Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread: Favorite Parties

When this post publishes, I will be landing in Chicago to spend a weekend with my friends. I know; it seems like I’m always going somewhere these days, but this is my last trip for a while, and I’m going sans family. My best friend’s 40th birthday is in a few days and he’s throwing a big party Saturday night — complete with a catered dinner at his house followed by karaoke where he’s reserved enough space for 40 guests. Friends are flying in from different cities and we’re having a sort of slumber party at Chad’s place for the weekend. I think I’m sharing an air mattress with a woman I haven’t seen in years, so it’s doubtful I’ll get to catch up on any sleep on this trip away from my baby. But I’m sure what I’ll lose in sleep, I’ll make up for in lots of fun and good times.

This particular birthday basically tips the scales, making the majority of my friends now in their 40s. Damn, we’re all getting old. I remember making a cake for Chad’s 25th birthday and now here we are 15 years later just like that, in a blink of an eye. Where does the time go? (That’s the two of us in the photo above, by the way, taken last summer when I visited Chicago. Chad has this character called The Weatherman who gives updates on the weather and interviews people on the street. I was playing Chantelle, a woman who loves the limelight and was thrilled to be stopped for an interview. This is a screengrab from our video, which I wish I could play here, but I can’t figure out how to get the code for it).

Anyhow, I’m feeling a little nostalgic, and definitely looking forward to catching up and celebrating life and middle age with a bunch of my oldest friends this weekend. (Really, middle aged? Us? That seems so weird). Do you have any favorite memories of big get-togethers with friends — either birthday parties or travels or reunions? Do you have a group of people you’ve watched get older? Isn’t it crazy to look back at the marriages and divorces and babies and jobs and moves and deaths and know you were there for each other through it all? And if you haven’t been through that much with your friends yet, give it a few years. A lot of life happens by the time you and your friends start hitting 40…

48 comments… add one
  • MaterialsGirl

    MaterialsGirl July 13, 2012, 4:06 pm

    Have a great time! Hopefully this storm passes through quickly. Nice shot of Hollywood beach. Hopefully I’ll be laying out there this weekend!

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    Addie Pray July 13, 2012, 4:57 pm

    Have a great weekend in Chicago, Wendy! There, I just told the rain to stop for you – now it’s time for you to find a patio somewhere.

    As for my big get-togethers with friends, every year for the past few years I have had a trolley party. I rent a trolley, people fly in from near and far, and we bar hop from 8 pm to midnight. I try to mix up the bar line up so my out of town guests can sample Chicago’s many lovely ‘hoods. I let others plan the trolley playlist b/c my friends, apparently, do not like my taste; they complained of too much Britney the first year. Those fuckers can be such music snobs. ….

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      Nadine July 13, 2012, 10:23 pm

      Soooooo…….do you mean what I would call a tram? I’m picturing you in a supermarket trolley, careering down hills, all crammed in like kids….. I know I’m wrong….right?

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        Addie Pray July 14, 2012, 8:12 am

        Nope, that’s it! Chicago is flat though, so no careering down hills. … Lol. Here, this is what the trolley we’ve rented the last few years looks like:

        Fun, no? I need to get on planning the next one. I thought I was going to stop the tradition but people keep asking…. I can’t let the people down. You wanna come? Two years ago a friend from Paris flew in. … It was a very proud moment for me.

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        Nadine July 14, 2012, 9:58 am

        Thats so cool! I’m not surprised people keep making you do it.

        I would so come, but I have to hear the words “too much Britney” to believe that they have ever been said. “Piece of Me” is my jam.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson July 14, 2012, 10:12 am

        Piece of me is AMAZING! Good call, Nadine. I’m going to listen it to this morning – it always motivates me to work out and be a bad ass.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow July 14, 2012, 12:58 pm

        Whaaaaaat! That’s, like, the coolest thing ever. How come none of my friends plan stuff like that?

