Saturday, June 2, 2012

Turning Thirty: Sundaes

I'm turning thirty years old on July 6th so for the next five weeks, I'm embracing life and trying to do at least one new and/or enjoyable and/or spectacular thing per day.  Click here for more Turning Thirty posts.

When I think of Friendly's, I'm instantly reminded of high school.  Let's start from the beginning: Throughout junior high and high school, I was in the school band.  I was one of the dorky kids carrying a flute case around all day, one of the kids who dressed up in a polyester blue and white uniform every Friday night from August to mid-November to perform a field show on the astroturf during halftime at football games.  It was kind of embarrassing but I generally enjoyed it.  I felt like I was part of something important, like if we weren't there to represent the school, the spirit police would find and punish us all.

After every football game, the band would disperse from the basement choir room after changing back into regular clothes and reconvene at the local Friendly's to gossip and gorge on sundaes until the disgruntled employees kicked everyone out.  It was a tradition that began way before any of us had even started kindergarten, and it was a treat that everyone looked forward to all week after making it through long days of boring classes and lots of marching practices.

Except not everyone was invited to Friendly's for ice cream.  Even though the band members were super geeks, there was a social hierarchy within the band and I never made it above the 'invisible' level.  I was the girl who showed up every day and knew every note of every song, but I never had any band friends to sit next to on the bleachers. I was painfully shy with unstylish clothes and frizzy hair, and I didn't fit in with the 'cool' kids in band.  Back at home on Friday nights after the football games, I used to watch television with my parents and wish I was at Friendly's with everyone else.  I would have given anything for just one invitation.

Now that I'm older and wiser (ha!), I know that I wasn't missing anything by not joining everyone for dessert.  I know now what it feels like to have close friends, friends who you would do anything for no matter what.  Real friends who don't care what you are wearing and who would invite you everywhere. People who are so great and special that you can do absolutely nothing together and have the best time ever.

Tonight, Anthony and I grabbed dinner at Friendly's for the first time in years.  We joined the young families with screaming children and sat at a sticky booth and ordered ice cream sundaes after our meal.  It made me realize how happy I am to finally be an adult, and how lucky I am to have someone as wonderful as Anthony to spend my Saturday night with at Friendly's.  (In case you were wondering, I always order a Reese's Pieces sundae with black raspberry ice cream.  The perfect combination of flavors!) xo

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