So epic, in fact, that many of its events have already passed into legend.
The truth is, it was a big year for my friends and me. Sometimes it was awful, sometimes it was awesome, most times it was dramatic, and we LOVED it. Well…………not all the time. That’s just how I remember it now. Isn’t it funny how something you would never necessarily want to relive can become so romanticized in your mind?
The real legacy of 2006 is that “the Trinity” – a trio made up of Kelly, Melissa, and myself – was formed. Our friendship solidified as we muddled through work, play, family, love, boyfriends, almost-boyfriends, not-boyfriends, late night diner visits, lots of wine, and countless impromptu adventures. There were some incredibly tough, even heartbreaking moments, but we also had fun. A lot of fun.
It was hands down one of the most memorable years of (I think I can speak for all of us) our lives.
On September 28, 2006, Melissa and I had devised a perfect plan to celebrate Kelly’s 23rd birthday. We would pirate-kidnap her.
I guess I should provide a tiny bit of (nerdy) back story. My high school mascot was a pirate. Even though I had zero interest in any kind of sporting event while in school, after graduation I continued to think of myself as a Pearl River Pirate. As a joke, I carried an eye patch in my purse which usually (but not always) made appearances after I’d been drinking.
After the success of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie (as well as the “pirate hooker” line from Anchorman), the pirate joke became an ongoing thing for my friends and me.
So! We’d show up to Kelly’s house, throw her in the back of a car, and take her to an undisclosed but awesome birthday location. Of course, in order to make our ranks official, we made t-shirts. Like ya do.
We drove into Manhattan, parked the car, and then got in a cab. Kelly was then blindfolded for authenticity.
Our final destination was a Regina Spektor concert at Town Hall. Kelly was totally surprised and the concert was incredible. Regina played every song we wanted to hear off of Soviet Kitsch and Begin to Hope.
It was pure magic, and another memory to file in our 2006 folder.
This year, for Kelly’s 30th birthday, Melissa and I both had the idea to recreate our kidnapping. The only issue was coming up with an event we could keep secret and that could top the concert we saw 7 years ago.
Fortunately for me, one day during a Facebook chat Kelly inadvertently gave me the perfect idea. After securing a date, the plan went into action. On October 5th, Melissa and I arrived at Kelly’s house with gifts and eye patches.
On our drive into the city we sang loudly to a playlist of late 90s tunes.
We had a fantastic dinner at Arriba Arriba on 9th Avenue.
After a quick drink at the Snug, it was time to blindfold our victim and lead her to our destination. Once again it was hilarious how little the New Yorkers around us seemed to care about two adult women leading a third, blindfolded one around.
After completely succeeding at disorienting (and maybe even freaking out) Kelly, we arrived at our surprise: Once the Musical.
We knew that it was a good idea, but after seeing Kelly tear up, it was obvious that we’d hit the jackpot. The show was incredible and felt extremely personal and familiar due to the fact that it plays out like a traditional Irish session.
In 2006 Kelly and I went to see Once at a little theater on the Upper East Side. It was before the movie had gotten all its hype and we didn’t know what to expect other than a small, independent Irish movie. It was a moving experience for both of us. I put the soundtrack on my mp3 player immediately and would continue to listen to it with some regularity for years. In 2009, when I was coming to terms with the end of what had been the most important relationship of my life, I was riding the subway when Lies came on shuffle. I was completely unprepared for the flood of emotion I felt. For a week or two I continued listening to it as a kind of penance. After that, I retired the soundtrack from my playlist.
Four years later, in a totally different context, it was nice to hear some of those songs again. Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of our own evolution.
It’s also nice to be reminded of things that haven’t changed. Sitting there with my two closest friends, it was clear to me that the bond we share is every bit as strong as it’s always been.
Throwback Thursday is fun, for sure. But present day Thursday is pretty great too.