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        MertleJ July 14, 2012, 1:06 pm

        We had a trolley for my bachelorette party! all of my law school friends flew in, and we went all around wrigleyville/river north all night. maybe one of the best nights ever (with plenty of britney)

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  • Lili

    Lili July 13, 2012, 5:26 pm

    Holy HELL people. Harrison Ford is 70″?!!!!! OMG. I swear it was just yesterday when he was all hot and young as Han Solo and Indiana Jones. OMG. I cant believe this. What year is this again, what age am I again? Life is so short.

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      rachel July 14, 2012, 12:00 am

      That is just wrong.

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      Addie Pray July 14, 2012, 8:17 am

      He has not aged well. Neither has Robert Redford, in my opinion. They just don’t look good anymore.

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    ktfran July 13, 2012, 5:31 pm

    Welcome back home Wendy! The weather is supposed to be amazing.

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    Taylor July 13, 2012, 5:44 pm

    My FAVORITE get together with my friends is our annual trip to Frozen Dead Guy Days in Nederland, CO. We have been there in some form since it’s second year in existence, back when it was more interpretive dance and random folks than the full out hippy meets dia de los muertos insanity it has evolved into. Nederland – 3 shamans and no cabs in the phone-book. People fly back from out of town to go, we have bodies on every surface of the one hotel room we manage to book, some of them new friends we’ve known for three hours. There are costumes and wigs and dancing and laughing on Friday nights, and a hungover breakfast and parade on Saturday morning. It’s the best. I can believe we’re all a few years from 40, no idea where the time went.

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  • MaterialsGirl

    MaterialsGirl July 13, 2012, 6:37 pm

    We girls get together about once a year for the ‘G spot’ weekend. It originated because we would go the Lake Geneva hence ‘G spot.’ now it’s pretty mobile but still a very fun weekend away from our homes, husbands and now babies for some

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    jlyfsh July 13, 2012, 6:47 pm

    i think my favorite party was one of my friend’s bachelorette parties. we were still fairly young, she was the first to get married and it was just a great time with some of my best friends. we try to get together still but it’s so hard since everyone is so far away, some are on different continents now. thank goodness for skype! 🙂

    hope you have a wonderful time this weekend wendy!!

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  • Shell

    Shell July 13, 2012, 8:43 pm

    My childhood (almost from birth) friend now has two little ones. I recently visited them and got to spend time playing with his 3 year old son (who looks exactly like him). I had a major déjà vu moment, thinking “I’ve played with you before”…about 25 year ago! Such a crazy but amazing feeling.

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  • iwannatalktosampson

    iwannatalktosampson July 13, 2012, 10:15 pm

    So I can’t get DW drunks convene here – but I’m drunk. And I only had 3 beers. Remember how lately I’ve been complaining about my high tolerance? Apparently that’s out the window. I think it’s because of my questionable eating habits today (like how I’m linking together all things DW?). And now I have the hiccups.

    But the most epic party I ever went to was probably in high school when I was 16. I traded my shirt (I had on a bra and tank top underneath and it was summer) for a original Sublime T-shirt from some guy. I still have that shirt to this day. Or the time my friends parents moved to another city but the house didn’t close for another 2 weeks so he decided to have 200+ people in the 12 bedroom house with 8 kegs – this was in high school. That was fun. I think I lost my shoes that night.

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    • Cara

      Cara July 13, 2012, 11:00 pm

      I´m drunk too! I had… a lot of alcohol. I remember 1 Liter of beer, 5 Cuba Libres and… something… I mostly drank from other peoples cups the last 2 hours… The party i went to today was fine… it was just insanely warm inside the club, so everybody was outside most of the time. Unfortunately the guy I wanted to see wasn´t there. Anyway, best party….

