When friends really meant something

My mother used to play Mahjong every Tuesday night with “the women” throughout the 1950s and well into the 1960s. That’s what she called her group of friends that came together for hours of play, banter and noshing. Each of “the women” (five of them) played hostess every fifth week.

I loved it when “the women” came to our house. They’d arrive around 8 pm and started playing minutes later, helping themselves to the tuna and egg salad, crackers, potato chips, pretzels and M and Ms my mother had layed out. After the game, they’d have coffee and cake. By that time, my dad was finished treating his patients in his downstairs dental office and he’d come up to join the festivities. “The women” left around 11 pm.

It all felt homey and warm and protective, especially on freezing winter nights.  All the moms gathered around the small octagonal-shaped Formica table in our small dining room. “The women” lived within a block of each other, none of them worked and they all could talk endlessly about absolutely nothing of consequence.

I started a monthly book group that lasted for a few years. There were about seven of us but not everyone showed up because our jobs were pretty demanding. Each of us brought a dish and we had great dinners. We also drank a ton of wine. We’d talk about sex, marriage, our jobs, travel, movies…and even the books.

Ever since the earth had two women on it, we have loved getting together, face to face. No matter how brilliant Facebook is, it is no substitute.

3 Responses to “When friends really meant something”

  1. Vera B says:

    During the 1950’s and 60’s, my aunt (who lived in rural Arkansas) and her friends met every Wednesday during the summer for a quilting bee, each week at a different house. The quilts were attached to a quilting rack, which was then attached to the ceiling and lowered and raised when needed. I still have one my aunt made for me. It is torn and tattered, and I know I shouldn’t, but there it is, this humble quilt, on my bed every day.

    Each lady brought a dish and let me tell you, these women knew how to cook. No sandwiches! This was real food. Country cooking… comfort food.

    And the stories these ladies would tell! There were no phones so the only time they really had to get together and gossip were at these “bees.”

    And as to the book group… I would love to be in one!

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  2. sharon Segal says:

    My MJ group meets on Monday nights at 7pm. We play until 10pm. Water and fruit is served . In the summer the mj group arrives for lunch .They love coming to Long Beach ! Sometimes we play by the pool. The book group met yesterday . They arranged for the author to speak .There were over 150 men and woman.Stay well. Sharon

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  3. Preppy 101 says:

    I would absolutely love to be in a “book group”. xoxo

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