I've been looking for articles on inexpensive (read: cheap, and even better, free) ways to reduce stress.
I don't really take baths, I can't afford a spa weekend and don't own a vacation home. So that leaves, ummmm, well, really what does it leave?
Well, I'll tell ya! It leaves laughter!
My friends and I all met at the diner that was the backdrop of our childhood and adolescence. The Kings Plaza Diner (KPD) is closing at the end of the month and we all decided to have a mini-reunion. There were 13 of us, including the 14 month old son of a friend. (Sidenote: this little boy is just too freakin' cute!!) Anyway, there were burgers (some with cheese, some without and one veggie burger), about 24,000 french fries, buckets of brown gravy (KPD's gravy tastes EXACTLY the same as it did when I tasted it when I was 14) and about a million laughs.
Oh heavens, did we laugh!! We reminisced about the old neighborhood, friends who couldn't join us, the weird stunts we pulled when we were fearless teenagers and the chocolate covered cheesecake. The coffee still tastes the same and no matter which waitress we get, they never seem to bring enough half-and-half.
We're all parents now, we all have a few gray hairs (ok, a LOT of grays), we all have households that need out attention, and jobs that don't allow us to get together as often as we'd like.
I'm thankful for this group. With all the mental and emotional chaos that's been going on right now, I needed this night more than ever. I needed to laugh. I needed to be accepted for who I am.
We took pictures of the fries with melted cheese and we stole a menu. A friend who lives in North Carolina will get that. He couldn't drive 12 hours just for a cheeseburger deluxe, but he was with us in spirit.
Now, it's the end of an era.
The KPD is closing by the end of the month. Not to sound all corny and shit, but it really will live on in our hearts and memories together. When I couldn't agree with my mother about anything, we could agree on eating at the KPD. I went there to eat and drink coffee with just about everyone I've ever loved.
As we all split up to go to our separate cars, we promised to get together again soon. Maybe for a little pre-Christmas celebration. Maybe in the depths of January when there's not much to do.
Whatever we do, we'll have to find a new place to meet. It'll be ok. We're all aware that many things change, but this one thing made us all so nostalgic that we really wish that it could be one of those things that never change.