Mama Kat is opening a can of worms here!
1.) What would you change about your life if you could?
Way, way back in the mid-1990s I had a job that left me with a lot of time on my hands. My good friend S had a similar job. So, we took to the internet to amuse ourselves. This was before Perez and Go Fug Yourself existed so we had to make up our own celebrity gossip. Or perhaps what we did is more like fan fiction.
It all started on Flag Day. I had a minor panic attack because I didn’t have a flag and was a bad American and emailed S about it. S responded that in high school she had a flag but it was a drill team flag with sparkles and did that count? I decided that the only solution, since we were clearly going to be deported for lack of patriotism on Flag Day, was to find an island and start out own nation. And from that idea was born our fantasy world, which we called, simply, The Poolside.
The Poolside was an elaborately conceived shared imagining that S and I would emailed and IM each other about at work. We populated the Poolside with dozens of hot male celebrities. Also comedians we liked and RuPaul who is a combination of the two. The men worshiped us as goddesses and fetched us drinks, gave us massages, and generally acted in ways that would amuse us.
We would write long Poolside adventures to each other, usually with the goal of making each other laugh out loud at our desks. I remember writing a two-part article that mimicked a Rolling Stone profile of the two of us in our fantasy haven. There were a series of Poolside Road Trips that we invented, all of which took place on the bus from The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. At one point we thought up graphic deaths for anyone who had ever appeared on VH1’s Divas. At the Poolside we could drink without hangovers, eat Outback Steakhouse cheesefries without gaining weight, and cheat on our boyfriends with celebrities without consequence. S’s paramour of choice was Keanu reeves who she still insists is smarter than he sounds but in all my Poolside writings, I characterized him as a drooling simpleton whose only virtue was being pretty. My favorite boytoy was Henry Rollins because, yeah, I’m that kind of girl. When S wrote about him for my entertainment, Rolins wasn’t a bad relationship waiting to happen but a devoted minion who would cry on days when I was actually too busy to hang out in our fantasy world.
I know what you’re thinking here. You think I wish I could ditch my surburban working mom existence for the Poolside. Well, of course, I do! But I know it’s not real. However, S is real and I don’t see her nearly enough and that is what I need to change.
S and I have weathered a lot of potential friendship killers: my state-hopping ways, marriages, kids, buying houses two hours apart. She’s a stay at home mom to her two boys now and I’m…well, you know what I am. Both of us lead lives that leave us breathless at the end of the day, longing only for a book, a glass of wine, and quiet. Blessed, blessed quiet. So, we don’t pick up the phone. We forget to email. We don’t make plans
But when my husband gave me tickets to a Henry Rollins spoken word show for Christmas, the second ticket was for S and she accepted it with glee. She called me today to ask if I wanted to go see Sting (another Poolside staple) this weekend but I had to say no. We chatted for 15 minutes and I was reminded how much I love her and how long its been since we talked.
So, change starts right here. S, I know you’re reading this because I’m sending you the link and telling you that I talk about Keanu Reeves (he really is S’s kryptonite) to make sure you read it. This going-months-without-chatting thing stops here and now. I’m going to start spamming you with Poolside emails again and we’re getting a girls days on the calendar asap. We have husbands who can watch the kids, right? There’s no reason we shouldn’t have a little fun even if we’re not young, single, and swinging at the Poolside everyday.