I used to belong to a very smug book club where they did everything but take attendance. When it was your turn to choose the book and hostess you were restricted to three brands of Chardonnay (yeah, Kendell Jackson was one of them…) and one Swiss, one Gouda and one Blue cheese as snacks. And Carr’s water biscuits and green grapes. I did about three years of that and kept asking myself how the hell many books did Edith Wharton write anyway and so I suggested we read Geek Love by Katherine Dunn and served Oreo Cookie Ice Cream Cake. Arturo the Aqua Boy was a little more than these women could take and I thought, "surely, mercifully, this will get me drummed out" but no. The club liked having a resident shrink so they could ask pointed questions about some particular neurosis a "friend" was suffering. Also, I was the token divorcee and single mom. Finally I quit and rounded up every really good, slightly quirky woman I knew and we started meeting out at Wit’s End, my little yellow cottage.
That’s when it turned into more of a sticky, tipsy potluck crowd of best friends. The odds of BCMA doing anything remotely related to meeting to discuss
a book are slim even though we all throw around books and titles and everyone is quite well read. We usually get together to just plain cut loose. We routinely run the pontoon boat aground. We ride around rural northern Michigan in the convertible with the top down, CDs BLARING and stop in (and disrupt) little local bingo tournaments. None of us are Catholic but we go to the fish fries at St. Mary’s church on the way to Wit’s End and flirt with the the old guys running the food line. Poker is big with this group. We love nothing more than having bonfires and telling stories and laughing until somebody pees. Except possibly Boxing Day. We really love Boxing Day.
Boxing Day started one year the day after Christmas when a subset of about eight of us went to the local mega movie plex. But not before we planned our strategy. There were at least 7 films out that we wanted to see so we poured over the movie schedules the way bookmakers study odds and figured that if we started at 920 AM we could buy a ticket each and see 6 of the 7 before 11 PM by cruising nonchalantly from theater to theater. We also planned the menu and it ranged from the ridiculous to the sublime: I brought little spinach pies and mini quiches, Toni brought cheese whiz, crackers and swanky franks, someone else brought a whole Caesar salad in ziplock. We carried in enough wine in little water bottles for half of Italy and I made a large grocery bag of white hulless popcorn with half a pound of real butter on it. We had linen napkins, paper plates and plastic ware, too. How do we get away with this? Ask yourself: How may 16 year old pimple-y faced boys do you know who are brave enough to challenge eight 50-ish pregnant women at the ticket stand? In the end we made it through five films and gave up half way through the sixth when Toni announced to the theater at large that her butt hurt and she had to leave.
Yesterday was a movie outing day. We went and saw The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill at the local art theater. The Michigan Theater has one of those original pipe organs that rises up out of the floor before the movie starts and today the organist was playing Star Wars LOUDLY so that was fun. The movie is a nice little independent film about a street person who befriends a flock of wild Conure parrots and in the end it’s a wonderfully reciprocal relationship. We liked it. Even better we liked the previews for National Geographic’s March of the Penguins ("Where even in the harshest corner of the earth love finds a way"). This is on the top of my list. Before the movie we went to lunch and got caught up. Kristen just finished knitting a French Market Bag that required felting and we got to laughing about how knitted things take on a life of their own once you toss them in the washing machine. I complained about having knit two right back panels for a sweater instead of a right and a left; I might just shrink it and dress up one of the cats- they have limbs that point in the same direction coming out of their body.
Audrey lives on a small farm with Roy and the kids and Roy just bought a new attachment for the tractor to help with lawn cutting. We got to laughing about how it looked like an Edward Scissorhands job and that lead to my suggesting that someone needed to invent a Roomba version of a mower- a Moomba or Lawnba- and then that led to a rehash of the SNL skit about the Womba, a robotic feminine hygiene product that cleans your woman’s business…
It was a downhill slide from there and we were laughing so hard that Kristen accidentally goosed the waiter as we were getting out of the booth at the restaurant. We tried to get it together long enough to gather our coats and I noticed and commented that as we were leaving the waiter cut Kristen a wide berth on his next pass. Kristen said, "His loss."
Ya, we know how to grow old gracefully.
Question: How do you know you’re watching Star Wars with a bunch of Lutherans?
Answer: Every time someone says, "May the Force be with you." the audience answers, "And also with you."