It was late August, my first summer at The Maples, a hot, sunny afternoon at the pool. Two of my best friends, Marylee and Margie, were over for one of our monthly get-togethers. Because it was their first time at the pool, I wanted to make it a bit celebratory. What better way, I thought, than to share a bottle of champagne?
I got the girls situated at a table, cranked up the umbrella, and set out a few snacks. Glass is strictly forbidden in the pool area, so I went inside the clubhouse to open the bottle of bubbly and pour it into plastic flutes.
There, I found a couple sitting at a table while our sales consultant gathered information for them. We introduced ourselves. I explained about my girlfriends and the champagne. It was only polite to offer them some, I thought, wishing I had brought two bottles. Jan and Steve declined, probably thinking alcohol and contracts involving large sums of money are not a good combination. So I told them I would repeat the offer after they had finished their business with Carol.
I went back to the pool and found the girls already enjoying the water.
A few minutes and a few of sips of champagne later, my intention of sharing with Jan and Steve had fled my memory.
Jump ahead a few months. Steve and Jan had bought their home and were living in a rental in the community while it was built. One day I passed Jan on the sidewalk. She asked how my champagne girlfriends were. It took a moment for me to remember what she was talking about. My girlfriends and I drinking champagne at the pool… me going inside to pour from the glass bottle…
Oh, no, I said. I forgot to give you and Steve the glass of champagne I promised you. I’m so sorry. I’ll make it up to you.
And I did, later, after they had moved into their home. My poor manners were forgotten, but the nickname champagne girlfriends stuck.
Margie, Marylee, and I met when we all were working at The Woodstock Independent. Those days are long gone, but they remain good friends, who are also good for me. They are more adventuresome, livelier, and yes, more bubbly than I am. Like champagne.
We get together monthly, taking turns hosting in our homes. The details change, but the general plan doesn’t. The hostess provides dessert and beverages, which often but not always include champagne. The other two bring appetizers that range from basic chips and dip to artistic creations. Here are a few of our better efforts.
When they come here, we always gather in my sun room, which they named the bistro because of its high table and stools.
I don’t have a photo of the three of us in my sun room bistro. But here is one Margie’s husband took at her home.
And here’s to many more adventures with the champagne girlfriends!