(Author’s note: As I prepare to publish this, “Lean of Me” is playing. How fitting!)
It was a fateful weekend that brought the eight of us together. Initially it seemed like an innocent gathering of souls. The initial seeds were planted when all came together under one roof to celebrate Thanksgiving on 11.27.2014. Little did we know how much this “chance” encounter would change our lives forever.
Yes, forever is a big word here, especially since that was merely 5 months ago. Yet it is fitting. Allow me to explain.
In giving thanks, we came together and found each other and ourselves. Many of us felt broken; failed marriages, loneliness, and relationships checkered our pasts. I personally felt like I was adrift on the sea alone, paddling for somewhere safe to land. Having been separated for 3 months from my spouse of 15 years (and partner of nearly 20 years), my life was a bit topsy-turvy.
We gathered around the dinner table where the jokes and laughter almost immediately ensued. There was an immediate chemistry that would later be forged around the backyard fire pit. We told jokes, shared camping stories and showed YouTube videos of the comedian Steve Byrne, which smelted it all together.
Thursday night was such a great time that we crafted plans the next morning for another gathering. Night two was even more epic. The nights blur together, so it’s hard to tell what was different on night 2 from night 1. However, somewhere in there we added “Cards Against Humanity” into the mix. Another night of gathering, bonding and forging our connections through humor that pushed social boundaries.
Night three sealed the deal. We named our tribe Crotch a Lots or CAL (because we talked about our crotches, a lot). On this same night we “renamed” each other. Similar to the “Hashers,” we had no say in what our names were. As most of us were runners, we were familiar with the Hash Town Runners (later, we would helped others to find their running abilities).
On that third epic night a private facebook page was created. We posted jokes, we shared pictures and the friendships were now further set and would continue to grow.
Since that fateful and “Epic” Three-Day Thanksgiving Weekend, the synergy of our group has only expanded; as have our numbers. As our group has grown, we have added other like-minded individuals who can “hang” with our boundary-pushing humor. (just for reference, “The Shocker” is our gansta-style hand symbol). Being supportive of the group as individuals and as a whole is also an important trait we look for in new members.
In my tribe, we have supported each other in a broad range of ways that I’ve never experienced with a group outside of my blood relatives. We can count on one another for support, whether we are moving, packing, painting, paying the tip (yes, just the tip), needing help with relationships, drinking, being sober, need shoulders to cry on, celebrating birthdays and holidays, partying in general, getting out of our shells, laughing, climbing walls & getting unstuck from the mud (literally and figuratively), celebrating accomplishments, meeting fitness goals, giving one another props or recognizing our accomplishments, running, “geeking out,” and most importantly: giving each other space to be ourselves without judgment. It is also important to mention that one of the strongest undercurrents of our group is that the glue that seems to hold us together is our heavily sexually slanted humor.
Words just cannot describe how awesome it is to be part of such an amazing group of individuals. We support one another in ways I have never experienced. I am so grateful to be part of this experience with each of you. Thank you, I am forever grateful for the support you have given me at this delicate time in my life!
We are Team CAL and we are EPIC!