I drove to work today because a co-worker was leaving and I promised I’d make heather’s grandmother’s lemon pound cake. I did NOT feel like lugging a 10 lb cake on BART (i know it says pound cake – for some reason it’s a 10 lb cake.) I do not like driving Michael’s truck, it’s enormous. The parking garages around work are for tiny hybrids – NOT big monstrous 4×4 trucks.
On the way in I heard a song by Brad Paisley called “out in the parking lot.” Now, if Brad were Canadian it would have been “ooot in the …” no I’m just kidding. Anyway, it reminded me of a weekend I’d spent with my girl Stacey a LONG time ago. We decided to spend the weekend at her mom’s house (in rural alberta). On a whim, we decided to stay in the actual house that her step-dad had grown up in. Once we arrived, her mom told us of a town dance a few kilometers away – so we decided to head over. The details are quite sketchy.
Here we were… two city girls – dressed to the 9’s and smokin hot – walkin in to this hicktown dance. I mean HICKtown. Those little cowboys didn’t know what hit em. We hadn’t even made it inside the hall and had already been offered some unknown alcoholic concoction out in the parkin’ lot. Stacey grimaced as I accepted a drink from a thermos and actually touched my lips to it! She was a real lady, letting em pour it right into her mouth (without touching her lips to anything.) I admit it, Stacey was more sophisticated than I was. After all, I grew up in a town of about 75 or so – what did I care about germs?
As I said, I don’t remember a lot from that night. I do remember that most small town dances only offer the absolute worst and cheapest hooch they can get their mitts on. I also remember not buying a drink OR sitting down the entire night. Stacey was a much better dancer than I was, she was in a Ukranian folk dance group and had practice dancing and “spotting” so that she didn’t get dizzy. She could also handle her licquor better – especially cheap hooch. It was Stacey that drove the back roads to get us home, it was me that had my head out the door the entire time – telling her to “slow down for christ’s sake.” Meanwhile, we were probably only doing 10 kms.
When we arrived at the house her dad grew up in, we were surprised to find out that we needed to figure out how to heat the place, etc. It was a great weekend even though we froze. That was the weekend I discovered “Mary Margaret O’Hara” and found out what great artists her parents were. I love Stacey, always have. When I first met her, she intimated the heck out of me. She has long gorgeous (natually curly) hair. Her makeup is always perfect and she has beautiful skin. How can you not be intimated? For more years than I can remember – she was my best friend. We lived together, we drank and danced together, we braved cold Canadian nights to see bands. I could tell her anything, she treated me like her sister (neither of us had a sister… but I think we really did well in figuring it out). We really did share the best times together. We always laughed, she was way more serious and responsible than I was. I loved hanging out with her friends, I spent so many winters at the Ukranian hall eating pierogies and drinking vodka. I can’t tell you how many nights we spent at the Strathcona hotel ordering “tables of beer.” She helped shape me as a young woman. We’ve supported each other through the loss of family members, lovers and other friends. She is the type of friend that you may not speak to in a few months, but you both fall easily back into a rhythm and it’s like you’ve talked to each other every day.
It’s amazing how music can bring a person right back to a moment. Brad’s song wasn’t out at the time, but hearing that song brought me right back to that hicktown dance 15 years ago. With that memory came all the memories of my friendship with Stacey. I love music.