Below is an excerpt from my food memoir that I've been working on in my free time (my, I should be sleeping but let's see if I can work on that book-in-progress time) Enjoy.
You Are So Much Smarter Than This
Every now and then, my girlfriends and I tiptoe toward one another like groomed witches working on a secret spell. We tuck our children in (or ask our husbands to do so), sprinkle love dust on our beloveds (promises of returning in sexy-kitten mode), grab our wands (house keys) and various potions from the kitchen (wine, tarts, guacamole--if it's serious) and hop onto the designated driver's broom to gather in union.
Regardless of what you believe, women are such magical creatures. Admit it or not, you've either worked some juju or had some juju worked on you by a woman. We can walk into a room and make heads turn involuntarily. We can let our laughter spill out of our mouths like Brazilian jazz love songs, and you want to know--must find out--what is so funny. We can whisper sweet somethings in your ear, and no matter what your plans were--they were.
And when a loyal friend needs rescuing, we show up in the nick of time with potions of food and wine, tactfully telling you what you need to hear out loud, "You are smarter than this and you need to dump his ass."
Ahh, yes, the you-need-to-dump-his-ass talk. I've said it more than I've heard it, but I have heard it.
As I sit happily married and comfortably in my 30s, I (and my friends) don't rush into this talk as we would have in our college years. No, we let the friend simmer in her own self-created hot madness. Allowing the drama to soak into her pores, re-seasoning her make up long enough to become part of her memory, is what it takes to avoid this bullshit in the future. Then, as if on cue, my friends and I look into our crystal balls (cell phones) and conjure up a rescue. Alcohol is mandatory (one's voice speaks freer). Food has to be easily accessible by hand or single utensil (no fork and knife simultaneously working together--too much!). And room must be made so that Truth has center stage.
During the last rescue gathering for N, I brought a creamy lemon-blueberry tart. J brought the wine and her no-nonsense sensibility, "Look, you know this screams some dumb shit." We are half-way through our second glass of wine. Deep charcoal skies peek curiously through the curtains of N's living room, and I want a second slice of tart but I resist my stomach's self-absorption tendencies and chime in with some wisdom, "You are smarter than this--too smart for this."
Words settle. Glasses are finished off. Forks pierce final bites of tart. Our laughter loops through sessions of seriousness. Together, our friendship floats into the realm of sisterhood, which, when paired with good wine and a fine (if I do say so myself) lemon-bluebery tart, is magic.
Lemon-Blueberry Tart Recipe (to be published when book's published (sorry...)
--by Reine Keis Bayoc