There are some things, lovingly snarky things, that only best girlfriends can say to each other. I have a very dear friend whom I’m going to call Lulu, because she would hate that a lot. Lulu and I have been friends for (I just did the math and gasped) 30 years. Being so very much older than I, Lulu has gone before me in life, doing many things ahead of me, like marrying, having a baby . . . and lately, we talk a lot about the changes she's going through due to aging. Lulu needs old-lady reading glasses now. She colors her hair, she has some wrinkles, and if she works or plays too hard, she suffers from pain in her joints and her muscles. Some of her uh, lady parts have chosen to relocate. Mostly they seem to want to head south, like Jersey retirees. The old gal just ain’t what she used to be. Good friend that I am, I listen to her describe these changes, and then I laugh at her, because she’s so much older than I am – almost a whole month!
A while back, she and I went outlet shopping. A beautiful sweater seductively called out, “Lulu, Lulu.” It was pale blue, cashmere, very nice. She takes it into the fitting room while I wait patiently outside, holding all the very heavy bags. I could do this because I’m so much younger than she.
“Susie, come in here and look at this. It doesn’t look right, does it?”
It didn’t. But I knew she loved it, and I love her, so I said, “Well . . . you know what, darlin’? I think it’ll be perfect, you just need a bra with it. I mean, you know, at our age, no sweater looks great without a bra . . .
Lulu is inhaling, taking a very deep breath, which she holds for a moment while she looks me in the eye. And then she says to me, through clenched teeth, “Susie?”
“I’m WEARING a bra!”
Time stands still for a moment. I seek refuge in my faith: ohdearGod, please help me . . .
And I say very gently, “Umm . . . PWAHAHAHA! . . . . oh, honey . . . umm . . . OK, I got nothin’!” And I continue to laugh my face off, doubled over, being heinous.
Lulu recovers. “YOU KNOW WHAT? Your hair is SO GRAY!!!!”
I am still heinously doubled over and laughing, “Yeaaaa, maybe so, but at least I can fix that without general anesthesia!”
I love you, darlin’.