Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What Happens at the Wanna Wanna...

The palapa (open sided shelter with a thatched palm roof) out back at the Wanna Wanna had seen better days, and now the delicate pinpoints of stars could be seen through the brittle brown fronds. The moon floated in and out of view in an ebony haze of nighttime clouds.

The Wanna Wanna band, the Wannabees, chewed through their laid back playlist with volume and gusto. A few people danced in the middle of the floor and more stood in line at the kitchen window to order up their choice of just- swimming- in- the- Gulf seafood.

We, however, were there to talk, catch up, and relax. Close friends, some of us stretching back even into high school, we were here at the beach in a rented condo while our husbands were off to welcome in the first weekend of dove hunting season.

"I've really been looking forward to this weekend, girls," said Marla* as she squeezed a lime wedge over her ceviche. "I feel like all I do is work, cook, and clean house!"

"Well, you got to feed all those boys, not to mention Marcos, so I imagine your kitchen is still going 24/7," laughed Emmy while she picked through her shrimp cocktail. "Hey, speaking of, are you and Marcos still going to try for a girl? Time's running out, you know..."

Marla cut her off with a splutter. "Give me a break! I'm already 44! This baby factory is closed for good." She laughed and changed the subject. "How's your salad, Shelly?"

I had a mouthful, so I nodded to show I enjoyed it, but my mind was already drifting dreamily out into the dark, pounding surf. I swallowed and and pointed out to the vast, undulating darkness of the oceanjust yards from our table. "Aren't those waves something? I can't wait to hit the beach tomorrow." The others nodded in agreement and talk of new swimsuits overtook the next few minutes.

Marla looked at the fourth friend in our group, Julie, who had been silently chewing her way through her grilled shrimp poor-boy. "Julie, you're awfully quiet, especially for someone who loves to talk as much as you do. Everything OK?"

Julie looked up and put her sandwich down. A wry, wistful look crossed her face. "I am tired. Tired of doing everything the same, always. Always following the rules, doing what I'm supposed to..."

Emmy raised her eyebrows. "You're not thinking of robbing a bank or getting a facial tattoo or something really crazy , like some of those women who go all cuckoo when they hit middle age?"

Julie looked out at the ocean and then back at us. "I'm serious. Sometimes I just want to shake things up a little, you know? I don't want to become boring and predictable. Don't you all ever feel like that?"

We all looked around and nodded our heads. Julie suddenly smiled. "I think tonight's a good night to break out of old habits." She grinned widely. " Who's with me?"

I felt a little sliver of fear rise up in my belly, but the excitement of the unexpected trumped it and I bobbed my head enthusiastically with the rest.

Julie worked her feet under the table and her shoes came off. "Let's go!" she said emphatically as she broke from the table and sprinted to the water. We watched, wide eyed, as she plowed on, fully clothed, into water that was just past waist deep. She yelled back over the waves hitting the shore, "Come on! Are you a bunch of chickens?"

Marla, Emmy and I looked at each other. Marla pulled off her watch and shoes, stuffed them into her purse, and bolted from the table, through the sand, and into the water. The laughter and shrieks as they soaked themselves jumping over and through waves was too much. I pulled off my watch, too, and was kicking off my sandals when Emmy looked at our waitress who assured, "Go ahead. I'll watch your stuff!"

With that, Emmy freed herself and we both ran headlong, giggling, into the ocean. Maybe it was the opaque blackness of the water, or the startled faces of the other patrons, or the power of the surf, but something was liberated in us that night.

Clothes that had been carefully matched and chosen were utterly drenched. Hair that had been meticulously curled, flat ironed, or blown dry now whipped around, slinging that salty water high into the air. A small crowd soon gathered on the beach to watch women play in the ocean who'd obviously lost their sanity. 

When we finally pulled ourselves out of the Gulf , dripping, sand pasted past our ankles, and still choking with laughter,  we came away wiser and somehow younger than we went in.

And what happens at the Wanna Wanna, sometimes doesn't always stay at the Wanna Wanna. 

*I promised not to use their real names.  

