Sometimes I look around me, and realize that I have a pretty cool life. Friday night was one of them. I was sitting in the passenger seat of Pippi’s Jeep, exchanging flirty texts with a total stranger whom I devoutly hope I will never meet (one of the odd side effects of the even odder weekend I had last weekend), driving through one of the tiny, intensely Catholic farming towns you find about an hour north of here, scanning the countryside behind the houses for signs of a bonfire to attend. And I thought to myself, you know, I could not make this stuff up if I tried. And I am a lucky girl.
The deal is that Crafty Chick (one of the few people I know who has a crafting room almost as messy as my own), had invited us up there for a Holy Hour followed by a bonfire at her new house, and while Pippi and I left town far too late to make the praying part of the evening, we were determined to at least be social. The problem was that although we knew where Crafty Chick used to live, neither one of us had ever been to her new place, the only address on the invitation was for the church where the Holy Hour was, and we had no idea where we were going. None of the people we knew were already there were answering their phones, so we started just driving around town looking for bonfires. The town was small enough that we thought we had at least a 50/50 chance of finding it. We did find one bonfire, but we didn’t recognize any of the cars parked there, and Pippi wouldn’t let me get out of the car to check (horror movies never start that way, no…). I suggested just looking for the fire house, since the guys there would probably know about all the bonfires in town. Ironically, soon after that we happened to drive past the fire house, and right next door found a bonfire with cars we recognized. Even then Pippi wouldn’t let me get out of the car until she recognized one of the people standing around it as Flo’s brother.
The bonfire itself was fun – PM decided that he needed to show me what he remembers of his ballroom classes, so I got to dance a little. One of my friends made me text The Duchess to suggest Moneypenny as a name for her unborn child, should she turn out to be a girl. I got to see Crafty Chick’s craft room, and her awesome 1940s turquoise tiled bathroom (she doesn’t like it, and I’m totally jealous). And then I was back in Pippi’s Jeep, heading out again across farm country, this time heading for Flo’s house. It was time for a sleep over.
You see, back in February I promised Flo that while she was recovering from reconstructive ankle surgery I would come to her house and show her Star Wars. She had confessed that she had never seen any of the Star Wars movies, not even the awful ones released in the 90s, a state of things I found tragic and wrong. Surprisingly, Flo turned out not to be as enthusiastic about the prospect of watching science fiction classics as I was, so it took a while for this to finally happen.
Sleep overs are an odd concept for me. Johnsy used to be a big fan of wanting to get a bunch of friends over to stay the night, but I always resisted. I know there’s the traditional girl-bonding activities of watching soppy movies, painting toenails, eating unhealthy food and oversharing. But the whole concept is still somewhat fraught for me with too many memories of childhood sleepovers full of pre-teen angst and the certainty that I could not escape betraying in some humiliating way my total social awkwardness. Now that I’m a grown woman, I like sleeping in my own bed. Staying over at another person’s house for no particular reason never seemed like, I dunno, fun.
All that being said, I think this may be one of the first sleep overs I have ever really, truly enjoyed. There have been some that were fairly pleasant, but this one was just fun. Flo has two very comfortable guest beds, so there was no need for sleeping bags or getting stiff sleeping on the floor. We all fell asleep pretty soon after we got there, and slept like logs. When we woke up we sort of lounged around and talked for a while. There was a very lazy attempt at a pillow fight that didn’t go very far. The words “french toast” began to be mentioned with greater and greater frequency, and after a while we gathered up the momentum to actually go into the kitchen and make some. We had that for breakfast, with fresh pineapple and strawberries and Greek yogurt.
After breakfast we put the first Star Wars (Episode IV, if you acknowledge the existence of those other films released in the 90s, which I don’t). Flo and Pippi both had never seen it before, and were not really sure they were going to like it. I did my best not to say all the best lines along with the actors (not sure how well I succeeded). Afterwards, I was ready to grab my stuff and go – Pippi had a thing she was supposed to be back in Dayton for, so I thought we had to leave. But to my surprise, suddenly Flo was talking about the pizzas she had in the freezer, and saying that, since we had all of the movies here, we might as well put in the next one, and Pippi’s thing she had to be back for turned out to be not so pressing after all, and to make a long story short, we watched all of them. All three movies. A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, back to back. We did nothing all day but watch movies, getting up only for food or drink or to go to the bathroom. It was fairly epic.
It was funny watching the movies again. I hadn’t seen them in a long time, though they were so much a part of my childhood they’re sortof just part of my subconscious. It was odd watching what I remembered as intensely romantic sexual tension between Han and Leia, and thinking “Man, Han sure is a jerk.” I also hadn’t remembered how much C3PO whined. All the time. On the plus side, I hadn’t completely remembered how utterly adorable R2D2 is, or how much I really, truly love these movies with all my heart.
After we had finished all three movies, Flo wanted to show us a Darth Vader cameo in Night at the Museum 2, and then we were watching the outtakes, and then Pippi saw Hank Azaria’s Arms of Total Manly Hotness, and somehow before I knew it we were watching another movie. And it was awesome. My favorite part? “How about you shove your hands in your pockets, take your attitude way down, and also, be nice to people.” (Not that there’s anyone in particular I’m dying to say that to. Or anything.) And I have to admit, Hank Azaria’s arms really are something. It doesn’t hurt that the brain animating those arms belongs to a hilariously funny man. If my heart weren’t already given to Ryan Gosling, I’d be tempted to switch my allegiance (Pippi: “No! He’s mine!”)
Speaking of which, Ryan Gosling is now also apparently Catholic: