Tuesday, November 24, 2015

     At a dinner /movie outing with four of my special friends last night, I learned some interesting things. First of all, I only see these lovely women every couple of months, so what I learned is probably old news to them. It’s amazing what one can learn when one listens, nonetheless.

    On the way to the restaurant, sitting in the back seat, I learned everything I did not want to know about prepping for a colonoscopy. When one friend left her husband curled up in the fetal position in his bed after taking the gross liquid, she shared with us the ingredients of his “prep.” This prompted a discussion of each of their own experiences with the “prep” process. After several minutes of disgusting visual imagery, I cried out, “Can we please talk about something else?” This plea fell on deaf ears. A few minutes later, I yelled out, “I just bought a new blouse!”
Finally, the conversation turned to blouses, and I could exhale. (I didn’t really buy a new blouse. I don’t even like blouses, but one friend said, “When I think of blouses, I think of Sally. (not her real name). Moving from bowels to blouses seemed like the light-hearted thing to do at holiday time.)

     When we got to the restaurant, we sat at one friend’s “designated table.” This meant that
she frequents the restaurant often enough to have a table named after her. I don’t know if this is a good thing, but she was in a hurry to get her half carafe of wine whose brand name rolled off her tongue. Three of the five of us ordered wine, the other two had water. Since I was a water woman, I am sure my take on what I learned was colored by sad sobriety. My friend’s familiarity with the restaurant did earn us all a free cup of coffee, so that was cool, at least until I awakened at 3:00 am. ready to tackle my daily “to do” list.

    I digress. At dinner, I learned that one friend spent $1500 on cosmetics at Belk this week. You must understand that all cosmetics are included in the twice-a-year sale so the savings were considerable. $1500? It must take her two hours to get ready to go somewhere. I’m just jealous. I wish I had $1500 for anything. It takes me 28 months to save up that much, and that’s going without milk and carrots.

     I also learned that my other friend’s niece will  be visiting for Thanksgiving. She is bringing her very large dog. My friend said she tried to find a place for the dog and was willing to pay the cost, as she really didn’t relish the thought of this large animal trekking through her home, especially with her three little kitties there. I said, “Why did you tell her it was all right to bring the dog?” She said, “She was all alone for Thanksgiving, and she wouldn’t come without the dog.” I said, “You are an absolute saint.” And this friend truly is. She has a heart bigger than the Grand Canyon. 

     Another friend spoke about moving from her previous home. She said the had to have three garage sales because she had so much stuff. She used to buy things in bulk. For example, if she saw a vase at a store, she would buy 30 vases. So when she got ready for the garage sale, she would put a sample of the vase on her table, so people could see what the other 29 looked like. What? This friend is an incredibly creative decorator, but 30? Are you effen kidding me?

     Then the cell phones came out, and thumbs scrolled to find the latest photos of the grandchildren. This used to really annoy me, but now that I don’t have any babies or toddlers, I miss them terribly, and I gladly oohed and awwwhed over the cuties. I said, “Enjoy every second. You blink, and they’re 16.” My oldest grandson will be driving my ex-husband’s car in January. I don’t know what is more strange that I have a 16-year-old grandson who will be driving or that my ex sold his car. My Grand Canyon-heart friend whispered to me later, “Your grand-daughters are beautiful.” That’s the kind of person she is.

     My “husband’s prep” friend shared that she was having seven couples over for dinner. We all gasped. Seven couples? That’s fourteen mouths. Way too many mouths for moi. Imagine all 14 of them talking at the same time. Then imagine all 14 of them chewing at the same time. As Ed Sullivan would have said, “That’s a really big Chew.” Oh no, that was “show.” Anyway, the cost to put on a dinner party for seven couples is way beyond my budget. It would take 28 months to save that much from the grocery budget, and I’m saving for cosmetics. 

     The movie was adorable. “Love the Coopers” is my new favorite holiday film. The repartee between two of the characters was worth the whole $7.48 ticket. The message of the film is poignant and relevant. We all enjoyed it as we laughed and nodded, “Yup.” 

     What a wonderful evening with my special friends. We each bring something unique to the table, and when I raised my water glass, I thought to myself, “Lucky me. I am blessed to have such fun, kind, funny friends.” I can’t wait till the next “chick flick.”