Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ladies' Lunch

*I know I was supposed to give you a Land of the Flowered Bed tale, but I'm saving it for tomorrow. Never fear! You'll be entertained by "The Land of the Flowered Bed has a Northern Adventure."

In a quaint little building tucked into a corner of the city where the wild oak trees still roamed free, the blond girl waited impatiently. She and her black-haired buddy were older now, long past the days of ringlets and tea parties.

Well, tea parties every day at least and ringlets every other.

But today, her raven haired friend was stuck in the evil land of grey cubicles and beige walls and couldn't escape. Today she was meeting a new friend, one that was not familiar with the joy of escaping to lunch.

After a quick hug, they scurried over the twisted wooden staircases scattered with leaves from the overhanging oak trees. They wove past the shops, pointing at the windows filled with colorful treasures and making a mental note to return. Finally, they stepped into the restaurant. The blond girl sighed with pleasure as her new friend gasped in surprise.

The restaurant was small, with wooden tables and walls covered with white wallpaper checkered with red apples and gingham checks. Cheery tablecloths dotted the small wooden tables as older women with kind smiles and frilly aprons carried plates of cream cheese sandwiches and soups to tables. The entire restaurant was stuffed with women of all ages and sizes. There were little girls lunching with their mothers and older daughters with their friends. There were aunts with their nieces and grandmothers with their daughters and granddaughters. The room was full with friends, neighbors and loved ones, some who were meeting for the first time.

"It's like a tea party!" the friend exclaimed. The blond girl smiled. They took their seats and ordered sandwiches and chips. Over their meals, they chattered about their husbands, dogs, jobs and hobbies. The blond girl smiled as women from other tables asked about their meals or commented on their shoes.

"Don't forget to save room," the blond girl warned.

"For what?" her friend asked, warily staring at her empty plate.

"For that," the blond girl grinned. She pointed at a glass case stuffed with every pie imaginable. There were cookies and cakes and tarts at a smaller case next to it. Her friend stared at the cream and meringue pies, her gaze lingering on a simple apple crumb.

"Oh Lord," she groaned. "Well, I guess calories don't count."

"Of course not," a woman spoke up next to her. She indicated the chocolate cake she was sharing with her young daughter. "Nothing counts at a ladies' lunch."

The blond girl smiled. She couldn't have said it better herself. Leaning back in her chair, she ordered a piece of pie.

After all--it was a ladies' lunch.