I spent this past weekend with some ladies in a rental house on Whidbey Island to celebrate Seattle Mom's 40th birthday. When one of our own hits a milestone, we drop kick parental responsibility to our husbands and hit the road.
Our rental house was spacious but we still had to share beds. Seattle Mom #2 was lucky enough to share a bed with me. I did not spoon her as threatened but I did throw a ton of covers on her in the middle of the night when I kicked them off because holy hell, our room was an inferno cursed with a defective heating unit.
There are many ways to pass the time when you're spending a weekend with girlfriends on an island -- surprisingly far more than just sitting on the couch covered in blankets and drinking wine, though we put a fair amount of time into that endeavor as well.
For example, we enjoyed the nearby public beach --
all 20 feet of it
And we tested our fear of heights on a tall wobbly bridge --
We also tried to light the flameless candles in our rental house with a lighter, only realizing there was an "ON" switch on the bottom after we scorched the insides and Seattle Mom swore "I'm gonna light this goddamn candle if it kills me." It didn't go that far, thankfully.
There's something about taking photos on Pacific Northwest beaches that makes every group shot look like the band just got back together --
The band got back together
The band disbanded briefly for a solo project
The band got back together
Now the band's being dicks to each other and trying to knock each other off logs
Our first evening was spent drinking wine on the deck. Seattle Mom told a story of her Girl Scout camping days and how she used to get so scared she would call out for her camp counselor -- inexplicably named "Buttons" -- in the middle of the night. For the rest of our Whidbey Island weekend, a solo cry of "BUTTONS! BUTTONS!!" could be heard regularly. The rest of us would stop whatever we were doing and mimic the call in response. We were like a pack of wolves with a new inside joke.
I was responsible for bringing Saturday morning brunch. I made a beautiful spinach and sausage strata the day before and brought the cooler out of my scary basement for the strata's transportation to the island. The cooler made it into the car but, once we were nicely settled in on the island, I realized the strata had not.
I didn't realize the strata was missing until late that first night, after much wine had been consumed and everyone was headed for bed. For a moment I went insane with confusion. I spun around in the kitchen, insisted I PACKED THE STRATA and enlisted help finding it and getting it into the fridge right away because eggs.
That's how Seattle Mom came to be on her hands and knees under the sink reporting, "It isn't under here" and Seattle Mom #2 confirmed the strata wasn't in the dishwasher while Seattle Mom #3 checked the bathrooms. Seattle Mom #4 bundled up and went outside to dig though the car, something she truly enjoyed because of all the rain.
They wanted to believe I had brought the strata and not just an empty cooler to Whidbey Island but eventually they gave up and went to bed, leaving me alone in the kitchen to mutter to myself and check the garbage can just one more time.
I finally texted Alex and asked if there was a strata in the refrigerator at home. He responded, "Yes! Thank you so much!" Alex had discovered the strata and thought he had the most thoughtful wife in the history of wives. I had to fess up that it wasn't meant for him because I didn't want to set unattainable standards for myself in the future.
Observe this true Pacific Northwestern specimen.
When she wants to read a book outside, she reads a book outside.
One thing I did remember to bring to Whidbey Island -- and perhaps the reason I forgot breakfast because this was the true the star of the show -- was the penis cake. I'm not sure I can show pictures of the penis cake here because it was a very realistic penis cake. Perhaps if I pixelate --
I ordered the penis cake earlier in the week from The Erotic Bakery in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle. If you're looking for someone to sculpt realistic looking body parts out of fondant, they're your people.
After perusing the website I decided to go with the "Erect Penis with Bow" model because nothing says "Happy 40th, dear friend" like a festooned member. The guy who took the order over the phone asked me what color I wanted the skin of the penis, the color of the hair, color of the bow, whether or not I wanted a piercing through the penis or something unfortunately called "c*m icing" squirted all over the top.
As we discussed the merits of "c*m icing" and debated whether or not it would render the entire cake unappetizing, I told him he had a very strange job. He agreed and then oh, how we laughed.
(I decided against the icing. It seemed one step too too far.)
The penis cake made it to Whidbey in one piece. We made the mistake of hiding it in the cupboard instead of immediately in the refrigerator so the penis got too warm and began bending to the right. I called out, panicked, over my shoulder, "You guys, it's listing, it's listing!" as the other ladies distracted Seattle Mom outside so we could move it into the fridge. That thing was very high maintenance and difficult to manage.
It was worth it for the reveal, though. She was like, "Ohhhh... pretty cake......OH MY GOD."
the cake is happy to see you, too, Seattle Mom
Our dear husbands held down the forts back at home so we could lead our lives of debauchery. The men kept the kids alive and got them to the numerous birthday parties scheduled for the weekend. I'm sure they could have accomplished this without the lengthy lists of instructions and drawn diagrams we left them, but why take that chance?
It's a magical strata and found it's way through the wormhole from Whidbey Island to my kitchen counter.
It's the only explanation.
Thank you, husbands.
And happy birthday, Seattle Mom. You rock our world.