72 comments:

  1. That is so cool, Shelly! It reminds me of some of my experiences in motivational seminars. We engaged in numerous spontaneous activities designed to break old patterns, stretch, challenge ourselves, reprogram our nervous systems, break through limiting beliefs and move way outside the comfort zone. We walked barefoot on 25 foot long beds of fire. We conducted a two hour seminar on a chilly night submerged chest deep in the unheated water of a motel swimming pool. In the middle of winter in a driving rain we shed our coats and played an impromptu game of touch football in our shirtsleeves, soaked to the bone. Experiences like those and the one you described send us back to the daily grind empowered and energized.

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    1. Shady: I don't think there's ANY way I could walk over beds of fire, but I think shaking up the status quo is a really good thing. It certainly is rejuvenating. You all are some tough people!

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  2. Been there; haven't done that! Well, it was probably just what you needed. Thank Julie.

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    1. vanilla: Love Wanna Wannas! Next time you all are there, you might want to give it a thought...

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  3. Dear Shelly, a magical night! Shaking loose the shackles of trying to look adult and mature and responsible. What a delight! Peace.

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    1. Dee: It's delightfully restorative to just act like a child sometimes. It may look silly, but there's much to be said for it!

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  4. Sometimes you just need to throw caution aside and piss into the wind (poor example for you ladies) or just jump into the ocean at night, provided you don't hear any cello music.

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    1. Stephen: Honestly, when I saw that dark water, that cello music was what was foremost in my mind!

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  5. Yay for good girl friends who understand what you need - sometimes before you even do! I love that you all followed Julie and played like the girls you still are. A great memory!

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    1. Karen: It's wonderful to such good friends like these girls, and especially that they keep me thinking young!

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  6. I want to go to Wanna Wanna. So much fun !
    Shelly , I think Cello will do that to us as well.

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    1. Munir: Oooohhh- I still get chills when I hear that music!

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  7. So fun! No party poopers at your party.

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    1. Nonnie: I think if any of us had declined going in, she would have been thrown in...

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  8. I love that you guys did that! It is fun to do something crazy once in awhile.

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    1. Belle: It surely does keep life interesting!

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  9. Dearest Shelly,
    I checked palapa with pc, haha. I wish I could visit these heavily place. It sure must have been fun time♡♡♡ So sorry that I don't have much time or the long comment.
    Sending you lots of love and hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

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    1. Orchid: Oh, it was a lovely time, my dear friend Miyako! I would love to have all my blogging friends togeher under a palapa near the ocean. It would be a wonderful time, I know!

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  10. That sounds like pretty harmless fun and definitely a break from routine :) It's really good that you all went in. Just think of the sweet memory you made, to be brought out and enjoyed years from now with your friends!

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    1. jenny_o: It was one of those all for one and one for all type things. I think we will be rehashing and enjoying this for a loooong time to come!

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  11. Love it! The spontaneity of it; the willingness to break out of your molds and to go out and have fun, laugh, enjoy being with each other, etc. I am sure it will be a cherished memory in the years to come!

    betty

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    1. Betty: I think we might have to include it now at each beach gathering we have- it was such fun!

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  12. Spur of the moment things can always be fun! Glad Shelly you did this! Blessings.

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    1. Just Be Real: I think spur of the moment is the elixir of what keeps us young. Thank you, my friend~

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  13. The imagery projected in your writing thrill the heart and awake the child within. I'm now challenged to recognize moments where I could dive into impulse. The scary thing about that challenge is the thought that no one else would join me in a frivolous act of freedom. I might end up like Napoleon Dynamite or something ridiculous...
    Friendship like that is rare, beautiful; elevating life's experiences beyond anything we could create by ourselves. I'm so happy to know that you are surrounded with loving friends who lift up the soul.

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    1. Jenny: And I am so blessed to count you as one of those terrific, loving friends! Giving up control over a situation like that brings in a richness I don't think can be found when we have everything planned and firmly in our grip. And yes, it is scary to think you could be doing it alone. I think Julie was pretty brave to initiate because it could very well have been that she was splashing all alone in the water.

      Those risks pay off in giant ways. It's all about trusting yourself enough, too. I don't know that I would hve been brave enough to do what Julie did, but I'm glad I did what I did.

      And, you know, looking like Napoleon Dynamite might not be all that bad from time to time! I know if you had been there with us, you'd have been in that water, too!

