This weekend I spent an evening out on the town with two of my very best friends from the good ole days. Josh, Allison and I go wayyyy back, I mean like middle school style. Like, I've known these people for half my life. Which in turn means that they have been putting up with me and all my nonsense for just as long. Bless their hearts.
Back in our hay day we knew how to have fun. Not that we don't anymore, but we are a little tamer these days...thank goodness. I'm not sure our livers would be able to keep up with us anymore.
Josh and I met back in middle school while sitting in line for roll call at gym. In 9th grade I decided I didn't like my outfit on picture day so I convinced Josh to give me the Structure (remember that store?!) rugby shirt he was wearing. So there I am in my freshman year book wearing an oversized maroon rugby over my cute denim dress. That's right, I wore a denim dress from The Gap. What? It was cool then. Don't judge.
Allison and I originally stemmed from different social circles but became friends when we were dating guys that hung out together. She had been part of this new circle longer than I, so when I first started coming around she took me under her wing and showed me the ropes of this new group. Eventually, the boyfriends were left behind but we still stuck together.
The three of us, along with the rest of our crew used to hang out at The Tree when there wasn't much else happening on a Friday night. The Tree was literally a big tree down at the end of a dirt road right near an old farm house where an old man lived. The old man had an understanding with our crew. As long as the beer cans were picked up he would leave us alone and let us hang out under that big ole tree of his. I'm pretty sure he was too hard of hearing to be disturbed by our music and antics so he just left us alone all those years.
We would bring all the boy's trucks back there and sit on the tailgates for hours on end listening to music, talking and drinking whatever cheap beer we had been able to score with someone's fake ID. Every now and then someone would manage to steal of bottle of liquor out of their parents cabinet and then things would get a little more rowdy. But still, never enough to land us in real trouble with the law.
Now, let us all remember that our days at The Tree were back before the advent of cell phones. Yes, I am that old. Back then we all carried pagers. I had a green one -- not black, like everyone else. And yes, I went through many pagers. I had red, green, and more awesomely a clear one. It's how I rolled. We didn't carry pagers because we were drug dealers, I promise. It was just communication's stepping stone to cell phones. The problem with pagers is that once you managed to escape your parents house you were at the mercy of pay phones to return a page. We handled this situation in a few ways:
Option 1: Go to the local Amaco gas station and use the pay phone, which everyone knew the number to and therefore congregated at because we were klassy with a captial K.
Option 2: Create codes to eliminate the need for returning calls. I'm not sure exactly what The Tree's code was but I'm pretty sure there was one.
Option 3: If no one was returning your page it was because they were at The Tree and therefore not near a phone. In that instance you would just drive out to The Tree and see if everyone was there. Pretty simple.
Geez, I'm making us sound like a bunch of farm kids that lived out in the middle of nowhere. That's really not the case. We actually come from suburbia heaven -- it just happened to have one dirt road with a tree. You know what? I'm going to stop telling stories less I keep embarrassing myself.
Anyway, these days we've all grown up a bit. Allison has been married to a wonderful guy for several years and works at an elementary school. Josh owns his own business and is doing quite well for himself. There have been rough patches but more than anything there have been a lot of really good times.
And for that, I am forever grateful.