On Girlfriends, Sleepovers, & Growing Up

Sleep•o•ver (sleep-oh-ver) noun. 1. a fun gathering for children (usually girls of ages 9-17), which requires a group to spend the night at one of their friend’s houses; activities include (but are not limited to): eating copious amounts of pizza and ice cream, endless gossip (typically on the topic of boys), staying awake until the single digit hours of the morning, popular party games (e.g. truth or dare, pillow fights, “light as a feather, stiff as a board”), attempting to be quiet enough to wake anyone’s parents, and sometimes watching a movie.

Sleepover is a coveted word in girl-world. You hope hope hope to be included on the invite list when you’re in elementary school. You have to own a cute, and socially acceptable, sleeping bag. You have to pump your moxie up, just in case you get the most fear-inducing dare of the night placed on you. You anticipate staying up way past your bedtime. You can’t wait to spend hours giggling with your friends.

Upon hearing the word “sleepover,” all of these little memories come flooding back to me. So when one of my best friends decided to have one last weekend, the anticipation started to build. Staying up late, catching up with friends, copious amounts of pizza, and subbing out the days of juice boxes for glasses of wine: girl’s night at it’s finest.

Except things change. Instead of talking about the boys you have a huge crush on, you talk about your long-time boyfriend’s plans to buy you an engagement ring. Instead of talking about the hilarious prank that kid in your chemistry class pulled, you talk about how frustrating your coworker can be about finishing their part of a project. Instead of being excited about the snow falling outside, you complain about the drive and the traffic. You discuss bank account policies and loan payments. You go to bed early because your to-do list for tomorrow is still rapidly running through your mind.

Growing up is a tough business.

I cherish every moment spent with my best girlfriends, even if we’ve left the days of doing each other’s hair and driving to the convenience store for ice cream at 2 AM in the past. But sometimes, I really miss being 16. Sometimes, I wonder if we act too damn old for our age. Sure, we’ve moved into the adult world; we have bigger responsibilities, and more commitments, and plenty of new things to worry about. But that doesn’t mean we have to forget about having fun, acting silly, being young.

This as a reminder that you can still stay up late with your girlfriends and talk into the early morning hours while eating ice cream and having fun when you’re 23. There’s no one stopping you. Life should never be too big to get in the way of the things that make you happy.

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