Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Sometimes, writing fails you. Sometimes, even photos--those items that are purportedly worth a thousand of these word-things I keep spewing at the screen--fail you. Sometimes, there is simply no way to really express what a difference it can make to be among friends.

We spent a mere 48 hours in Vegas this weekend--from Thursday to Saturday. We were there to celebrate Ambre's 40th birthday in style. There were, originally, four of us--our week-in, week-out gang of mommies. And then I happened to spend an afternoon in New York with Paula, our amputated friend. (If you've ever had a close friend move away, you know what I mean; she is the person who may not be with you, but whose absence is always obvious, and felt deeply.) And I mentioned our Vegas plan, and blithely threw in the usual, "You should come with us," thinking only to induce a little more guilt over her having left us, even if unwillingly. She longingly sighed and said, "I wish," to which her husband, who will now forever be my Favorite Person in the World, quietly said, "Then why don't you go?"

And so it came to pass that on Thursday night, after dinner at the cafe in the Bellagio, we were hanging out at some slot machines when Paula came sauntering up to a completely not-in-the-loop Ambre, and said, brightly, "Hey!" And there was squealing and hugging and beaming. And the Good Times were officially on.

[Sorry, Ambre. I know you're going to yell at me about the chins, but look at that smile! Look how happy you are! How could I not include this photo?]

Nothing could stop us. Not Susanna's bronchitis, not Debra's hard-core blackjack addiction (she was the only one who walked away with any real cash), not my lingering malaise, which was clearly morphing into an actual depression. It's not so much that we partied, because, truthfully, for five women away from their families for the weekend, we were pathetic. But we connected. We ate and we drank and we gambled, but mostly we talked and we laughed and we talked and we laughed and we talked. And then we talked some more.

At dinner on Friday night--the official birthday celebration at Commander's Palace (and all I can say about that is OMIGODYUM)--I made a little toast to Ambre, in which I called her our group's heart and soul. And that is absolutely true. What is equally true is that I could say the same thing about Deb or Susanna or even missing-limb Paula, and be just as sincere. These women--both individually and as a group--are so important to me. It was so nice to just be with them, except nice isn't the right word. In fact, there simply isn't the right word. Sometimes, words fail you.

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