The Key to Getting Your Groove Back


Finding something often requires losing something.

by Cherri Ellis

Getting your groove back

My groove recently got away from me.  It had a lot of compelling reasons to go, so I can’t really blame it, but I indeed looked around for it one day and it had vanished. What, I wondered dully, had been the final straw?  The radiation treatments?  Relentless deadlines?  To do lists that never got completely done?

My mission was clear.  If I was going to get my groove back, I was going to have to go after if myself.   The first place I decided to look was the beach.

I placed a few targeted text messages to women I know, telling them in essence that we were getting the band back together.  I’m not telling you how many woman we had on board for that fateful trip, but I will tell you this:  we had 262 combined years of women in two cars.

Achieving lift-off was a challenge. Doors slamming, staggered arrivals, cell phones going off, everyone talking on top of each other, cars being parked in ways that blocked my husband’s access to the garage.  We thought it was hysterical that Lynn left her keys on the counter by a big note with an arrow pointing to them that said, “Here are my keys, in case you want to move the car or perhaps have it detailed.”

Finally, the show was on the road.  It was an estrogen festival on wheels— “EST-FEST 2011, brought to you by Absolut, Estrovan, and these other fine pharmaceutical sponsors.”  No kids, no men, no pets.  No work either, except one woman who claimed on the third day that she was working while she typed quietly on the computer.   We pretty much treated her like she was in some perverted sex chat room whenever it appeared like she was attempting to concentrate.

Navarre Beach is a tiny sliver of an island, halfway between Pensacola and Fort Walton.  The plan was to each take a night and be in charge of dinner, which for me meant throwing down my credit card when the Chinese food delivery guy showed up.  Two of the women were all about it, though, packing their own seasonings and going all Iron Chef—much to the delight of the rest of us.  One of them TOASTED her own cumin seeds for a dish, a step that I would automatically render as useless as that “sifting the dry ingredients” suggestion they keep putting in baking recipes.

The mornings were coffee on the deck, four-mile walks across the bridge, and reading each other quotes out of such esteemed publications as People, US Weekly, and O.  The afternoons were spent in small group activities, like grocery store runs, packing the cooler and laying motionless by the pool.  The evenings were blurs of cooking and eating and laughing, capped each night with a chicky movie.

Since nobody could figure out how to get the DVD player in the den to work, the movies were all watched in the master bedroom, which required more out of a king size mattress than I am sure the manufacturer had originally intended.   Since everybody knows that the alcohol you consume within direct view of the ocean does not count toward your overall lifetime total, Happy Hour inched up every day.  I am assuming that this trend explained why, early into The Black Swan, one woman fell asleep snoring with her head at the foot of the bed.   Her underwear, which we all appreciated her wriggling into, was both inside out and backwards.   If you think Barbara Hershey’s performance was disturbing in that movie, try watching it with that vision between you and the screen.

We swapped stories almost non-top, the best of which involved Vanessa’s Aunt Anne who busted in on Uncle Oscar when he was in bed with a one-legged prostitute and used the woman’s prosthetic leg to beat them out of the room.

When Kathy had to leave a night earlier than everyone else, we all felt sorry for her, until we discovered after an exhaustive search of the condo and grounds that she had driven back to Birmingham with my car keys in her purse.  Onstar can remotely unlock your car for you, but it cannot start the engine. They did, however, provide me with the GM dealer in the next city, who said he would be happy to make me a new key, just as soon as I had the SUV towed to his lot, provided license and registration and VIN #, and paid to have the engine reprogrammed.

We held a summit and concluded that the only logical solution was for everyone to take an additional day off work to give Kathy time to overnight the keys.  We checked with the office and found that FedEx came at 10 am every morning. We all got on cell phones and apologized to bosses and moved appointments. The end result was still the gift of an extra day at the beach.   SCHWING.

That would have been the end of the story, but the next morning we loaded up the car and stood in the parking lot waiting on the FedEx man. He came and went with nothing for us.  It turned out Kathy had sent the keys by UPS, which would only guarantee delivery by 7 pm, a cool nine hours later.  The idea of  unpacking the car again seemed wrong, so we wandered back up to the condo to wait.  That was when my husband called and told me he had found a note from Lynn on the counter with an arrow supposedly pointing to her keys, which weren’t there.  He wondered if the cat could have gotten them.   I turned and looked at Lynn, and said “Honey your keys are lost.”  She smiled and said “No, they’re not.  They’re in my purse.  Why?”

So, you know the rest of the story.  The keys eventually came, my groove mysteriously returned, and we all got back to our respective jobs and dubious bosses.  My boss was very kind on the phone when I called her to tell I was stranded at the beach, but I could tell she didn’t believe me any more than I would have believed one of my team members.  I therefore feel I have no choice but to offer the visual proof below.

One Response to “The Key to Getting Your Groove Back”

  1. Loretta says:

    You are an amazing woman!

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