Well, I must admit that I’m a little bit sad it’s over. The much-anticipated, much talked-about girls weekend away. Four old friends, comfortable hanging out in their PJs with mad hair and no make-up, and one vacant beach house.
I always get a particular feeling of joy when I hear talk of a friend planning a girls weekend away. It’s a daggy feeling of sisterhood – a ‘go forth and indulge, on behalf of all the mothers out there’ type sentiment. So if you’ll indulge me, here is ours, in a nutshell. And I think the best way to start is to tell you what we didn’t do this weekend.
We could have gotten dressed up for a posh dinner out, without having to worry about feeding or bathing children, or organising babysitters. We could have gone out for brunch or lunch, or brunch and lunch, if we desired. We could have seen a movie, or walked to the beach. We could have suited up, attended to our much neglected depilatory duties and visited the mineral springs for an afternoon of bathing. We could have done any or all of these things, but we never quite got around to it. And it was fabulous.
For two delightful nights, I wasn’t awoken at 2am by anyone who’d wet their bed, or needed a drink, or wanted their pillow fluffed. I spent a whole weekend without getting cross, or shouting (and then feeling bad about it). I didn’t have to coax anyone into the bath, and then out of it. I didn’t make my bed, or anyone else’s, and I didn’t do any laundry. I didn’t have to remind anyone to go to the toilet (or flush it afterwards, and wash their hands, for that matter). How joyous.
We arrived Friday night, between us having endured three mad days at work, one convoluted car and child-swapping rendezvous, and one (somewhat unglamorous) ferry ride from Queenscliffe. We had enough provisions to get through the first dinner and breakfast, and enough wine to sink a ship. Tracksuit pants and ugg boots were donned, and drinks were poured.
We ate moussaka and debriefed about our days. We drank more wine. We played our version of Trivial Pursuit – the one where up to five hints may be given, and questions are turfed out if deemed too difficult, too esoteric, or just plain stupid. At one stage we granted Marteen a piece of pie, sheerly due to the gusto and comedic genius with which she delivered her (incorrect) answer.
When 11am came on Saturday and we were still in our pyjamas, we all agreed that an invigorating walk to the back beach was in order (this being a beach getaway and all). But none of us got to the vital stage of actually putting their shoes on. Instead, I lit the open fire and we sent brave Sally to the corner store for milk and newspapers.
So What on earth did we do all day Saturday? We drank tea and coffee, and talked. A lot. Our conversation topics, in no particular order, included: bed-wetting, Australian politics, the internet, pornography, cancer, cosmetic surgery, school readiness, Facebook, lesbian sex, hairballs (the latter two not being related in any way, I hasten to add), the meaning of life, sibling rivalry, homelessness, online shopping, and of course, the devastating demise of Patrick. Poor, manly, aloof but always smoking hot, Patrick.
A sample of our debating topics:
Q. Is it technically stealing if your child has eaten his/her body weight in grapes by the time you get to the supermarket checkout? A: No, not really*.
Q. Can you really get away with putting sardines into a bolognese instead of meat? Rach? A: Apparently (strangely) yes.
Q. Does the fact that these days we prefer to sleep with the fan on and earplugs in make us officially old and/or weird? A: Yep.
* Unless it was cherry tomatoes, which come in a packet, and then you ditch the and swap it for a full one, then yes, maybe it is kind of stealing.
We read the papers and then the seriously out-of-date trashy magazines to be found at any reputable beach house. Two of us wandered off for a long afternoon nap. We agreed that Kim Kardashian, whilst being a vapid, infuriating twat, does have the most amazing skin in the universe. We skipped lunch – opting instead for brie and biscuits – and took great joy in the absence anyone pestering us for more food, biscuits and treaties, on the hour, every hour.
And when we realised the afternoon was getting on, two of us ventured briefly out again, in search of some beach-house-worthy fish. We opened another bottle of wine and prepped dinner, and no-one screwed up their face at the sight of green beans, or had to be threatened with early bedtime to eat their fresh rockling with herbed breadcrumb crust. We really pushed out the calorie-laden boat with a home-made pear and rhubarb crumble.
At one point, in the grip of pure girl power and with the conviction of the rather drunk, we decided we should write a children’s book. How hard could it be? We all agreed on the key themes of toilet humour, fantasy and family values, but predictably, it didn’t get much further than that.
In a rare moment of outdoorsiness, we ventured onto the freezing balcony to watch for a meteor shower, or some such astronomical event. The sky was pretty cool, but after approximately seven minutes we retreated inside to watch the open fire, and contemplate another uninterrupted night’s sleep.
So there you have it. It turns out that the ultimate indulgence for four women, who spend their lives juggling children, work and household duties, was to do nothing. Sally and I did have a massage on Sunday – we felt the need to partake in some form of organised, non-pyjama-clad luxury. It was awesome. And as we drove home, in a heady cloud of aromatic oils, we wondered: what would await us?
A happy family and tidy house would be positively utopian, but surely too much to expect.
A happy family but untidy house would be reasonable, and acceptable.
A grumpy family and untidy house would be seriously harsh on our post-escape buzz.
So you can imagine my feelings of joy and relief, when I opened the front door to encounter the first scenario, along with the added bonus of some long overdue garden maintenance and dinner on the way. The stuff of dreams are made of, and relationships are buoyed by.
Someone hand that man a Father and Husband of the Year award. Quickly. I think he’s about to collapse.