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LADIES WHO LUNCH


AUDREY MABEE Audrey Mabee

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid” Ralph Waldo Emerson

The quality of our lives is increased immeasurably by the simple fact of having a friend. I get the quality of my life boosted every month or so by having lunch with a group of my high school girlfriends. I know—we haven’t been girls for 70 years, but they are still my girlfriends, and I love them all to pieces. I never thought of myself as a “lady who lunches”, but the exchange of stories from years past is exhilarating.

Each of these 6 women have had interesting lives. I have balanced marriage and family with an art career, another woman was a ballet dancer with the San Francisco Ballet. She and I were in the R.O.T.C. together, marching along with the boys and feeling important in our uniforms. Another girl and I often played with the “Ouija Board”, probably moving it about to see which boyfriend we liked at the time. These are good memories worth revisiting now and then if only to have a chuckle or two.

Beth Werson & K.  1944 Beth and Kayti 1944,

Beth was a bridesmaid in my wedding 68 years ago

The simple fun of recounting old high school memories keeps one honest and gives a few laughs as well. I find out a few things I did not know at each meeting, and regret that we don’t see each other more often.

In one’s youth, it’s all about you as an individual, nothing of who you will be when you become part of the bigger picture. Through the years of raising a family, having a career and perhaps living through some bumps in the road, you become polished like a piece of fine silver, until you can finally sit back and say it was all worth it, and I’d do it again in a minute.

Being with old friends and hearing stories of their lives, and recounting memories unique to this group, keeps you in touch with the sun drenched days of your youth. We knew so little of life then. The War was on, and many of our schoolmates were in the service. Some did not return. Some of us rushed to marry as soon as the War was over, as if in waiting something might prevent us getting on with life. Most of us went on to college, had our families, and sometimes moved out of the area, but ultimately, like homing pigeons, we all returned to the place it all began.

Though a few canes are in evidence, we are all vertical and still have a few little grey cells moving about. I am amused when a much younger person seems to think we are an anomaly, but in another group of women I played bridge with this week, three were in their 90’s and are the gutsiest bridge players I know.

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19 comments on “LADIES WHO LUNCH

  1. Katie, I have to say you don’t look much different , You are one pretty lady, I mean girl?

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  2. I HAVE TO KNOW !! – what do you like to be called: Kayti, Katy or Kate ?
    There, done with that.
    You’re really lucky to retain your friends through the years: when my parents sent me from Perth to the other side of this big continent, all mine were left behind. I made some new ones working in Victoria, and then I left there, too. My husband was my best and only friend – other than my second-eldest sister – and all I needed. Now he’s gone, and I realize what I lost all those years ago.

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    • I seem to have been called by different names during different stages of life. Kathryn is an easy one to nickname. It doesn’t matter as long as people keep calling me!

      My husband is also my best friend, we know one another’s secrets. My best woman friend is in assisted living, and her short term memory is not what it used to be. The good fun times are lost to her. Her daughter Cherie is taking her place for me.

      My husband’s aunt at 97 said all her friends were gone. I think you can make new friends, and make new history. It can’t be the same, but it’s all about reaching out. The friends we make in the blogosphere are important though we may never see them face to face.

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  3. Love your ‘best friends’ photo, Kayti. (I also notice you as Kate)

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  4. One of the great griefs of my mother’s life was that she outlived all her friends. By the time she reached 80, her best friends either had died or were battling memory-destroying diseases like Alzheimer’s. She made some new friends once she moved down here, but it wasn’t the same. After 90, she still was relatively fit and living in her own place, but the loneliness was terrible. No one, however nice, could fill that space marked “old friends.”

    For a variety of reasons, including my own mobility over the years, the concentration needed to start my own business, and the demands of being Mom’s caretaker for many years, my own group of best friends isn’t intact any more. Not only that, I’m getting to the age where death is beginning to take its toll. Oh, my!

    So, it’s time to begin finding new ladies to lunch with — a task that many women I know are taking on with some enthusiasm.

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  5. It’s all about the history you share with old friends. Similar to marrying someone 10-20 years senior/junior. Not much in common after sex and money!

    Many people who live in my friend’s residence were brought there by their children from another town, and just seem lost. Though my mother in law lived around the corner and like your mother lived in her home past 90, she had no real friends ,except family she too was lonely.

    I believe that happiness is a choice though, and it’s up to the individual to make of it what they will.

    We moved so often during my childhood, I have no friends before the Junior Year in high school. Though all my husband’s friends are gone, he had friends from his kindergarten days. But I’m his friend now! And he makes more wherever he is. ( But we don’t invite him to the ladies lunch. He doesn’t need to know our secrets!)

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  6. May I come to lunch? Admittedly, I never had a bridesmaid.

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  7. Beautiful memories, and such a wonderful photo. I love how you’re both looking at each other. xx

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  8. It’s always like a shot in the arm to get together. My friend Beth saved the picture so I had never seen it before. We thought we were so-oooo cool!

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