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    2. Shelly, thank you for counting me in as your friend. It is sacred to me! Yes, I would have gone in the water. Now, I wonder what those wonderful ladies would have done in Northern Michigan during polar diving time!

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    3. Jenny: Too cold! Too cold! We all remarked about how warm this water still was!

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  14. OMG I would have loved to have been there to see this in person. So glad you did it just to be doing it.

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  15. You couldn't have said my thoughts to life any better then that.

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    1. Sandie: I'm thinking it's a pretty good way to lead a life~

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  16. Good for all of you Shelly! I can just imagine the sight of you and your friends cavorting in the surf! Well, that was doing something totally different, that's for sure.! I agree, sometimes it's good to break out and do something to surprise other people. Life can become boring sometimes, just with the humdrum routine of it all.

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    1. Thisisme: Breaking up routines are just as beneficial as vitamins, sunshine, and smiling. Wouldn't want to go without any of them!

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  17. Girls just wanna have fun and at the Wanna Wanna and I'd be one of them!

    Love this story, Shelly!

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    1. Cindy: Nothing like the beach, is there!

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  18. Oh! Your Wanna Wanna sounds so fun! I want to be there too!

    Nas

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    1. Nas: There's nothing like the Wanna Wanna on the whole island- such fun!

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  19. What a fun time, fun story and fun bunch of gals!! I wanna be right there with you!!!

    What a special memory for you all, and maybe a new tradition?

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    1. Jamie: Oh, I wish you'd have been there- made me feel like I was 16 again! And yes, possibly a new tradition (only I want to be sure I'm not wearing a white blouse next time...)

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  20. I'm glad you guys shook things up a little. It's nice to feel the blood really flowing in your veins!

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  21. sounds so fun!!! and potentially dangerous!!
    you are lucky to have those friends in your life.

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    1. Annmarie: Black water (i.e. at night when I can't see much) has always been a little scary to me, but I guess that's what gets the adrenaline going. And yes, I am a blessed woman!

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  22. I like your name replacements.

    It would be weird to go into black water.

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    1. Theresa: The made up names are actually really close to their real names- I'm not too imaginative!

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    2. Shelly, that's how I'd do it too!

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  23. I think we have all had times when we have felt like doing something like that it would feel a little strange and maybe even a little scary running into the black water but it would also be exciting at the same time........lol

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    1. Jo-Anne: I felt all of that! And when we were done, it felt terrific~

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  24. Bravo to you all. That is the sort of thing that keeps life fresh in our eyes. :D

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    1. Cathy: Sometimes you just have to shake things up!

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  25. I soooooooo "get this".
    I love girl's trips!!

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  26. Oh your friends are so real and so great. Times shared like this make memories to come. Blessings and love Crystal

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    1. Crystal Mary: I count myself a rich woman indeed because of the wonderful friends I have, and youare right- shared memories are so rich!

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  27. Ah. The perfect anecdote to the changing weather here in Minneapolis.

    Let's jump in...

    Pearl

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    1. Pearl: The water is warm and the Wanna Wanna always beckons~

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  28. What a fun story, and what fun friends!

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    1. Maria: It was terrific fun, and so unexpected! Thank you for stopping by~

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  29. Too wonderful a moment to stay at the Wanna Wanna. Thanks for slogging through my last post. I really appreciate your comments. Enjoy the day Shelly

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    1. Kelly: The Wanna Wanna is one of a kind! I truly enjoyed reading your WIP- when are you going to post more? I want to know what's going to happen with them!

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  30. what a fun post :)

    I wanna go wanna wanna too ;)

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    1. izdiher: It's such a great place- wish you could go!

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  31. I love it! Next time maybe some skinny dipping?

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  32. That was AWESOME! What a great story and VERY well written!

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    1. Pat: Thank you- it was truly an awesome time!

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  33. Ah, I love this story and the way it was written! So glad you had this experience. It's important to step out of our routines but a lot of us don't have the courage or zeal to do it.

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    1. Saumya: So true- a little shake up every now and then is good for body and soul!

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  34. Not something I would do, ever. Being in huge amounts of water is just not my thing. But hey, sounds like it was fun for you.

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  35. Linda: Since we live so close to the ocean, it wasn't as horrifying to me, although going into dark water at night is never something I dream of doing!

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