Monday, August 09, 2010

An Evening with the Ya-Yas

Years ago I read “Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood” and thoroughly loved it. I even envied the connection the characters had, the lifelong friendship, the brutal honesty and the got-your-back-ness that these characters have for each other.

And then I met these women in real life on the back porch of my friend Sean’s parents’ house on Sunday night. I hadn’t met Sean’s parents, or these women, before. But I heard the stories. Sean’s mom and these women get together every year—the get together usually involves consuming every drop of alcohol within a five mile radius and holding their sides from laughing constantly. They took me into their fold on the back deck and kept my margarita glass filled.

It was the margarita pitcher that first got my attention. It couldn’t have been more than 2 quarts, yet Kathy had upended the bottle of tequila into it. A salted glass was placed near my elbow as I helped Todd in the kitchen, I sipped it and felt my nose hairs burn from the overpowering tequila and who knows what else was poured into that pitcher. I swirled the glass to get the ice cubes to even out the drink. I told myself that after finishing this one, the next one would taste better—only because my tastebuds would be drowned.

When I brought snacks out to the deck, the women convinced me to join them. I had imagined I’d help Todd, Sean and Heidi in the kitchen, but felt superfluous in there as they buzzed around like bees in a hive. I pulled up a chair and listened to their stories, and their gossip.

They roped me in immediately. Cookie was talking about the group’s arch-nemesis, Nancy. I gathered that this Nancy character had a nasty habit of talking trash about the children of these women. I held up my margarita glass and declared, “Nancy Schmancy!” The rest of the women cheered. I was in. The subject of Nancy came up a few more times. I tipped my marg back, felt the tequila sting and then soothe my throat, and said “This Nancy chick is a downer! Let’s talk about something else.” They cheered again and my glass was refilled. Kathy agreed, “Let’s talk about the subject!” I set my marg glass aside, my hand covering it as if I was attending a frat party. I wondered which of the Real Life Ya Yas would slip me a roofie.

I didn’t end up getting roofied, but the chowder did. A few of the women occasionally left the patio and then came back minutes later saying “I’ve just been kicked out of the kitchen.” It happened to Donna. To Karen. To Cookie. I was talking to Cherry and didn’t pay much attention to the comings and goings from the kitchen. I assumed Todd and Sean were being polite “Go on the deck, have fun, we’ll take care of the cooking…” Because that’s exactly what they would say when cooking at a party.

Later on, as I helped with grilling the corn on the cob, I learned the real story. Todd and Sean fiercely guarded the pot of chowder. They’d left it unattended a few times and had drunken women spiking it with various spices. Out of the corner of his eye Todd saw Donna think aloud, without tasting the chowder, “This needs salt.” Before he could act she picked up the container of sea salt and, because she was drunk and lacked coordination, dumped a cup of salt into the pot. Karen desperately searched for dried parsley and peppercorns to lob in there. Earlier in the night Sean had tasted the chowder and said “Man, this is so salty…” he tossed some corn starch into the pot and I guarded it until Todd turned it off. Apparently the spiking had been going on longer than we thought. Sean’s sister ran out to the store to retrieve more milk and cream, Todd resuscitated the chowder as Sean's niece served as a rodeo clown to keep the women out of the kitchen and then dinner was served.

The lobsters glowed red from the platter. The stuffed quahogs (also very salty as Donna had mysteriously struck again) and stuffed lobster tails were lined in neat rows and ready to eat. I was pulling charred corn off the grill, and we feasted into the night.

We said our goodnights, and I received hugs from all the Ya Yas. On the way home I vowed not to get so caught up in my own life and be better at maintaining my own friendships. I also vowed to let Todd do the cooking and to keep my own hands off the salt.

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5 Comments:

OpenID ziongal said...

Ya-ya! I miss our own group of Ya-ya's. Or what they were, I suppose. Sadly, it'll never be the same again.

Sue

August 10, 2010 at 5:53 PM  
Blogger Beej said...

I do too.

And I did not know you were blogging again. Now I've got some reading to do.

August 10, 2010 at 7:34 PM  
OpenID ziongal said...

Yeah, I caved. I had it hosted someplace else that was totally private but I didn't like it there all that much. Sure, I could post anything I wanted, but it was almost pointless posting because I had so few readers. We blog to share, right?

So I moved it, deleted a few posts, made some private and the rest are what you see.

August 11, 2010 at 8:22 PM  
Blogger Beej said...

Well, you're good at it. Why not share.

August 12, 2010 at 7:23 AM  
Blogger Sean said...

You're good too Beej! I really enjoy your posts!

August 15, 2010 at 1:00 AM  

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