This past weekend our family decided to head up to Kansas City to surprise our friend, Katie, for her 40th birthday.
We didn’t surprise everyone, though. Katie’s husband had planned an exciting and fairly elaborate evening in the Plaza, and he invited us up for the shenanigans. You know we’re always up for that. Even if it was a last-minute decision, we couldn’t say no to a party – and especially one with these fun friends of ours.
We have a group of friends in Kansas City that we lovingly call The Doomers. The name was coined when we were all in a sand volleyball league together. The guys chose the name based on comic characters they watched when they were young.
While the name sounds menacing, like a group of ballers straight out of the volleyball scene in Top Gun, the truth is, we were more interested in the free pitcher of beer and endless laughter at the end of each game.
We started the friendship as a group of 12 twenty-somethings with big dreams and significant others who eventually turned out to become spouses. We met every Thursday night in Westport for these games.
The venue was as interesting as our group. It was one-half beach volleyball club and other half country western bar complete with a mechanical bull. You’d find yourself in a shared restroom covered in sand wearing flip-flops (if not barefoot – so gross, I know) standing next to a beautiful woman dolled up in her pointy boots, tight-fitting jeans and perfectly teased hair. It all became normal as we made this a weekly thing. Each of us was faithful to the team – and to each other.
Over the course of 15 years, we’ve attended weddings, swaddled newborns, suffered the loss of parents, supported a divorce, and remained tried and true to celebrating milestone birthdays for each other.
When we were all turning 30, our friend Ovey started a tradition of engraving each person’s name on a silver mug on their birthday. We also had a disposable camera (that was when those were a thing. #oldschool). You had to take a picture of yourself on your birthday with the camera. After we all entered “Club 30,” we processed the film for the memories.
Now that we’re a decade older, we’re recirculating the mug, which may or may not have been lost at some point. When you have a group our size, things are bound to get lost.
While a few of us have moved away from Kansas City, we seem to be able to pick up where we left off at any given moment. I’m so grateful the team of “Doomers” remains in each of our hearts – no matter how old we are.
Here’s to a lifetime of good friends!