Sigh. I know I look like an albino next to lovely, California surfing tanned Jane. I mean, we do have some fear that she will wind up looking like a leather bag, but she says it's a risk she's willing to take.
Jane came to town for a wedding a few weeks ago. And I was once again reminded that it's not that you forget how good old friends they feel; you just don't physically remember till you see them, I think.
It's one of those body memory things. You relax without even thinking about it. They know the best and worst of you. You can let all of your guard down, not worry one bit about whether or not you have a filter, and just BE.
Whenever Jane comes to town I drink too much, sleep too little, and laugh my ass off. The last time she stayed with me, we put up my blinds, which I'd had to take down to have the windows painted, at 2 am. I have high ceilings. And we did this on our third bottle of wine, perched precariously on a step-ladder and books. On a Wednesday night.
Jane is not only incredibly dexterous, but has more stamina than any human around. We kept this kind of thing up till she left Sunday.
Together we can be a little scary for people who don't actually know us.
Jane's best friend from high school, Tony, got married, and she was a bridesmaid. That whole group is three years younger than me, so I wasn't close to them while we were in Delhi. Jane and I got to know each other through our parents years later.
I called her on Saturday afternoon to figure out when and where to meet them. She said, "Oh, God, Lis, I'm so hung over and sweating in this floor-length mocha frappuchino colored dress and it's a pretty dress but the color! oh, the color! and I don't know what we're doing! And it's hot! And I'm hung over! And sweating! Why is DC so hot? And did I tell you about my dress?"
We agreed that she could just call me post-wedding to make a plan.
It turns out they all drank so much the night prior at the rehearsal dinner that at noon Saturday they started drinking hair-of-the-dog bourbon. And just kept going. So when I turned up at 10:30 that night at the wedding reception at Sequoia, well, you can only imagine.
And here's the thing - almost all of Jane's good friends from high school are guys. So here's tiny little Jane, who is a force to be reckoned with in terms of enthusiasm and energy and randomness, keeping up with a group of big, hard drinking guys.
These are really good guys. The kind of guys who will buy you drinks all night and might guilt trip you into doing shots, because you never see them, and it's Tony's wedding, and come on, drink up! But then, because they are not just old, old friends, but good people, will also take a cab home with you and deposit you on your front door, just to make sure you got home OK.
She called around 10 and I jumped in a cab. I ran into Tony, the groom, having a cigarette outside as soon as I arrived. He sent me upstairs to find the rest of them.
I peered around the room briefly, and I don't know why I wasted my time looking anywhere but the dance floor. Because Jane is always so Jane. In fact, most of us are almost exactly the same people we were in high school. We just drink and party less (shocking but true) and have more responsibilities and wrinkles than we did then.
Jane gave me a massive hug and then put her arm around me, hand resting on my hip. Which prompted her to pat me and say, "Ooh! You're wearing Hanky Pankies! I told you you'd love them!"
When I peered around to see who might now know what kind of undies I was wearing, she waved her arm and said, "Oh, who cares? All these guys had the biggest crushes on you in high school when we were little freshmen. They'd be deeeelighted to know what kind of underwear you wear."
What could the guys do but stand there uncomfortably?
I met some of the other bridesmaids, and commented on the fact that the dress - the cut, at least - was fairly flattering. And Jane responded, "I told you this color was difficult! In fact, the only person that this color might look worse on than me is you."
As I'd arrived around the tail end of the reception, people were being herded to the upstairs bar. There was a British fellow who'd been designated The Single Guy - and had been told that Jane and I were Single Women.
Jane was dancing with him when I arrived. We chatted with him as I got a drink at the bar. He'd been following her around for much of the night, and was starting to get a little pushy and petulant about what he felt was the lack of attention she was showing him.
So as we were walking up the stairs, Jane stopped to gripe a little about Single Guy. She didn't want to have to pay more attention to him. And his complaining, in what I'm sure he thought was a flirty way, was annoying her.
He's a good friend of Tony's, so she didn't want to hurt his feelings. But by the same token, she was sick of him. She wanted to know if I thought she was being rude.
And so I said, "Oh, for God's sake, you've spent plenty of time with him. What does he want, you to give him a blow job on the dance floor?"
Bear in mind that we were on the stairs. The stairs everyone was taking to the bar upstairs. And so, just after I said this, one of the other bridesmaids turned and said, "Did she just say 'blow job on the dance floor'?"
Eeee. Cringe. Hi, nice to meet you. We're here to make sure this wedding doesn't get too classy or anything. Wanna know what kind of underwear I'm wearing?
My fears were for naught, though, because once we got upstairs that same bridesmaid started showing us break dance moves from - and this is a true story - a performance she'd had to be part of in another wedding.
They'd all had to do a coordinated dance to Thriller (yes, the Michael Jackson song!) and she was coaxed into recreating it. Break dancing - moonwalking, even spinning around on her back, on the floor of the bar at Sequoia. In a slightly tight mocha frappuchino bridesmaid gown. One of the most hilarious things I've ever seen.
And that was really only the beginning of the night.
On the one hand, I wish Jane lived here, and on the other, I don't know that I've got that kind of strength.