Baby boomer women know the importance of girlfriends. Whether it’s time spent on the phone, hours sitting in a restaurant going over the latest details of young adult children, a break-up, work issues, or grandchildren; weekends spent combing neat shops, eating luscious foods, and living life to the fullest – boomer women receive support and embrace good times with their best buds.

According to a study done by AAA and Aspire, they found that 24 percent of American women have taken a getaway in the past three years and 39 percent plan on taking one in the next three years. Girlfriend getaways offer relief from the daily stress that women carry from managing a home, working full time, caring for aging parents and grandchildren.

Here’s a peek at how this takes place:

Ah, an email from Nicey. Can’t wait to open it.

“Okay gals, where are we going this month? I traded my tickets to the Ironbird’s game with Ed because I can’t stand missing one of our get-togethers. Are we going to someone’s house, or are we hitting a public place with our antics?” Poor souls.

There are seven of us “best buds.” Five of us have known one another since hanging out on the playground, next to the cemetery, in first grade. We went through twelve years of Catholic school together and all survived the nuns and priests to talk about it. We picked up the other two in high school. They couldn’t stand being left out of the fun.

The second Wednesday evening of every month is sacred time. Don’t mess with making other plans. It’s a punishable sin. Maybe even a mortal one. We may send you running to the confessional if your excuse doesn’t measure up.

We’ve cooked gourmet meals, eaten too much salsa and chips, drank too much wine, and been kind enough to allow the spouses to join us on rare occasion. That’s if they promise to behave. We’ve laughed too loud at movies, joked with many a waiter, and shared that we’ve been thrown out of better places.

One time after being escorted to our seats at the Oriole’s game, it was rumored that we were “the Oriole’s wives.” We were all over that one. We played it up big time. We secretly decided which player belonged to us and took it from there. We had the whole section guessing.

Our 40th birthday year took us to Maryland’s Eastern Shore for a weekend. On the way down we listened to an old cassette recording of Casy Casum’s Top 100 Hits of 1974. Mary Faith and I recorded it on one of our New Year’s Eves spent together many moons ago. It was a hoot. We sang our way to the shore. We brought enough stuff to last a month. I think we were hoping we’d get stuck there.

Then there was the time we decided to go for a winter beach vacation to celebrate our 45th birthdays. After trudging through outlets all day and waiting for Nancy who needed another 45 minutes at EVERY center (she has FIVE kids, a husband, and herself to shop for) we headed for a relaxing dinner at a nice restaurant. I can’t remember what scene we made there. Oh yes I can. For one, there was a drink sitting on the reception table. We couldn’t decide if it was fake. So Nicey stuck her finger in it to test. It was real. So someone got some Nicey germs. Who cares? Then we had to embarrass the young waiter and ask him if he was another waiter’s son because they looked so much alike. “Oh, and can you take our picture while you’re at it?”

We finally made it back to the condo, talked for never enough hours, and hit the sack. Around 4:00 AM we heard a tremendous pounding noise (like someone’s breaking in kinda noise) at the window in the room where I was sleeping. Being the load that I am, I was slow waking up. As I jumped from my bed, bumping into the wall in the closet (I wasn’t familiar with the room. It was only our second night.) Nancy is screaming, “There’s someone at the window and he’s coming in after us.” We tore up the hall awakening everyone in our path. “Come on Claire we need your help!” Mary Faith, Alcie, Nancy, Nicey and I were clutching one another and screaming with craziness. Imagine that. Nicey could hardly hear because she sleeps with ear plugs. Menopause! Ah geez. (And if you’re counting, there were only six of us. Susan is still reciting Hail Mary’s since missing that weekend.)

He never got in. The police arrived, asked questions, and sure enough he found an ex-convict in the parking lot. To top it off, he was drunk and had walked away from a work release detail the day before. He was on the MISSING Person’s report. The ex was trying to meet up with some women he met at the local bar. We promise it wasn’t us. We were lucky. But can you blame the guy? Someone told him we were the Oriole’s wives.

Our 50th is not too far off. I can’t wait to see what my “best buds” come up with for celebrating a half century. No ex-convicts allowed!

This is just a story from one group of gals who’ve made getting together with girlfriends a priority. Can you blame them?