Allison here! So I am back at work and a week and a half out side of The Ultimate Girlfriend’s Get Away (also known as TUGG.) Time passes quickly and before I get into the day to day rhythm I wanted to jot down a few of my memorable moments and reflections of one of the most impactful weeks of my life. When TUGG was first announced as a concept I was pretty new here. I had helped plan events and I longed to be included as one of the front line TUGG Queens. But I was new…I stood in line with 60 plus employees also hoping to receive the crown. Plans were finalized and as it got closer I put my hopes and dreams on a shelf. I mean, until my sweet friend Colleen sent me one, tiaras did not look like they were in my future. I couldn’t believe when the cast list was posted. I was not an understudy…..I was given a main character. Let the adventures begin.
As with any great adventure, I was paired with my travel buddy Jacki. My first new friendship was solidified. I knew Jacki but I feel like I truly gained a friend when I was paired with her. We made our plans, produced our costumes and the fun and games began.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I thought I was going to TUGG to entertain. I thought I was one of the “Fun” girls. Never did I think that I would be the recipient of more than 200 wonderful new friends. I did not think that I would miss my new girlfriends so much when the event was over. I did not think that I would learn and relearn so many life lessons. For that I want to thank you! In my previous retail experience we had a phrase when life got too hard and we were being too serious. That phrase was, “It is just dresses.” I have often thought how different this job is. TUGG reminded me that we literally sell lifelines. We sell roads to recovery. We sell health. We sell special occasions like baby blessings, weddings, communions, funerals. We sell first moments and final moments. And each time we sell one of these, we take a part of your special occasions, proud moments and heartbreak and we keep it in our hearts.
As I heard your stories at TUGG, my heart literally broke. My heart was filled with joy. My heart was so full that I physically miss all of you whether you participated in person or online. My heart was full of memories as I connected with a sister of a dearly loved neighbor who had recently passed. I learned of a girlfriend who was travelling alone and my heart hurt for those moments of fear and loneliness. You see, I too fear the unknown and going alone to events. I have missed so many things because of this fear. My heart rejoiced when I learned how accepting my new girlfriend’s where to these individuals. The groups that sought out the lonely and afraid. I am so proud to be surrounded by women like you. I attended a country concert where just by being, my new girlfriends gave comfort to a performer that had lost his mother. I cried. I learned of last hurrahs! I learned of chances taken. I shared grief over the aging and loss of parents. I had girlfriend’s that LITERALLY saved my life from a broken heart due to accidents, illness and injury. I came away with the biggest gift.
So, I asked myself…..where do broken hearts go? The answer was so very clear. For me, broken hearts go to work at My Girlfriend’s Quilt Shoppe. Broken hearts go to [email protected] to be reminded every day that I have new girlfriends. Broken Hearts go to TUGG and HUGG.
I Cannot Wait to see you Next Year!