On Monday The Ladies Who Lunch met downtown at a favorite place of mine, Mabel’s Cocina, for our March meet-up. These are the ladies with whom I worked at that inner city high school for so many years. We were an unstoppable team then, and we are still unstoppable. Pretty unflappable, too. While standing in line at Mabel’s to order our lunches, a gentleman came through the front door, right up to our group, and said “excuse me, ladies.” I stepped aside a bit but went on talking to the gals as we had just arrived and were going through our usual hugs and hellos.
“I said,’ excuse me, ladies’,” the fellow bellowed again, but with more emphasis on his command to pay attention to him.
I turned around, smiled, and said, “oh, I’m sorry if I’m in your way. Here, please go ahead of me. I have all afternoon.” Which, of course, I did as we always set aside HOURS for these lunches.
“You don’t get it, do you, lady,” he fired back. “I said, excuse me. I’m a world famous wrestler and I’m waiting for my wife to meet me for lunch.” This was said by a very small man, with a grizzled face and a cap pulled down over his greasy gray hair.
I smiled, stepped further aside, and pointed to my space in line, at which time, Susan, the proprietor of Mabel’s, comes rushing out of the kitchen and chases him away. She was profusely apologizing to us five women. We were all laughing and brushing off her apology.
“Just reminds us of high school and all those years of dealing with teenagers.”
“I figured he was one of our former students.”
“Hey, think nothing of it. We’ve certainly seen worse and been treated even worse.”
We all talked at once. Laughing. Nothing was going to shake our good mood, for you see, not only was it our monthly lunch, but we were celebrating the end of cancer treatments for one of our own. Six months of the unknown, fighting an unseen enemy. The moments with the grizzled fella were a piece of cake to all we had just gone through, awaiting news of our friend’s battle. As we had done so before, we were together in this. And now, after her last radiation treatment, we were again together to cheer for her and look forward to the future.