“It has been so long since we’ve seen each other! I miss you! The kids are all fine. So, how are you? I haven’t heard from you in such a long time. Just wondering what’s new in your life. Let’s do lunch!”
“Let’s do lunch”; three simple words that denote so much about relationships between women. Men don’t “do lunch”. They’re more apt to do wings and beer at the sports bar when the game is on. However, girlfriends have “doing lunch” down to a science. They “do lunch” for any reason. If they’re having marital problems, stressed out at work, planning a wedding, have sick kids, a bad hair day, or a dying dog – it is time to “do lunch”. “Doing lunch” is a right of passage in the female world. I started training my daughter, Jennifer, early. Ever since she was five we did lunch at fancy restaurants periodically to prepare her for the day when she would “do lunch” with me and my girlfriends. Our lunch together was always a special lunch because she’d order a Shirley Temple with a cherry just like I did when I was a little girl.
The day finally came when she and her best friend went out to lunch with me and my best friend. We ordered drinks and, when the Shirley Temples arrived, we pulled the ends off the paper straw covers and blew through the other end of the straws shooting paper at each other. My friend got up and stood three feet away from the table holding the menu so that I could read it since I lost my reading glasses. We ordered too much food and sinful deserts and ate every bit of it. When we all went to the ladies room together I knew that I had trained Jennifer well on the art of “doing lunch.”
One time, I did lunch with my friends when my dog was dying. My three friends and I sat at the table all puffy-eyed as I relayed the latest tragic episode in the heroic efforts the vet was taking to keep my dog alive. We sobbed over our peach cobblers about all our pets who’ve blessed our lives. The older couple next to us glanced our way. It was clear the husband was visibly concerned about the three runny-nosed, blubbering women at the next table. His wife reached across the table and patted him on the arm. “They’re ok, honey.” She said, “They’re just doing lunch.”
When you “do lunch” there are really no rules. It can take thirty minutes or three hours. The important thing about “doing lunch” is that you get to talk about anything and everything and you can talk for as long as you need. It is therapy at its best. Who needs to pay a shrink $100.00 an hour when all you have to do is call a few friends and pick a good restaurant that serves wine and has great deserts.
Great deserts are a must because when you “do lunch” all diets are off. Doing desert depends on the number of women “doing lunch”. If it is just two of you, you order one desert and two forks. However, if there are more than two, everyone orders a different desert. When the deserts arrive, they all get piled into the center of the table where they are in reach of everyone’s fork.
The red hat society does lunch with a flare. The ladies all dress up in purple PJ’s and wear big red fancy hats and invade local eating establishments. Once there, they tell jokes and relish in the fact that they are over 50 and can look however they please and act as silly as they want. They spend they’re pension on brandy, summer gloves, satin sandals and, of course, lunch.
Dinner is not an option. Breakfast is too early – and you can’t drink. Lunch, however, is and always will be the favorite meal of girlfriends.