Wednesday, December 05, 2012


For the seventh month I've met with "The Ladies Who Lunch," all of us retired from Wyandotte High School.  When we started we needed a table for two and now we're up to a lovely complement of five. 

It's a fun afternoon, we eat either brunch or lunch, tell how we're coming along in our retirement activities, what our families are doing, and, if we know any, share the gossip about our old high school.

Today all but one of us was wearing Christmas attire.  One gave us literature and a sample of her new product that she is promoting for a little extra spending money, and three of us showed up with small Christmas favors to share.  You might have guessed that I was in the group wearing Christmas jewelry and was bearing small favors for each of the ladies, housed in funny little Christmas cards.

When we eat soul food in my neighborhood, we all dine on rich and spicy food.  But today we were in tony Johnson County, two of the ladies were keeping Weight Watcher points and one was merely dieting (the slimest of the group), so four of the ladies had salads.  I had a chicken breast with lemon sauce on fresh spinach and mashed potatoes.  If I'm going out to eat, I'm not having salad unless I really, really want that salad. 

We lingered after the meal, telling our upcoming travel plans and what our holiday menus would be.  We drank our diet cokes and ice water and had difficulty splitting the bill.  Instead of individual tickets which we usually get, one of the ladies had a $10 off coupon, so we put that toward the entire total.  We finally settled on a huge tip for the waiter because we had sat so long after eating. 

It was a very nice afternoon.  I never thought I'd be a "Lady Who Lunched" but I'm quite proud of earning the title.  Of course, we are nothing like the song (see below) -- except that we are retired from a profession that only allotted 20 minutes for a miserable little cold lunch -- and now we can linger over menus and chat over fresh food and sit at the table until we actually are ready to get up and go back home.  What a luxury! 


According to Wikipedia:

Ladies who lunch is a phrase often used to describe well-off, well-dressed women who meet for social luncheons, usually during the working week. Typically, the women involved are married and non-working. Normally the lunch is in a high-class restaurant, but could also take place in a department store during a shopping trip. Sometimes the lunch takes place under the pretext of raising money for charity.

The phrase "ladies who lunch" was popularized by a song of the same name in Stephen Sondheim's Company.


Here's to the ladies who lunch--
Everybody laugh.
Lounging in their caftans
And planning a brunch
On their own behalf.
Off to the gym,
Then to a fitting,
Claiming they're fat.
And looking grim,
'Cause they've been sitting
Choosing a hat.
Does anyone still wear a hat?
I'll drink to that.

And here's to the girls who play smart--
Aren't they a gas?
Rushing to their classes
In optical art,
Wishing it would pass.
Another long exhausting day,
Another thousand dollars,
A matinee, a Pinter play,
Perhaps a piece of Mahler's.
I'll drink to that.
And one for Mahler!

And here's to the girls who play wife--
Aren't they too much?
Keeping house but clutching
A copy of LIFE,
Just to keep in touch.
The ones who follow the rules,
And meet themselves at the schools,
Too busy to know that they're fools.
Aren't they a gem?
I'll drink to them!
Let's all drink to them!

And here's to the girls who just watch--
Aren't they the best?
When they get depressed,
It's a bottle of Scotch,
Plus a little jest.
Another chance to disapprove,
Another brilliant zinger,
Another reason not to move,
Another vodka stinger.
I'll drink to that.

So here's to the girls on the go--
Everybody tries.
Look into their eyes,
And you'll see what they know:
Everybody dies.
A toast to that invincible bunch,
The dinosaurs surviving the crunch.
Let's hear it for the ladies who lunch--
Everybody rise!
Rise! Rise! Rise! Rise! Rise! Rise! Rise!

Elaine Stritch made the song popular.  You can see her singing it here: 

Ladies Who Lunch - Elaine Stritch


1 comment:

Margaret said...

I want to be there some time! I hate those 25 minute lunches. (having 4th period planning this year is quite nice)