When I first came to DC three years ago, I wasn’t looking for new best friends (I have a couple of great ones), but I was hoping I would find some people to hang out with from time to time in this new place since I was away from home, from my boyfriend, from all of my friends.
Within a few weeks, I became friends with a group of people (mostly all guys) that a college buddy m
et when she had moved to DC, only a couple of months before. But sad to say, within my first year here, each and every single one of those people moved from DC, because they all worked for Exxon and that’s how Exxon works I guess.
When I started my job, I did the happy hours and lunch here and there with some of my fellow coworkers, but it w
asn’t until my friend Jacqueline’s wedding that five of us really bonded. We began calling ourselves the Hot Mess Club – HMC for short. Soon after Jacqueline married, she left our office. About six months after that, I left. And now, our friend Christin is moving to Chicago, Abby may be moving to New Mexico at any moment, Alanna is looking at Costa Rica later this year, and who knows where I may end up in 2010.
The Hot Mess Club has now been to two weddings together, numerous birthday lunches, dinners and happy hours, a bridal shower, and a baby shower (thanks to Jacqueline for all the showers). We’ve been through deaths in the family, unemployment, frustrating coworkers, and lame roommates. For three years, we’ve gathered once every month or two to catch up on work, boyfriends, husbands, babies, bosses, losing weight, gaining weight, therapy, sex, and new jobs.
Last night the HMC gathered for what might be the last time we’re all together for some time. It’s the nature of the city I guess.
One of my old roommates might be leaving DC this year. Another friend and colleague moved back to the West Coast after 10 years in DC. And now, one of my closest friends out here is moving on to the next chapter in her life.
As we ate our jambalaya and white beans (it was pretty damn good, if I do say so myself), drank our wine, and shared the latest updates, the HMC knew that things were about to change. But there were no tears, because I think we’ve all accepted that this is DC, and this is what happens. We’re happy for each other, proud of each other, there for each other. And we were already planning the first HMC reunion as we go national, and potentially international.
I didn’t expect to find four amazing, beautiful, intelligent, driven women in DC – four women who wanted me to be their friend, four women with so very different backgrounds and goals and personalities – four women who make me feel at home when I’m with them. But I did. So despite it being DC, despite this being a pitstop for so many of us on the way to the rest of our lives, I’m incredibly grateful that we all made this pitstop at the same time, so that as we get back on the road, we will have someone to call, someone’s house to stop at, someone’s birthday or wedding or baby to celebrate. At least we’ll have each other to lean on when our lives are a hot mess.