Crystal Tipps and the Sassy Americans

I’m sure some of you probably think I’m making a huge deal out of my holiday and I know I am, but in less than a month I’m going to be officially homeless (for a smidge); meeting my friend’s new beautiful baby; spending the majority of three weeks alone in a foreign country in charge of a hire car; and reuniting with some dear people I haven’t seen in SEVENTEEN YEARS. We lost touch for a variety of reasons until last February when my beautiful, sassy, and smart ‘sister from another mister’ stalked me online and sent me an email. So far so real life Cosmo story, right?

I nearly fell off my chair when I received it.

Flashback to the nineties when this terribly exotic American family moved into our sleepy little village, I know you’re thinking exotic? American? Really? But they were from California, lived in a house with a ghost and the feisty matriarch Joyce was the first adult I heard say ‘fuck.’ I adored them, and more importantly so did my Mum. Joyce and her daughter Amy are and always have been, ballsy unafraid women who cut through the waffle and get right to the heart of the matter. I dare you to spend half an hour in their company without coming away feeling fired up and on top of the world.

I remember when the clan of women would gather at our house and G and I would be despatched to bed as the wine was opened. It was no good though because the raucous laughter that stormed its way upstairs would keep me awake and I’d lie there wishing I could be downstairs in amongst it, or at the very least that I’d grow up to have friends I could be equally raucous whilst drinking wine with.* I know Mum was keen for me to meet Amy because at 19 she had her head screwed on tight, had just graduated in Anthropology, oh and written a book about chatting up men. She was definitely on the approved ‘people for Al to aspire to be’ list. (Don’t tell her but she still is, and now she’s Dr Amy!)

Come back to the present, leaving my Crystal Tipps hair and penchant for tropical print clothing firmly in the past thankyouverymuch and next month I get to spend precious time in their company. I can’t wait, but at the same time there is a sense of trepidation and it’s not only based on having to navigate myself 230 miles from Boston Logan Airport to rural Vermont on the wrong side of the road. There’s a lot of residual sadness and confusion surrounding the late nineties thanks in part to raging hormones but mainly over losing Mum and Dad being ill and everything that goes along with going through those things.

It all feels a bit ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ wanker to say that I hope this trip changes me and I know I don’tneed changing, I guess I could just do with some revitalisation and refreshing and it feels quite poetic that the day I land back in the UK a no doubt dishevelled jetlagged mess is the same day I collect my keys for my new bachelorette pad and start the next chapter.

*I’m very glad to be able to say I’m inundated with friends like this and they’re happy to drink wine; beer; cider; prosecco; pimms; etc etc.

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