all day, Kathy was feeling the maternal pull of a baby at home, and we had all gotten what we came for – a night of laughter, of conversation, of seeing the people we hope we are reflected in a friend's eyes. It’s good to have friends, and it’s good to know who you are.

I like my life.

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