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Tonight, instead of our regular Friday night dinner with the cousins, we had a Girls’ Night.  Girls’ night has changed for Lisa and I over the years.  In the past, that meant getting dolled up, heading to the nearest bar/dance floor and dancing the night away.

These days, girls’ night includes our teenage daughters, dinner at a pseudo foo-foo pizza joint, one glass of wine and a movie sans car crashes or superheroes.

What fun we had!

We’ve been wanting to see “Bridesmaids” since first hearing about it.  I hadn’t planned to bring our girls and in hindsight, it’s probably something we should have thought twice about.  It’s not so much that either kid is unaware of some of the meaning behind the humor or that they haven’t seen stuff on cable…it’s just squirm-inducing to watch some “adult situation” types of things with your daughter/mother.

I will say that I have not laughed that hard in a very long time.  It was sorely needed.  The movie is funny, smart, gross, uncomfortable and accurate in many ways, all at the same time.

The best part was the laughter.  Isabel and I have a shared sense of the ridiculous, and our laughs crack each other up.  Just hearing the other will send us off again.  By the time that she and I were on our way home, neither of us could breathe and we had tears pouring down our faces from laughing.  Each time either of us would remember something from the movie, we’d giggle, sending the other off again, into honking gasping teary fits.

On a serious note, as we were waiting for the movie to start, happily ensconced in our favorite spot in the theater (row in front of the walkway, our feet up on the bar, happily chomping away on popcorn, Red Vines and Hot Tamales) a man walked in front of us with a  shirt that caught Lisa’s attention.  On it, the words, “Cancer Sucks.”

“Yes, it does!” said Lisa.  “I like your shirt.” 

The man stopped and he and Lisa began talking.  He popped off his backwards-facing baseball hat to reveal a shiny, smooth bald head.  His voice was gravelly, a by-product of chemotherapy.  He said that he had another shirt that he’d had made that says, “Chemo Sucks.”  The treatment seems to be so much worse than the actual disease.

He and Lisa have become members of one of those crappily-exclusive clubs…kind of like the Suicide Survivors Club, the Fighting Cancer Club is one nobody really wants to join.

I was glad to hear that he was still fighting, though.  Three and a half years ago, he’d been given three to four months to live.  He is by no means cancer-free; but, he’s still here.  He mother was an eleven year breast cancer survivor.

As he and Lisa chatted companionably about medications, doctors, etc., I looked over at his wife.  She smiled a brave smile, enjoying her husband’s animated conversation, a night out with friends, and maybe resigning herself to membership in another club, People Who Love People With Cancer.