by Bethany Maines
The Girls all got together last weekend. We drooped around the place like we were wearing white dresses and existing in the opening chapter of the Great Gatsby, while our dudes seemed to be full of unending pep and chit-chatted the night away. This might be because the girls over-committed to weekend plans and all of us were short on sleep. Or as I prefer to think – it’s because our brains were removed by an alien brain sucker.
Seriously, I used to be able to follow a linear thought. I didn’t always zone out while someone was talking. I used to be able to work on something for at least an hour before I would wander off. And I’m pretty sure I could do all of that before Christmas. Now it’s like someone’s removed my brain and replaced it with dryer lint.
Partially, I blame the Northwest winter. The worst part of the year is from January to April when the weather settles into an unending pattern of grey, over-cast days, punctuated with drizzle, rain, almost rain, mist, fog, and the occasional downpour or drift of snow. It’s weather designed for hibernation, which, let’s face it, coming down off the holiday cookie high is all I really want to do. And this is the time that the government has decided that I should work on taxes for the business. If the aliens didn’t get my brain, I’m pretty sure the tax-man did.
Anyway, back to the girls. My particular set of girls met through aerobic kickboxing, karate, and college. At this point in our relationships, we’ve managed to weather the storms of divorces, weddings, break-ups, cross country moves, and babies. We’re all pretty sure the others are crazy, and we’re probably all correct. But it occurred to me, as I zoned out on my friend’s couch, surrounded by the debris of dinner and Christmas presents, periodically accepting and then returning the toys that the three-year old handed me, that even if my brain had been sucked out, that my friends clearly still liked me. Which is a bit of a relief, and not at all guaranteed when a friendship starts. It’s nice to go to a place where, if one’s brain has been replaced with lint, that no demands are made and they provide with you with cake on a stick.
And so in this new year, it is my wish that all of you find such a safe place and good friends and, of course, cake-pops. Also, if you find my brain, please give it a good rinse and send it home.