Lady Doctah K and Doctor Mister Lady Doctah K throw a lovely holiday party every year. It is elegant and pretty, warm and inviting. There are beautiful flower arrangements, delicious food, lovely wines and a well stocked bar. And. And there is always a gaggle of loud rowdy women from book club who storm in lookin’ all fancy with bemused partners in tow, get their hands on a cocktail within seconds and start to surf the waves of shrieks and cackles that crash through the house for the duration of the fest. I describe this as if I am nothing more than a detached observer to the phenomenon, a curious sociologist scribbling notes, when truth be told I may actually, kind of, sort of be in the midst of the ruckus. This year Doctor Dash was on-call and Lady Shutterbug was also stag, which I think upped the ante a little bit. Without the calming influences of our well behaved hubbies, we went in fast and hard on the gin and tonics and ended up staying until two a.m. Although this hardly explains Lady Homeslice’s behavior, as Mister Lady Homeslice was in da house and she still managed to titillate a group of innocent fireside sitters with her silver panted gyrations. Twice! Oh, it was beautiful. By the end of the night my bookish sisters were screaming and dancing to Tom Petty, getting their sequins all tangled up and laughing. Laughing and laughing.
I can’t even figure out why we laugh so much. Half the time no one has even said anything and there we are, eyes locked on one another, horse faces in full neigh (OK, maybe that’s just me), the hysterics bubbling forth like a shaken bottle of champagne. There’s a piece of it that’s purely and joyfully auditory. Every one in the book club has an uh, umm, uhhh, robust laugh. So if one person starts, it’s hard not to follow. This month we’re reading Foxfire by Joyce Carol Oates who describes Goldie, one of the members of the girl gang, as follows: “(she was) famous for her hyena laugh which had the unnerving power to draw your laughter with it whether it was your wish to laugh or not or whether there was logic to such laughter or not . . . ” So there’s a bit of that, except everyone’s a Goddamn Goldie, so you can imagine. Also, I think that because month after month we delve into all sorts of difficult issues through our books, the emotional barriers between us are gauzy, stretched almost to the point of transparency. When you talk about books, you’re really talking about yourself a lot of the time. I feel like I’m always right there at the surface with these guys, hence the hair trigger tipping into laughter. And finally, but most simply, there’s the obvious fact that being as smart as they are, these ladies are funny – plain and simple. They just say and do funny things. They crack my ass up. Alas, Lady Doctah Poodle and Lady Peace had left by the time Lady Shutterbug unearthed her camera and some of the other ladies were MIA, but, hey, there’s always next year (or next month).
In the post mortem flurry of emails, Lady Tabouli wrote something to the effect of: Did you ever think you’d meet women who would make you laugh like this in your late thirties and forties? The answer for me is a resounding no. I never thought I would. But I have. And I thank my lucky stars for the giggly gift of them.