A second grade teacher, a superior court justice, and a certified public accountant walk into a sushi bar.
“Three?” asks the hostess.
The CPA laughs and says, “No, ten of course, I calculated.”
The judge laughs and says, “You have the right to remain silent, we’ll find our way.”
The teacher says in a soothing voice, “But you’ve been very helpful, thank you,” and hands her a sticker as they pass by.
The women march straight to the rear of the restaurant because the ICU nurse, the mom of five, the high school parenting teacher, the motorcycle chick, and the RN have already grabbed a table.
The waitress walks up but gets shooed away because the two heads of HR have not yet arrived.
One represents wild animals (who gets a cheetah at her wedding, who?) and one represents pancakes (she’s on TV looking fab, and I know her!) but at Girls’ Night Out, we are all just friends, ready for our monthly round of catch-up.
You’d think we’d run out of things to talk about.
When pigs fly will women run out of words.
We’ve been closing down places for years.
“What’s new?” we ask each lady in turn.
“Nothing?” I challenge, “Then make something up, I’ll believe you.”
These particular ladies and I share matching high school diplomas. Beyond that, we are as diverse as a box of Jelly Bellies; each brings her own flavor to the table and we are never bored.
We range the political and religious gamut. Some married very young, others found Mr. Wonderful the year we all turned 40. Some are divorced and regale us with dating stories. We are home bodies and globe trotters. We’ve all ridden the monetary and health roller coasters.
There are deaths and births, haircuts and holidays to discuss.
And after all of these years, we still have issues with our parents.
Mostly, though, we are real. We can trust the group with secrets. We can count on them to care, even when the issue is quite far from their area of expertise. We leave our labels at the door and discuss stress, motivation, releasing the past and hopes for the future.
“You would not believe the mess Common Core is making at the school,” begins the teacher.
PTA President leans in and says, “Oh, our school helped to write part of that. How is it working?”
Plates of sushi rolls are landing on the table; the Ministries Coordinator hogs two just for herself.
“The Lord helps those who help themselves,” she giggles, “I think this one is called the Panty Dropper.”
Motorcycle mom is showing off her new tattoo to mom-of-five, “Just got back from our weekend to Vegas, this is my souvenir.”
Mom-of-five, recently promoted to blogger, inquires about motorcycle mom’s five kids, one of whom was just fitted with a new wheelchair, and another recently enlisted in the army.
The nurses are swapping funny patient stories and the wild and single lady is explaining the differences between Plenty O Fish and Match dot com, and her latest overnight shift on SDPD Crisis.
Our layers of labels are smashing together like funky sushi ingredients, rolled in a tight history together, with a zesty freedom flavored sauce on top.
Meanwhile, the waitress has taken the paid check, asked to refill the water glasses five times, taken a group photo for us, and cleared the table.
Don’t you hate when your guests won’t leave?
When all else fails, they put chairs up on tables and vacuum.
Then they put out the lights.
As the restaurant doors are locked behind us, we are still chatting and hugging and making plans for next month. Some of us will make it, some will disappear into the daily whirlpool and resurface a few month’s down the road with good stories to show for it.
When I finally get home, Hubby is waiting up.
“How’d it go?” he asks, “What’s the news?”
“Oh, not much,” I reply, “same ol’ same ol’.”
It’s hard to reduce a lifetime of conversation into a bento box.