      I guess the most epic one was my 16th birthday party. There was an empty villa across the street from our house and I knew how to get in through a window… so, being 15 and stupid I though it would be a great idea to celebrate my birthday there. My friends and me set up music in the cellar, we had lots of beer and I invited about 50 people… and told everyone to bring their friends…

      End of story, about 80 people were in the cellar, 20 more were exploring the house, lighting every possible light and about 100 were standing outside on the street. Police was there about 2 hours into the party and my brother came to get me. Me and my friends got the stereo and the beer (THE BEER!!) and sat in our garage. When the police rang the bell I changed into a Snoopy nightgown and told them I had no idea who´s party it was…. They believed me.

      Completely stupid and highly illegal (we didn´t break anything though), but when I get to know people sometimes someone will say; oh you live there; I was at this epic party in this empty villa there once…

      Yeah……

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      rachel July 14, 2012, 12:05 am

      I am also drunk. Yes. Drunk.

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      Anna July 14, 2012, 8:29 am

      Sorry I missed the drunkenness last night…I was working a night I normally don’t work. In my singleness, I’ve said yes every time one of my colleagues asks me to trade a shift so they can get a night off to do something fun or important. I’m getting a good buzz on now though. I’ve had two pretty strong margaritas since I got home from work at 6 am. Unfortunately, everyone else is in bed it would seem. 🙁

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      iwannatalktosampson July 14, 2012, 9:30 am

      Soooo the great thing about having a low tolerance is NO hangover. YAY! I think I’m going to go to yoga sculpt today. I want to do it. I really hope I don’t back out. I wouldn’t have to leave for 2 hours so that gives me some time to start my midterm I didn’t start yesterday. Make me go y’all. My fitness life is a mess.

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        Addie Pray July 14, 2012, 9:37 am

        Mine too. I’ve just given up on being healthy.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson July 14, 2012, 10:10 am

        Go with me! I mean go to a studio in Chicago and I’ll go to one here and it’ll be like we’re doing it together! I mean you never really talk during yoga anyway. I’m scared I’m going to back out. By the time it comes around to leaving to go I *always* have something urgent I have to do *right now*.

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      lets_be_honest July 16, 2012, 1:58 pm

      I’ll trade you the shirt I have on now for that Sublime shirt.

      My brother and I had the craziest house parties in high school. Amazing parties, Mom would be out of town, they were themed (because I can’t help myself), everyone would come, at least a half dozen kegs. People still talk about them (ugh, like at our reunions, how’d I get that old?!) My brother knew all the cops in town, so they wouldn’t bother us. Some epic memories there.

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    Nadine July 13, 2012, 10:29 pm

    My best party ever happened on a Monday night because it was the last night of my exams at University, along with another friend of mine. We sent out a few txts to some friends, saying to maybe come over to Other Friends house if you can, we might a party a bit, even though its Monday. Turned into most epic party ever, stayed up all night, numerous relationships began and ended, we had a lock-in at a bar up the road, I lost my shoes, someone drank someone else’s wee (by accident), police were called, my boyfriend and I were caught having sex…….
    We still cant really believe all that happened on a Monday.

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  • Kristina

    Kristina July 13, 2012, 11:25 pm

    One of my best memories is my 21st birthday. When I was younger, I always thought it would be this huge party where I would get wasted and not remember a thing. But by the time I was 18, I was so over that lifestyle. The day started off with my boyfriend having my favorite bakery in my city deliver me 21 red velvet cupcakes to my apartment. Then later, I went over to my best friend’s place with her boyfriend, where we made one of our favorite meals together (it’s a tradition from the days when the 3 of us used to live together). We watched a few good movies, drank a little bit, played old-school Mario Kart, cause we’re nerds like that, and ended the night with making s’mores in the fireplace. I was so sober I even drove home later that night. It was perfect, and I love spending birthdays doing meaningful things with the people who matter to me most. I did end up having a party in a room in a club a few weeks later in my boyfriend’s city where we drank a lot, and went a little crazy, but I love that I had a tame and memorable 21st birthday party–I really needed it after years of hardcore partying.

