Friends and Family Reunion


We saved our last night in London for the best when we had a mini reunion of my best Friends and Family comrades, Simon W., Simon G. and Monica. This is the group of people I spent a year traveling the world with making commercials for BT. It was a bonding experience that is hard to replicate and we all agreed was the highlight of all our careers, at least in terms of fun.

Simon W. generously set up the night to be at one of his private clubs, but what he did not tell us is that it was so cool that men were not allowed to wear ties. He told us at the end of the evening about a time he invited an older friend to lunch with him at this club who showed up in his British finest. The day after the lunch Simon received a letter from the club management reminding him that the hip club had a “no tie” rule and to please not bring guests who break the rules.

Well Simon should have learned from that experience and not brought all of us to his club because we certainly broke lots of rules. Not only did Russ wear a tie, but we also arrived ahead of our host and they frowned upon letting us in without him, this being a private club and all. But the really big non-no was we tried to take a photo inside the club. As the Simons two, Mon and I mushed together so Carter could snap the picture an officious waiter came running over to remind Simon of the “no photos” rule. You never know if there was someone having an affair in the booth behind us who did not want to have photographic proof of his indiscretion.

In spite of the rules and all our breaking of them we had a wonderful night. The Simons had hosted a dinner for me and Carter last year so we had caught up on 14 years of history then, but this was the first time I had seen Monica in 15 years. It took no time to pick right up where we left off and Carter took a particular liking to her since she is a cool, successful, independent woman.

Russ knew my friends slightly since he had come on one of Friends and Family trips so it was fun for me to have all these people I adore to get a chance to know each other better. We ate, drank, told stories, shared heartaches, successes, wishes, dreams, plans and memories of times together.

As the night grew longer and the members of the club departed we flaunted the rules and took a number of group photos right inside — the waiters gave up admonishing us. Russ and Carter decided that they needed to get back to the hotel to get a little sleep since we had to get up early to leave for Paris, but my friends convinced me to stay a while longer too sad to end our reunion. So one more round of drinks and a few more stories.

It’s funny what one person remembers from a shared experience. Monica brought up the story of how I would get the bills for the 60 people we would take on these trips and be able to see who was watching naughty movies in their hotel rooms and who was not calling home to their spouses. This was something I had completely forgotten until she reminded me, but know it was totally in character for me and the job I had. I don’t remember using that information as any kind of blackmail, but it certainly gave me better insight into who I was working with. Needless to say anything I learned about my two Simons and Monica was not a negative because despite the years apart I consider them some of my favorite people.

Sadly we are leaving London but are on the Eurostar to Paris so how sad can we be? I love Paris, but have no friends living there now so Russ, Carter and I go purely as tourists and not as Friends or Family like we are in England.

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