The Triple Threat in Palm Springs
by Jennifer Mally
"I've Got You Babe," -- Joan was to be Sonny to Julie as Cher at the karaoke bar in Palm Springs, California. The place wasn't much on ambiance, but we fell into it -- three 40-something "girls" looking for some fun. Julie was amazingly uninhibited, and who knew she could carry a tune? Joan didn't know the words, but made up for it with her electrifying stage presence. I, on the other hand, refused to participate. With my seat firmly planted and a cold beer within reach, I just couldn't make myself get up there. A little voice wanted me to, but it wasn't insistent enough.
I told them later that I would have gotten up for some interpretive dance, but I forgot my unitard at home. (Those of you that know me, I think, will find that funny.)
And so it was -- our first night out on our first annual Triple Threat reunion after over 25 years.
Joan and I met in elementary school. She walked into my Brownie Troop meeting in 2nd or 3rd grade. I can't remember which. We were inseparable for more than a decade after that. Julie came onto the scene in junior high. But, high school marked the true beginning of the friendship for the three of us -- and yes, we were from time to time referred to as "The Triple Threat."
There are a lot of good stories from back then. Perhaps you'll read about them in future "notes from Jen", or maybe they're better left where they are. Even so, it was fun and rejuvenating to reminisce with these two friends I adore and don't get to see nearly often enough. With Joan in Minneapolis, Julie in Dallas, me in Des Moines, and our growing families and busy lives, we've touched infrequently over the last couple of decades. But, we came together like no time had gone by at all.
We spent a few days in Palm Springs. Got a lot of sun. Had a few drinks. Worked in plenty of shopping. One evening we spent watching movies and eating pizza. (It doesn't get much better than that.) We also did a lot of talking. Any and every subject was fair game -- but we didn't solve any world problems -- nor any of a more personal nature. We just were able to be our own selves, without the demands and expectations of anything or anyone that has come into our lives since we turned 18. It was glorious, I thought, to in the very same moment, be who you are but also who you were. Deep, I know, but I can't help myself.
On our last night there, Joan attracted the attentions of some oddball fella. When she wouldn't dance with him, he asked Julie. When Julie wouldn't dance with him, he asked me. I told him, "I'm not going to dance with anyone that makes me third choice," and then had an overwhelming sensation of déjà vu.
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