Sunday, May 28, 2006

Good friends

Last night went to a barbeque at the home of two of my friends. The men cooked, and the best part -- the men cleaned up after dinner was over. This is of some significance for women and men of a certain age -- our experience was that women did all the cooking, cleaning and the men sat around shooting the shit about whatever manly men talked about. My friend's 21 year old nephew is visiting them for the weekend; he's just as nice a young man as you can imagine. He's great looking, too. He did most of the cleanup duties. We all offered to help, in fact, all the women thought we'd be sharing the duties -- if the men cooked, then we'd clean up. But this wasn't the case at all. We were waited on, and it was really quite sweet.

Four of us are not in relationships (I include the nephew and one of the men); one woman is in a long-distance relationship; and the couple whose house we were at have been together for quite some time. For me, divorced nearly 15 years and quite adept at getting involved with the wrong man, it was great to see a functional couple at work.

We talked, we told stories, we told jokes. We laughed. It was such a pleasant evening that bears mentioning because sometimes I think that conversation is a dying art form. We teased the nephew a lot, because he's great looking, and we're a bunch of dirty old women -- that was fun.

Laughter among friends has great restorative power. It makes me feel safe. I mean laughter at a deep level, belly laughs, laughs that take my breath away. It makes me feel connected.

We started talking about creating a food co-op for us -- I remembered the one I belonged to 30 years ago when my kids were babies. There were about 30 families in it and we took turns shopping for everyone once a week. Did that for about a year or two. We talked about creating our own "retirement" community although I know I will never be able to retire -- and we talked a lot about Viet Nam -- one of the men was a Nam Vet who gets compensation from the government because, as he puts it, it's the government's way of saying they were wrong to send these soldiers. That Viet Nam was wrong.

And that was our evening. How is your holiday weekend shaping up?


Sigrid Jardin said...

Just found your blog site. I enjoyed this "good friends" story very much. It sounds like a lovely evening with some great people. Today's paper had an article on the lost art of conversation, and I've been thinking about that this morning. Funny you should write about the great conversations you had! And way to go, guys, waiting on the women! That is an all-too-rare occurence!

DivaJood said...

Hi Sigrid. Welcome. It was a lovely evening, and we're doing a repeat tomorrow night. Only this time I have to bring the key lime pie, since nobody else knows how to make it. Otherwise, the guys have it covered again.

karena said...

I love a key lime pie. You must have a secret recipe, if not, please share, although I never make desserts. I did all the grilling the day before yesterday. It's kind of the opposite of your evening, but I liked working the grill which is usually the man's domain. I made some baby back ribs with a dry rub and smoked with elder wood. Yummm.

DivaJood said...

Karena, secret recipe. Won't share that, or the recipe for my aunt's sweet & sour chicken wings (also known as a heart attack on a plate). Your baby back ribs sound delish!

robin andrea said...

That sounds like a wonderful evening. We had a barbecue Saturday night too. Had one couple over. A nice long four-hour conversation. A lot of politics and rantings. A lot of family talk about children and the future. We remembered that we feel very lucky to have come of age in the 60s when the prevailing winds blew our way, we helped end an undeclared war, the music was inspirational.

You are so right about laughing. It is absolutely restorative.

DivaJood said...

Robin Andrea, I don't think anything compares to what we experienced coming of age in the sixties. It was an extraordinary time -- at least the parts I remember.

Tonight's barbeque, same people, same place, makes me think in terms of the family we choose vs. the family we grew up with.

Sue Woo said...

Hey there! I had crawfish and boudin balls for memorial day. Yum Yum!

I lived in DC for a long time and went to the Wall every Memorial Day. My daddy cried when he saw the WWII Memorial last year.

Hope it was all good yall.

DivaJood said...

Hey there, Sue -- glad to know that N'awlins cooking has survived Katrina!