February 17, 2005
The Little Girl in Me
I have a little girl trapped in my body. She's usually quiet and sedate, but once in a while, I just have to let her out.
Getting together with the girls is the time to do that. Once a month (more or less), the "girls" and I go out to dinner. We don't usually "do" anything, we just get together and gab. Oh, and laugh.
We all gathered at Ruby Tuesdays for dinner. There are five of us. These poor girls used to work with me at Wal-Mart. Though as a general rule I try to distance myself from people, I got pretty close with these women. We all worked in a windowless office that smelled like a girl's locker room and shuffled money around.
We had no choice but to get to know one another.
It was a hoot. That sort of job is so monotonous that after a while, just to keep your sanity, we had to cut up and do stupid things. I remember climbing up on the counters and doing a little dance for the cameras just because I couldn't take the boredom anymore. (Of course they watched us, would you trust strangers with your money?)
The powers-that-be allowed us a radio, though often times, I took my case of CDs in and we turned up the music (as loud as we could without being overheard outside the office) and let-her-rip. We all acted pretty nutty and we had a blast. Of course, being high on chocolate didn't help (you wouldn't believe how much candy we all consumed while in that office. I gained a ton of weight). We were issued warnings and we would return to being the normal hum-drum employees before someone couldn't take it anymore and started acting crazy. Then we would all join in. How could we not? It was more fun to participate than stand with our arms crossed and shake our heads in disgust. (Like a few sour-pusses in there).
I never really took that job seriously. It was a stepping stone in my life. However, I don't begrudge the ones who chose to stay and make a career of it, more power to them. It just wasn't something I wanted to devote my life to. Not to mention, I couldn't stand the politics and backstabbing that went on. I just don't respond to that crap, it's plain silly.
We built a camaraderie that bled over to "post" Wal-Mart. At least for me. The rest of the girls still work there - I was the only one who escaped. :-D
But we kept our friendship up and we get together to swap news, hear the latest gossip and reevaluate our lives. It's one of those friendships where you can't stop smiling. In fact, my mouth is usually sore at the end of the night from smiling so much.
Our group is interesting. We are all very different. I'm the oldest and often times feel as if the others look to me as a mentor (or maybe it's just because I'm OLD). I think my opinion means something to them and I'm careful in how I word things (I'm a little blunt at times though).
The youngest member of our group, in a lot of ways, is the most mature. She's a DOUBLE language major. She's planning a trip to Spain this summer with her school to learn more about the culture and of course, practice her Spanish. She's highly intelligent and probably the most "together" of all of us. She has high standards and morals and I respect the heck out of her for sticking to what she believes and never wavering. That's hard to do nowadays.
The Barbie doll of the group is a kind-hearted individual who will bend over backwards to help people. She tries to throw up a tough front, but we all know she's a marshmallow inside. She recently graduated from college with an accounting degree. I'm very proud of her for sticking it out and graduating. She works a lot of hours. The added pressures of going to school, working, and finding time to sleep and study was extremely challenging for her. She did it though and should be very proud of herself - I know we're proud of her.
Another member of our group is pregnant with her first child. We are all very excited for her and of course we can't wait to throw her a baby shower. She's opted to not find out the sex of her baby and I honestly don't know how she stands not knowing, I've spent more than a few hours studying her ultrasounds in the hopes I can guess, but no such luck *smile*. She's very close to graduating from school herself - another feat to be proud of. We all sort of talked her into going back to school and pursuing her business degree and with everything else going on her life, she's stuck to it and will soon be graduating. We're all very proud of her as well. She's the serene, calm one in the group.
Last but not least, is the department manager of our group. She's been through a lot of personal crap but I'm glad to say she has become a stronger person because of it. She has the most adorable twins, a boy and girl, that I've ever seen and no I'm not just saying that. These children are sweet-natured and just plain cute. Though she's a single mother, she works very hard to be there for her children and she's doing a wonderful job - she should be proud of herself. She graduated from college with a marketing degree and she's definitely a people person. People respond to her because she cares, and it shows.
We've been doing the "girl's night out" now for little more than a year. We go to dinner, catch up (though there's never really enough time to "talk") and often head out to the movies. I look forward to these nights because it allows me a chance to be a "woman" as opposed to being a "wife" or a "mother."
It's so important for women to reconnect with that inner girl. It's easy for women to lose their identities when they get married and have children.
Sometimes it's nice to just be "plain 'ole Karen."