    When I was younger, my dad would go on an annual cross-country skiing trip with his friends, and I hope to have some sort of similar annual trip and get-together with my friends when I’ve settled down. I’m scared to lose that part of myself.

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    Trixy Minx July 14, 2012, 12:12 am

    Wendy logs just like Cristina Hendricks

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      Trixy Minx July 14, 2012, 12:13 am

      Looks* stupid phone

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    • Leroy

      Leroy July 14, 2012, 2:04 am

      Wendy is one of those people who look like they’ve stepped out of time. It’s not that she looks old fashioned, she looks timeless.

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  • CatsMeow

    CatsMeow July 14, 2012, 1:06 pm

    Most of my friends have been in my life for 10+ years. My best friend and I met when we were in pre-school, and we were inseparable for our entire childhoods.

    My friends and I have seen each other go through relationships, marriages, divorces, kids, cross-country moves (sometimes cross-continental!), and tragedy as well as good times. I feel really grateful that I have such amazing people in my life that will be with me through thick and thin.

    And now I’m thinking I need to organize some awesome annual get-together or something.

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      iwannatalktosampson July 14, 2012, 1:14 pm

      Can we get an update on the boyfriend/not boyfriend. I’m assuming y’all are officially back together at this point right? How is his living situation?

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow July 14, 2012, 1:31 pm

        hoo boy! It’s “rocky” at best. And if you asked me yesterday morning, I would have said everything was peachy. It’s been kind of a rollercoaster.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson July 14, 2012, 1:35 pm

        I’m assuming you know that there is no way that update is going to be enough for me. Go on….

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        Painted_lady July 14, 2012, 3:52 pm

        Seconded. Please spill!

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow July 15, 2012, 5:10 pm

        Everything will be awesome, and then he’ll say something sooooooo commitment-phobic that I contemplate breaking up with him. I already know that I want him in my life long-term, but he doesn’t know the same thing about me. I know that it takes some people longer to get there than others, so I’m not trying to push it, you know? But then I wonder how much time I should give him. I mean, I can’t realistically expect him to say he wants to be with me “forever” because we haven’t really been together that long…. but sometimes he says things that make me think that he already knows that “forever” is just totally off the table (which he then denies). So yeah. Basically I’m trying to relax and take it day by day, but then I get paranoid about whether or not I’m “wasting my time” by staying with him knowing that I’m more invested than he is. That’s it in a nutshell. But we’re still together for the time being.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark July 14, 2012, 8:26 pm

    For well over a decade, my best friend used to throw crazy, madcap parties in the Hollywood Hills… Movie stars that dropped by included Shia Labeouf, Megan Fox, and Mark Ruffalo. One Halloween, I designed and oversaw the creation of a vast cemetery that covered an entire hillside… It was magnificent.

    She had to finally sell the house this past spring.

    Those days of fun and glamour are now gone forever. Lost to the cruel fates of time. Was fun while it lasted. That’s the problem with fabulous parties, they never last as long as you want or need them to… And when they are gone — the party really is over. Forever.

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      rachel July 14, 2012, 11:57 pm

      I randomly know a handful of people who have hung out with Mark Ruffalo.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark July 15, 2012, 8:54 pm

        He was very nice. He used to be my friend’s neighbor when he still lived in LA, and he was around a good amount for a while…

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        Rachel July 15, 2012, 10:41 pm

        He actually lives not too far from my hometown, near an area being ravaged by fracking, so he’s quite vocal about that problem. I know a couple friends who met him at an environmental conference, and a couple who hung out with him in New Orleans when he was there filming for something. I, of course, have never met anyone famous, haha.

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      Ominous Anonymous July 16, 2012, 12:39 am

      Did one of those individuals show up naked or end up naked in a nonsexual way during the course of the evening?

