This one time in Malibu, I fed a giraffe named Stanley from my mouth and we almost kissed…..
It’s true. That happened. And it was glorious. It didn’t start that way. And it certainly didn’t end that way. But what DID happen, I am soooooo thankful for. I know I have talked about my goon Kayla before. We friends fo life. We have lived in different parts of the country for the past 10-15 years. Just writing that makes me cringe a little and I actually had to do the math on my fingers to make sure I wasn’t making myself sound older than I really am. But nope. Truth. In the past we catch up every now and again. An occasional birthday card, a beer when we are both in the Billings area, etc. Last May, my little squirrel turned the big 3-0 and her Madre wanted to do something really special for her. This included those near and dear meeting somewhere, as we are all quite dispersed. After much talking to Mama Lisa, we decided to meet in Malibu to take a wine safari. Kayla had approached me about this idea before and at first I thought she was joking, but as it turns out, these things truly exist (in California, everything is real). I met Kayla, and a couple of NEW friends, which those of you who know me, know my extroverted freakish self was ecstatic about - Jess and Holly, in Malibu for a long weekend of mayhem, sparkles, and champagne.
My Uber driver nodded off to sleep the entire one and a half hour drive from LAX to Malibu. He spoke barely any English, so I valiantly tried to make conversation so as to not die in my first ten minutes in California. By the way, Uber is HORRIBLE in the Malibu area. Sometimes we waited for hours. Sometimes they never showed up, plain and simple. Other times, they take naps while cruisin around. You just never know.
That California trip was one of the most life changing experiences for me, for many reasons. First and foremost, we stayed at the Four Seasons. Ya know, where they put little mints on your pillows and make little towel swans for you? Oh. And as it turns out. If you pick up all the treats in the fridge, there are censors installed that automatically charge your room. Luckily, we convinced the eternally patient front desk staff that we are hillbilly Montanans and had never seen such a thing and had definitely not consumed anything so they subsequently removed the charges.
Second, who doesn’t want to go tour around a winery filled with exotic animals? If you are against that, please go away. I do not need that kind of negativity in my life. Haha, then I think to myself there is probably a group of people who would be all arguing about the animals in captivity bla bla bla. Let me explain, though, that all of the wild beasts at Malibu Wine Safaris were either movie stars or rescues that were unable to be released into the wild. Also let me explain that since the horrid fires in California this past year, the facility was absolutely devastated, but none of the animals harmed. But that is kind of all I know since this post is about my time with my childhood and forever BFF and not about forest fires. Back to the safari. Whoa. I digress. Don’t even know where I was. So we were late to the safari (Uber). But super gorgeous, hiked a couple miles (which they did not serve us wine during the actual hike, much to our dismay), wine after, lots of socializing, returned to hotel. This was the day I nearly made out with a giraffe. Stanley loves romaine lettuce and my mouth tasted like dust and pesticides for about three days. By the way, Stanley is the giraffe from the Hangover movies. So yeah, I pretty much made out with a movie star. Be jealous.
Next, we raged in our five star hotel room to emo rock in our underwear (please don’t picture it because I have had two kids and it’s not good). If I remember correctly, Kayla even had us smear some black eyeliner on our eyes like the ‘kids used to do’. Singing so loudly that eventually a hotel staff member had to come ring the door bell (yes the door bell) to please ask us to quiet it down because there had been complaints. Regarding the door bell, it took us a while to even figure out where the noise was coming from. We ordered dirty martinis. Which are really gross. But I think we might have finished them the next morning.
I don’t remember all of the details. At some point we practiced applying lip gloss with fake squirrel fingers. It is that Kylie Jenner stuff that doesn’t come off your lips too, unless you have a secret stash of paint thinner. When I actually write out all of this, it sounds much stranger than it did in my head. Oops. And the grand finale. The three remaining troops grab our luggage, check out of paradise, and drag our carry-ons around Hollywood Boulevard. Eventually to the Museum of Death. Jess had to make a hasty exit, due to risk of vomit city. What a strange place. I still do not have words for what I saw there….. just google it I guess.
Basically after that, we got drunk with some British people in the airport, talked about the royal wedding, I got lost at LAX, had to exit the whole airport and go through security a second time, just to almost miss my flight home.
But the reason I am telling you all this is this…
Something happened between Kayla and I that weekend. Something magical. Prior to that, our relationship had been relatively distant. A microcosm of something that had once existed that we were desperately trying to hold together with frayed twine. But after Malibu, it was like we were whole again. We are a different kind of ‘adult’ whole. We both have grown, we have acknowledged it, we call each other out on our shit, and we move on. We check in on each other way more than we used to, still living across the country but believing that a visit is just a few hours away and also believing that we are each willing to make that possible. Because I KNOW and SHE KNOWS that nobody else will smear makeup all over their face as a thirty something mom and jump on the bed and act ridiculous and sing their heart out to our favorite songs like I will. Love you Kayla May. I love growing old with you. Can’t wait to sing with you in Austin. I hear it’s like the music capital of the world or something.