Good friends are hard to come by, and sometimes even harder to keep. Friendship is work, and just like a living thing, it requires attention and care. As time passes and we move through the various stages of our lives, we evolve and change. Old established ties are shed and make way for newer ones that serve a different purpose. It’s an aspect of all relationships, that no one is to blame for.
Through the military I built lasting ties with people who I would probably have never come into contact with prior to enlisting. We all came from diverse backgrounds with our own histories and view points, working towards a common goal.
This form of camaraderie is probably one of the greatest gifts that I have received from the Navy. Through our shared experiences, sometimes great and more often than not shitty, we commiserate with and elevate one another, thus establishing almost unbreakable bonds. Even after years have passed, it’s the kind of friendship that can pick up right where it left off.
While stationed in San Diego, I made friends with a girl named Rachel. I was a couple of years older than her but we were on the same wave-length and we both enjoyed the same types of things.
We eventually started hanging out more and more as we progressed through our training. After school, she stayed in San Diego, whereas I headed to Japan. We would see each other every so often over the years, yet each time it was as if no time had passed between us and usually led to pretty awesome mini-adventures.
At the time of this story, I was deployed overseas and was given the chance to return to the US for a couple of weeks and happened to have a layover in Minneapolis on my way to San Diego.
I was excited because I knew that was where Rachel had returned to after finishing her service in the Navy. I figured I could extend my trip there for a couple days and visit this strange land of Vikings and cheese curds that I had heard so much about.
At the time, I knew absolutely nothing about Minnesota, save for the weird pronunciation that Rachel had for certain words and the movie, Fargo. Nevertheless I was excited and had by far one of the greatest times ever!
Towards the end of my visit we decided to stay the night in Minneapolis and check out the night life. We figured we could do some partying and she wouldn’t have to drive 2 hours just to drop me off at the airport.
I booked a hotel downtown where pre-yelp driven 2010’s Google claimed there were bars close by. So, dressed in our Charlotte Russe party best we set out for a quick walk around the block to find a club or two.
Now the remainder of this story is being retold from the pieced together memories of two drunk girls. Take it for what it is…
According to Rachel we spent the majority of the night in the bar/club since apparently it was a weeknight and we were not in the “party” part of town. Nothing else was open near us, and we had nowhere to go.
I vaguely remember meeting a guy who looked like an even creepier blonde version of the Twilight guy. He spent a large portion of the night persistently trying to lure me to his home since he felt the need to “protect me”.
After finally ditching that dude, we did meet with a couple of other interesting characters through the night. It’s funny how guys will give more attention when you are actively trying to avoid it. We just wanted to have fun and party, by ourselves, in a club full of people. Was that too much to ask?
Granted we were extremely grateful for the plethora of drinks bought for us. Anyone, man or woman, who claims they don’t like having drinks bought for them is probably as trustworthy as a senator who sends dick pics.
Towards the end of last call we were ready to leave. After all, my flight was at 8 am the next morning and I was trying out the new concept that is known today as adulting.
Though I do not smoke in general, I will sell my first born for a cigarette when I am drunk. So another part of our reason for leaving was so I could find a gas station or store since I had exhausted my pack of Black and Mild’s (I was going through a phase).
Now considering the fact that we were incredibly drunk, we ended up making a left turn from the club, however our hotel was located 3 blocks to the right. So, there we are, it’s 3 am and we are hobbling through the dark city streets while I am desperately searching for a cigarette.
After a block or so, we realized that not only were we lost, but there weren’t any stores or gas stations open in that area. As we kept on walking, hoping a cab would pass by, the painful cigarette pangs steered my cold and shivering drunken-ass towards a running car parked on the curb.
At the time, the idea of asking a lone random car if they had a cigarette never struck me as a terrible idea, so I tapped on the glass. Little did I know, as Rachel filled me in the next morning, when the window rolled down, two cops stared at me in bemusement as I attempted to bum a smoke.
Now what SHOULD have happened was this:
Instead we did this:
They had us hop in the back seats and dropped us off in front of a Perkins and told us to stay safe (I still don’t really understand how I did not get arrested for public intoxication that night). Once we entered the restaurant, we saw a group of guys that we had previously been chatting with at the bar and joined their table.
It is common knowledge that drinking lowers inhibitions and brings out certain aspects of a person’s personality. Some people tend to become overly friendly and loving, while others become drunken belligerent monsters. I fall in the passed out on the floor category. So true to form, while Rachel and the others were enjoying a delicious drunk breakfast, I was down for the count.
Now Perkins (Midwestern/Southern version of Denny’s), like most other establishments, does not take too kindly to their customers passing out at the table, so a security guard came and escorted me out.
Rachel, like many before her stuck with babysitting me, called for a ride back to the hotel and left the guys to meet me outside. When she headed out of the restaurant to search for me, there I was in the lobby, sitting on the guard’s lap, spilling my life story….apparently.
Fortunately we eventually made it back to our hotel in one piece. I even managed to wake up in time for my flight to California!
It’s been 6 year since that trip, and Rachel has become a mother and so have I. Our partying days have been numbered, however at least we can embarrass our kids and their friends with our drunk-bitch stories some day.
Even though our friendship today has evolved into Facebook updates and the occasional “like”, time or distance can’t separate the bond established by two sisters-in-arms.