Jenn and I met as teenagers at a summer camp at Wellesley College. I have very vague memories of my time there; tie dying t-shirts, creative writing class, junk art class, mock peace demonstrations, some party cruise at the end of it. But I do vividly remember sharing my walkman headphones with Jenn and listening to Sting’s album Soul Cages and pining after specific boys in our lives.
Jenn and I got together a few times after camp, but then sort of lost touch until the internet came and I tracked her down in the early 2000s. We kept vaguely in touch and most recently she was living in Seattle with her husband and small son. Within the last year, they moved back to the east coast, now with a baby girl, and Jenn and I have been able to connect in person.
A while back we met for lunch and shortly after she sent me a flier she saw from a farm not far from her house. Good Pickin’ Farm’s Adult Summer Camp!
So Saturday, Jenn and I got together and went back to camp for an afternoon/evening. We started by joining about ten other people, all women, and stood in a circle and played a name game requiring us to pass the ball around. It was brutally hot. The upper-90s weather we’ve been having for weeks does not seem to be letting up.
Jenn and I often separated from the group to go stand in the shade and talk about things completely unrelated to ball passing and alpaca petting. It was really great to spend time with her and to have a new experience myself. We both talked about needing to put more effort into seeking things that bring us joy in a world which doesn’t seem to offer much to look forward to lately.
I shared with her my love-life disappointments and she agreed that women in their forties really are screwed, while men seem to have it pretty easy. Later in the evening, as we sat in adirondack chairs and waiting for our grilled burgers and pizza, we looked at the women around us and wondered who was single. Who came alone?
The adult camp, though sweltering, was really fun. We visited the cows, sheep, alpaca, and rabbits up close (I was very excited to hold a chicken as you can see below). We got a hayride around the property during which we saw the pigs and met the horses.
There was a giant slip-and-slide set up which we declined to try out but others did and they looked like they had a blast, and we got to make tie dye shirts. I don’t think I’ve owned one for a long time so it’s fun to have!
Jenn is a smart, interesting and supportive friend and it was nice to be in her company and share stories, concerns and stresses. It’s always appreciated to be heard by people who care about you and I’m grateful to have so many who do. And I was glad to be an ear for her.
I guess not much has changed in thirty years!