Friendship Schemes and McDonald's Breakfasts

two girl friends

Friends can dream up the wildest schemes. Even when besties surprise the heck out of you, when you're in the loop yet still manage to be out of it, it's one of the quirky, unpredictable facets of friendship.

One early Saturday morning (was I 12? 13?), my best friend snuck through my defenses of a heavy sleep, wrapped a blindfold around my head, and hustled me out my front door.

No morning ablutions (gross). Tangled hair (embarrassing). In pajamas and flip flops (mortifying).

Even in the company of friends, being out of doors, blindfolded and pajama'd and practically shoe-less, one can feel quite vulnerable.

There was plenty of giggling going on. Hmm, a group effort, then. Everyone kept mum on where they were taking me.

Having lived in my neighborhood my entire life, I had a good sense of the general direction we were heading. I knew when the sidewalk turned into the alleyway and back to the sidewalk; of how long the blocks were; the transition from sunlight to shade; the rough asphalt of crossing the road.

Step up, step down. Move to the side. Go forward.

When my feet hit grass, however, disorientation morphed into alarm instantly. Up to that point I had been able to follow the clues and picture in my mind where (approximately) I was. The grass told me I was on someone's front lawn.

Most of the front lawns on this street were about three feet above the sidewalk and shored up by retaining walls. My steps slowed, testing hesitantly the ground in front of me. When I felt cement again, I refused to budge. No cajoling assurances would move me.

I was absolutely convinced that I was perched at the edge of a retaining wall.

It's a trick, I insisted. I have to jump!

My friends howled with laughter. Jump? Whatever for?

Back and forth we went. They were exasperated. I became agitated. I didn't believe them.

So I held my breath and I jumped.

My heart thundering in my ears, I swear I felt my body suspend in midair as if somehow three feet magically became eight. My stomach lurched. I landed hard and fell in a heap, scraped up but feeling mightily justified. See? I fell! I was right!

Amidst shouts of disbelief and shrieks of laughter, they picked me up and herded me through a park before whipping off my blindfold and escorted me into McDonald's in true noisy-girl fanfare (and shouts of protest from the manager) for a surprise birthday breakfast—in my ratty pajamas.

Oh. Pancakes with a huge side order of embarrassment for here, please.

On the return walk to my house, my bestie pointed out the area where I had balked like a spooked horse. There, on the corner lot, at what I called the rich house (a multi-columned, mansion throwback from another era), with its wide stretch of fertile green lawn, flushed flat along the cement sidewalk.

Yes. I had created a wall where there wasn't one. Well, isn't that the kicker?

Sure, we cracked up over it in the way that young besties can laugh at themselves, but I had no inkling that type of experience would be a running theme in my life (complete with leap when none was required). I just figured out it helps to see the humor in these life lessons as it makes swallowing some bitter pills a tad bit easier, for sure.

Can you look back and see a recurring pattern of behavior you would have like to have changed? Do share.

2 comments

  1. Regina. I totally can see you taking the big jump. Lol. This was an adorable story. A simpler time indeed. A Saturday morning filled with friends, pancakes and McDonand's now that's a winning combination.
    Love your stories. Cheers.

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    Replies
    1. Linda, I still chuckle remembering how foolish I was. I know there's a deeper story here involving trust, but one's gotta remember to laugh at oneself, right?

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