Considering the average age of my friends, I was asking them to choose one day out of approximately 15,000 days. Heck, I was asking myself to do as much.
My friends were generous and thoughtful in their replies. One friend was so silly I literally snorted as I read his reply. We all have touchstones with a great day, the day we'd like to replay/relive/reenact. The majority of my friends cited their wedding day, with a close second as the birth of their child or grandchild.
Without doubt, such days are special beacons of light in my own life. But if I'm being brutally honest, while special, I cannot claim them as "best days". My wedding day was shadowed by nerves about a life changing choice, bickering divorced parents, and a gown that rubbed my shoulders raw from the tulle that made the sleeves puff. The birth of my first child was fraught with fear, because she was 5 weeks early and had trouble breathing. I won't even mention the pain of natural childbirth. I don't denigrate such examples to take away from the fact that both days were glorious and wonderful days in my life, but rather to suggest they weren't my "best. day. ever."
No, my dearest readers, I rather would like to tell you about a day in my life that hasn't been topped yet. I hold out faith that the best is yet to come, but when I look back, this particular day is about as close to perfect as I can remember. I wish I was writing then and had taken notes, perhaps with the ill guided belief that I could possibly duplicate such a day. I am not hopelessly mired in the past. This is just a day I will never forget and can honestly say, everything about that day was perfect.
I was in college and we were on one of the last ever family vacations at the Jersey shore. I had made friends with some locals. My friend MC arranged for us to come up and spend a day at his parents' house so we could head into NYC to see our first ever Broadway show.
My brother, my best friend, and myself were all guests of his family. We slept at his house (where we could walk to the top of his street and overlook the skyline of NYC) and got up that day and went into Manhattan. We had a hearty breakfast that can only be prepared by a mom. (love you Mrs. C, still all these years later!) We rode the bus into The Port Authority. We spent the day exploring the city, our two streetwise friends trying not to laugh at their Ohio bumpkin guests. We went down 42nd street, where I was baffled by the man standing outside an adult theater bawking like a chicken. My streetwise friend explained he was actually selling crack. Crack crack craaaaaaaaaawk. Yeah, I was naive.
We shopped in Greenwich Village, where my other friend told us Ric Ocasek from The Cars complimented her earrings. We laughed, ate dinner, and headed off to the show. Did I mention that our tickets were free as the result of a friend of the "mom who cooked us breakfast" making a phone call. Does it get cooler than that?
We saw the show Dreamgirls. Yeah. That one. The show that later became a movie and the vehicle for Jennifer Hudson's fame. But this was way back. This was Dreamgirls in 1987. It was spectacular. The original production before anyone knew how huge it could be. It was incredible.
After the show, our seasoned, somewhat blase tour guide suggested we do "that tourist thing" of a ride around Central Park on a horse drawn carriage.
We paid the man and did the "tourist thing" much to the indulgence of our native friends. It was ... unforgettable.
We rode the bus back to my friend's parents' home. Our day ended as beautifully as it began.
I still consider this day magic, over 20 years later, because I am still friends with everyone involved. It was a spectacular, love filled day with friends who will never forget each other.