"So, when am I going to meet Cayden?" Ann asked the next day while we were lounging in the pool across the street from her neighborhood. A big sign read, "No glass. No alcohol. No lifeguard on duty." Two teenage boys were mounted on the lifeguard stands with sunglasses and safety whistles, so we figured if they were breaking the No Lifegard rule, we could break the No Alcohol rule. We hid our frozen margarita packets and Bud Light in pink koozies.
"I just might have to bring him to Austin next time he comes down," I said. "I've been wanting to take him to Norman or Austin but we always end up having weekend plans when he's here. I know one of the weekends we'll be busy with Shanna's wedding, but maybe the weekend after that."
"You'll love him," Dawn said. "He's hilarious. And you can't help but laugh when you hear him talk. It's that accent."
I pulled myself out of the water and snuck around to our cooler to grab refills for the three of us. I kept an eye on the lifeguards to make sure they weren't catching on to our rule-breaking.
"You know," I said when I got dipped back in the water and turned my back to switch out our empties, "If I were to drown, neither one of those lifeguards could save me. They're like 12."
"I was thinking the same thing," Dawn said.
Suddenly, I felt like an old woman. I remembered the days of going to the neighborhood pool for the sole purpose of flirting with the lifeguards. They were always so tan and lean and authoritative. I looked over at the scrawny teenage boys and tried not to laugh.
"When did we grow up, anyway?" I asked. "Remember when we didn't even go out until 11 or midnight when we were in college?"
"Yeah," Ann said. "Remember that night you and I were at Brendon's and we drank Long Island Iced Teas until like 8 am and then went right to class?"
"I think I had an exam that day," I said. "Aced it."
"That's nothing," Dawn said. "What about the time we were drinking in Jared's dorm and then the RA caught us and kicked us out at 4 am. And then we had to be on the bus at 5am to go down to Baylor with Crimson Pride to cheer on the Sooners?"
"I've never been as hungover as I was trying to watch that football game in the heat," I said.
I shook my head to erase the thought of it. If I tried to drink like that today, I'd be bed ridden for a week straight. I didn't mind the fact that I had grown up, though. There was something more enjoyable about savoring a few Leffes on a rooftop than chugging warm Keystone Light out of a funnel and a plastic tube while people cheered you on. And I loved waking up to a clean house instead of the apartment the three of us shared that smelled like stale beer and sweat from the party the night before. One whiff of that after a long night of drinking and you were sure to add the scent of vomit to the mix. Memories.
"Speaking of memories," Dawn said, "remember the first Dead Hooker picture?"
Our sophomore year, the three of us moved into an apartment together at the Reserve, not far from campus. Each bedroom had a built-in, wall-to-wall shelf that stretched across the top of the room, and our first day in the apartment, Dawn had crawled up on top of my shelf while I was in the kitchen and dangled an arm and a leg off the ledge. When I came back into my room, she scared the shit out of me.
"You look like a dead hooker!" I'd said after I caught my breath. And that's when the Dead Hooker pose was born. Dawn liked to pull it out every now and then when I was least expecting it.
"Let's bring that back tonight," she said.
And that's exactly what we did. After a night out drinking at Zingers and Little Woodrows in Austin, where we let some creepy older men buy us shots and beers, we went back to Anne's house and Dead Hookered while Ann captured the moments.
I guess we hadn't really grown up after all.