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        Painted_lady July 16, 2012, 1:39 am

        Oooookay, weird, not sure why the hell it posted under that name! Cover blown, I suppose.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark July 16, 2012, 1:50 am

        Perhaps…

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  • katie

    Katie July 15, 2012, 10:15 am

    I can think of a few amazing parties in my life….

    my birthday party my sophmore and junior year of high school. me and my two best friends in high school were all born in october (and we went in the reverse order of our ages (the youngest first, ect) and we are all left handed!) so we threw a huge bash both years. we did it at one of our houses and told the parents we were only inviting so many people… and totally like doubled it. there ended up being confetti all over the place and food everywhere by the night was done.. it was awesome though. the next year we did a halloween party.. it wasnt as big as the first year, but still great.

    then, there was the only “movie high school party” I ever went to in real life… my friend, who’s dad was a freaking cop, threw this huge party at her awesome house when we went away for the weekend. it was the total stereotypical party from movies… beer pong in the basement, dancing upstairs, people on the trampoline, people EVERYWHERE… oh, and it was a “fancy” theme so everyone was in dresses.. haha. it was a great time. that was also the one and only time i ever threw up from drinking too much… that was not such a great time.

    then there was my 21st, which was fun. my friend lived off campus and let me throw it at her apartment… i made a whole mini-fridge full of jello shots and we got pizza and crowns.. it was great. just my friends, no one i didnt know, no one passed out, i remember the whole night. it was perfect.

    and can i just say, i hope that in my life i could be able to write something like this about my friend(s). even though, lets be real, i could never write something like this… but, i just hope that i will have someone in my life where i can talk about how 25 years flew by and fly to their 40th birthday party. thats commendable, and awesome. go wendy!

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    • katie

      Katie July 15, 2012, 3:35 pm

      clarification: my friend threw the party when her dad was gone for the weekend. not “we”. him. i was there!

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  • mandalee

    mandalee July 15, 2012, 3:04 pm

    The best party I ever attended was the one my freshmen roommates and I threw on Arbor Day our freshmen year. I went to a catholic university in NYC my freshmen year, and they had very strict rules regarding pretty much everything (separate floors for guys/girls, no opposite sex students on those floor after midnight, no tolerance drinking/drugs, etc).

    Out of the 8 roommates in our suite, 4 of us were transferring after that year, so we wanted to throw a big party before we left. Since the school locked down on the big holidays, like St. Patty’s Day, we decided to pick a random spring holiday to host our party. After a drunken pow wow around our dorm calendar at 3am, we picked Arbor Day. We each wheeled out a suitcase to the nearest liquor store that never carded, loaded up all the alcohol (wrapped very carefully in sweaters), and wheeled the suitcases past our dorm security when we knew our friends would be working. We flipped our beds over and made them into beer pong tables, and coordinated a way to get 40 people into our dorm building for the night.

    The party was amazing, our RA even came out, and we turned it into a yearly tradition for the rest of college.

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    lets_be_honest July 16, 2012, 2:02 pm

    This made me super sad Wendy. Getting older, thinking back to the “good ol days,” watching friends have kids on purpose, that’s some bittersweet stuff.
    We made some awesome new memories this weekend though.
    I watched a very old lady pushing an even older lady in a wheelchair to the beach this weekend. I turned to Peter and said when I’m too old to walk, promise me you will do that for me. Then I thought about it actually happening and how we’d be looking back on these days as fond memories.

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      Addie Pray July 16, 2012, 3:00 pm

      I’m being a good girl and staying productinve (on work things, not DW) this Monday. But I popped in to quickly ask: so, where did Peter whisk you away to this weekend? What did you do? Was it fun? Did you get engaged? Did you break up? Did you meet any celebrities? There, that covers all my questions, for now.

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        lets_be_honest July 16, 2012, 3:18 pm

        Well I am a celebrity in real life, so of course I hung out with more celebs. We were on P Diddy’s yacht.
        We actually had a great time, so relaxing and filled with laughs. No engagement though! Don’t you know the first thing I’ll do is tell DW!?

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