Polly P, Bunny (their real-ish names, I swear) and I used to live near each other in a gated community that had three separate sets of fairways and greens to play on, two different restaurants to feed from and several watering holes--some for the families with young ones, some adult only. It offered walking trails and group exercise...no, it wasn’t a zoo...it was a country club.
The first time we three got together for a chat and a bottle it was 5 pm on a Thursday night.
It took a little planning for Polly P. She called me early that morning to confirm that we were still getting together that evening.
I said, “Of course” and I was looking forward to it.
She told me she needed to know for sure because she had to save 25 of her 30 weight watchers points for our chat. That night she brought the best wine and a ton of celery. Lucky for us because the celery came in handy once we ran out of chips for the seven layer dip I had made for us.
Bunny called later in the afternoon to see if I had frozen peas in my freezer. No problem if not, she’d just bring her own. I told her all I had was frozen blocks of spinach. When she arrived that night, she went straight to my freezer and threw in a couple bags of frozen peas.
By her second glass of wine, she grabbed both of the ice cold bags; one for her forehead and one for the back of her neck. Hot flashes were taking over. After that, every time she came over for our 5pm chat she would bring frozen vegetables, and forget to take them home with her. Little does she known she’s been supplying me and my family with veggies for years now.
That first night our conversation consisted of a lot of unfinished sentiments, not knowing who bled blue or who bled red. We did our best to skirt around discussions about politics, religion and sex. We had determined one was too stupid, one was too complicated and one was too personal, not necessarily in that order.
Years later we are still great friends and these are still fluid topics, but we don’t shy away from them anymore. On any given day, any of those reasons could apply to any of those topics, for any one of us, depending on our hormones, how much wine we’ve had, or how bad our golf game was that week. Ah, it’s good to have friends that get you!
A few years back, my girlfriend Polly P and I stopped for lunch on our way home from collecting guests from the airport for my 50th birthday. My older sister flew in from Vermont. My younger sister, daughter No. 1 and one of my sisters-in-law flew in from Massachusetts. Daughter No. 2 flew in from Texas. They were all starving.
We stopped at a local Chinese food restaurant and even though it was still fairly early in the day, we were ready to have a glass of wine. (Luckily for us, this Chinese restaurant had a fairly decent selection!)
Polly P, who apparently had some sort of image to uphold, talked the bar tender into delivering our wine in coffee mugs. All the business men streaming into the restaurant were none the wiser.
I’m sure our conversations ran the gamut and most likely we never completed one thought between the seven of us. The food was delish and we shared our plates as well as what was going on in our lives. Polly P ordered another round and more coffee mugs were delivered to the table.
At the end of the meal we passed out the fortune cookies. Daughter No. 1 read the back of her fortune.
"‘LEARN CHINESE- Drunk, Tipsy.’" Then she explained that the next line had a Chinese symbol and and the Chinese word, "‘Zoo-EE.’” She sounded more Southern than Chinese.
My older sister went next, “Too-ee SHEE-you...it means to retire.” We giggled as we tried to count all of her teeth when she emphasized “SHEE.”
Next my sister-in-law, “Air you-AY...February.” She said it as perfectly as any third grade teacher would.
My turn came up. I flipped my fortune over and read in my most Chinese accent, “Toe-tahs-TAY.”
My daughter immediately grabbed the fortune out of my hand and said, ‘No Mom...that’s the english...To Taste.”
All seven of us doubled over and busted out in loud laughter. My younger sister ran to the bathroom. The game was up on the coffee mugs, now. People knew, if they hadn't guessed prior, that there was more than just coffee in those mugs.
My girls have never let me forget that. Whenever they imply that they don’t understand what I’m saying or if they plan on just ignoring me, they respond with, “Toe tahs-TAY?”
Kyle Ann Robertson
Chief Writing Officer at Ifcorkscouldtalk.com and BBWalsh.com