There is comfort in people who know your story; people you’ve known for so many years there are few secrets and you know them well enough to know your secrets are safe.
Sorority sister is in town. As sorority sisters go, this one knows everything. She was there for silly crushes, drunken frat parties, bad choices, smoking cigarettes and meeting The Norwegian. She was also there for children’s births, work and at-home mommy wars and loss, both hers and mine.
This weekend, she and hubby are vacationing. What would a proper Dale indoctrination be without a visit to the famous dive country bar where secrets go to die? Or hang from the ceiling with the hats, ties and, I believe, a scarf I lost one night and was too embarrassed to go back and claim as mine.
It does not disappoint. There is Zebra Lady, so very affected by whatever is in her system, she dances to her own rhythm, eyes closed tightly. We decide alcohol is not the drug fueling her gyrations. Her zebra striped top and pants barely hold her curves in place. Baby Chicken worries for her safety but our waitress assures us she is being watched. And as mysteriously as she appears on the dance floor, bouncing to her head’s own music, errant breast threatening a show, she disappears.
A man much too old for Baby Chicken and old enough to know he shouldn’t with her mother right there, asks her to dance and is a little handsy. She flashes a smile and says, “Sorry I’m on a date with my mom and her best friend.” He mumbles something ego-saving and shuffles off to hopefully find someone more suited to both his age and station.
Sorority Sister and her husband check on each other frequently. He leans in close, tells her he’s tired. She smiles knowingly. They leave Baby Chicken and myself to a group of boys from Fargo who want us to join them for the Bison game tomorrow. When they find Baby Chicken goes to Bama, they say, “Hmmm, probably not.”
We make our leave and find an errant North Dakota boy attempting cab entry, calling out to Baby Chicken ala Stanley Kowalski. We make our getaway. Turn back the clock thirty years and the scene would have been much the same.