One time I thought it’d be fun to get all my lady friends at work to join me for a lunch. A bunch of them, actually, eight, maybe ten. Maybe a dozen, I can’t remember. They’d all been asking me out to lunch as people in offices do and as I never went to lunch with anybody I figured I could take them all out to lunch simultaneously. Get it over with. I didn’t say that, of course, but it was the idea. And it made perfect sense to me.
I explained this all to a friend. She looked at me like I was nuts. Do you have any idea what you’re doing? Going to lunch, I said. With all of us at once? I said sure, why not. How long have you been married, twenty five years? Twenty eight, I said. And in twenty eight years you haven’t learned anything? I was confused. She laughed. You’ll see. So you will come, I asked? Absolutely not, she said. But she wanted to hear all about it. That’s a lot of estrogen, she added, cryptically.
It was a catastrophe. I lost any control of events about one minute after I proposed the idea. They started fighting. The restaurant got expensive. Then more expensive. Then really expensive. You’ll need a tie, I was told. More fighting. Someone was being pushy. Another one really resented them being pushy. I’d get snippy messages, complaints. The emails began getting crazed. One of my best friends—the gorgeous, icy, brilliant blonde—backed out. She didn’t want to meet any of the others, but don’t tell them that, she said. I didn’t have to, they just assumed it. Factions developed. Some of the ladies wanted to go here. Another there. Another got so mad she just lost it and started yelling at me for what reason I do not know. Totally blew her stack, a furious Filipina explosion. I was in the eye of a female hurricane, the storm swirled all around me.
Eventually they were all mad at me for having such a stupid idea in the first place. After a couple days of this, I called the whole thing off. That only made them madder. More fights started. I hid in my corner of the office floor and avoided them all for a week or two. Never went to lunch with any of them, wouldn’t dare. Lunch was a minefield.
The lady I’d first invited laughed and laughed. I warned you, she said. Then she asked me to lunch.