I am going to Las Vegas this weekend. To see Britney Spears. Yes, I’m serious.
I have been a Britney fan for a long time, albeit sometimes embarrassingly so. “Hit Me Baby One More Time” was released in Oct/1998, at a time when I was in Second Year at the University of Calgary; I was young and impressionable, seeking independence and searching for my future, as most post-secondary students are. Britney could be heard everywhere I was, from residence dorms to nightclubs to track practice. Music has a way of becoming the soundtrack of memories, and many of my 20-something moments had a Britney song playing in the background.
But the best part, far better than any Britney show, is that I am meeting my two best friends there. These girls are like my sisters; they are my confidantes, my this-is-who-I-am-and-you-know-me-so-well companions. It’s going to be a short trip, only 48-hours from arrival to departure, jam-packed with dinners out, casinos, lounging poolside, shopping, and laughter. Oh so much laughter.
You see, yearly girls trips for the three of us have been an almost-annual tradition for 15 years. From Summer roadtrips to Vancouver to weekends in Edmonton to reunions at a small-town farm, these affectionately-named ASS Tours (Ashley/Sarah/Shannon) have been a constant in our lives, as our cities have changed and our families have grown. Our 2011 meet-up was in New York City. I will never forget it. I will never forget it because I was broken when I arrived and pieced together when I left. I had just suffered a devastating miscarriage and I left for NYC the day after my surgery. And as the three of us walked through Central Park and sobbed and hugged and comforted and shared, I felt myself start to heal. Piece by piece, they put me back together. They helped me put myself back together. As they have countless other times. They’re those kind of friends.
My husband teases me about this girls trip. He pokes fun at the teeny-bopper in me and smiles about my excitement. But I can assure you, Britney’s audience will be full of 30-something mothers, just like us, singing along with nostalgia in their voices and dancing with happiness in their hearts… side by side with friends.