So I was telling Emily yesterday that the Martha’s Vineyard getaway was like time-traveling back to college, with all the best aspects of fun, giddy dorm life. Emily responded, “Like college, but without the tests.” If I were as quick as Emily, I would have responded, “And with much better food.”

Penny’s mother, the truly incredible Jennifer, invited us to pop over to her house every day (it was like going to another dorm, because she had her granddaughter AND her English niece staying with her). One night Jenn whipped up a summer dinner of flounder and garden vegetables. Another night was this amazing lobster fest, complete with bibs. Topping off the lobster, a summer fruit pudding AND a beautiful birthday cake for me. Sunday morning we all trooped up the grass path to her house for brunch, featuring Eggs Benedict. The eggs were from her own chickens, out back. We were all very touched that Penny’s mother would do so much for us, although it is not surprising – Penny is just as beautiful, industrious, generous and creative as her mom.

On lobster night, we went to see Sex & The City, which was perfect, as the movie ends with a 50th birthday cake, and there were four of us watching the four of them. They did have better clothes.

The recreation of our 1986 Martha’s Vineyard weekend was just exactly what I dreamed of. Tons of laughter, no deadlines, no stress, no cell reception, no email, lounging around til noon in our jammies, going to the beach (where we were all irritated by Yoga Man next to us, clad only in white Oakleys, who posed for over an hour until Missy was heard to mutter “Oh just sit down, already!”), shopping for sweatshirts, and reading out loud juicy letters from Lindsay’s wild dating days. (In re the British vacuum cleaner salesman, Chris thinks the bathtub story sounds like something out of Hitchcock.)

And of course, we recreated our couch photo from 22 years ago. Hostage-like, I’m holding a magazine with 50 on the cover to remind us of the occasion.

I announced to my friends, all first-borns accustomed to getting their way, that I, a third-born, planned to be bossier in my new decade. Thus I forced them all to drink pinot grigio at a restaurant one night despite their clear reluctance.

And although I’m a proud mother of brothers, I’m also a proud godmother to Penny’s adorable daughter. It was a joy to spend time with “Hobby”, whom I haven’t seen for far too long. We had great fun shopping for girl stuff in Oak Bluffs and those shorts look fabulous!

And that kind of sums it up: It was all girl stuff, all the long weekend long. An estrogen infusion – the safe kind of hormone replacement therapy – that restored me for my return to the House of Boys.

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