Today was the last day of the Pumpkin Patch... until next year. (Insert photo of a tractor-drawn wagon receding into the distance, which I would have taken if I hadn't been a flake-ass about bringing my camera along). I know some people were happy to be done, but I'll really miss it: the camaraderie and the cash. It was a lovely group of folks this year, and I'll certainly miss the constant performing, which fueled my outgoing, slightly wacky side. Now I'm back to being serious-and-sober Stage Manager me, with a grim hint of Retail Me to come, unless I land a more interesting job soon.
In fact, the Pumpkin Patch job literally takes years off my age, as witnessed by several of my co-workers there who were convinced I was 28 at the oldest, and more likely 23 or so. (The fact that I wear no makeup there and my hair's all over the place and I'm acting like a 23 year-old probably has a lot to do with this misconception, but still.) I don't know whether to be flattered or horrified.
I hung out after work with a very sweet girl who worked there this year and wants us to keep in touch and hang out. Part of me was so thrilled- a new girlfriend! I hardly ever make new girl-friends! And part of me was cynical- she's 21. And young for her age- in a good way, but still. Will we be able to bridge the age gap and be friends? Nothing makes me realize how much I'm not like a 21-year-old than hanging out with a real one. But actually, it was fun to sit at East is East with her and confess our mini-crushes on various Pumpkin Patch guys (sadly, the pickings are slim, ladies) and just be girls. Not something I get much chance to be these days, given that my two closest friends are my 60-something mom and my very manly man. And any other girlfriends I have are married, mostly with kids, which cuts down on their ability to cut loose.
I really miss the days when I was young (did I really just type that? I didn't mean it like that!) and had girlfriends. Not 'meet me for coffee once in a blue moon' friends but friends who lived in synch with me, knew the in-jokes and giggled hard at them, friends to whisper secrets and crushes to, friends to be cruel to and make up to. Problem is, these friendships are so often edged out by lovers, spouses, long-distance moves, kids.... I envy the closeness of some women, and I wish it could be me. I feel as if I don't know the rule, am missing the secret password or something. I move in a male world- I like hanging with guys; the comfortable closeness of the ones who are like brothers and the edgy flirty friendships that feel slightly dangerous. It is so damn hard to make room for the other girls. And if I make room, will anyone let me in?