Skip to main content

Lunch Date - Tuesday Morning Writings #5

They rested on the bench for a cosy chat. The three sisters had met for their monthly lunch date.  They were just having  a short walk before they parted and went their separate ways. </span></strong>

They were siblings from a larger family.  There had been five brothers too, but they were scattered all over the country.  As the three sisters still lived in the same town where they had been born and brought up, they had made it a point for years to meet up on the first Saturday of every month to have a talk together and catch up on each others' news, away from the intrusive presence of husbands.

As befitted her social status, Darlene, the middle sister, was immaculately coiffed and clad in designer chic.  She'd sipped a glass of mineral water and nibbled at a salad.  Judy, the youngest, was married to an obsessive man.  In the early years of their marriage, he had been obsessed with alcohol and had given her a terrible life.  Things had turned around, however.  He'd turned to the solace of religion and had joined a small, close knit Christian community where the only book allowed was the Bible and modern methods of entertainment like television and the cinema were forbidden.  Judy looked like an Amish woman, with her long hair in a bun and her ankle length skirt and long sleeves, even in the heat of the summer.  She'd had a bowl of chicken soup and some bread rolls for lunch followed by a black coffee.  Janet, the eldest, a widow for thirty years, who had no husband to kowtow to, was her own woman.  Simply clad in casual, comfortable clothes, she'd enjoyed the novelty of a restaurant meal, cooked by someone else.  She'd had a chicken sandwich and a salad and a large capuccino.  Maybe she'd have to do some extra exercise to get rid of the calories but so what?

As they sat in the afternoon sun, they reminisced of times long ago, when life was simple and somehow ideal.

"Remember the day we went for a picnic and Michael forgot to bring the sandwiches?  Remember how angry Mom was?  Oh, Michael really got a telling off that day!" said Darlene.  Judy laughed heartily.  Janet didn't. She remembered vividly.  Her mother, a woman hardened by life, had single handedly reared eight children and didn't suffer fools gladly.  Janet's heart had gone out to her brother that day.  He always did his best to support their mother and had got more than his fair share of verbal abuse from her for the smallest mistakes.

"Remember when Mom tried to squeeze herself into that new dress at any cost and ended up tearing it?" added Judy.  More laughter followed.  Again, Janet remained silent.  She remembered her mother, elderly and fighting a losing battle with her weight, trying so hard to squeeze her expansive body into what she thought was a beautiful dress and her deep disappointment and sense of defeat when she had ended up tearing it.  Why hadn't mom just understood that she had put on weight and purchase a bigger size?

After a bit more banter in this vein, Janet made her excuses and left.  On the bus home, she was conscious of a deep sense of anger.  Why were her sisters so shallow, so ready to belittle the misery of others and just laugh at it?  How could they trivialize a family's memories, minimizing hurt and pain so readily?

Because it was an escape, that's why.  Janet could honestly say that of the three sisters, she was the happiest and the freest.  Darlene and her  status conscious husband, and Judy with her puritan spouse.  They were the fortunate ones and she was the sad widow.    Well, Janet didn't think so.  She had an independent life.

"I'm going to skip next month's lunch date," she told herself.  "And maybe the next one.  Unlike my two sisters, I don't need to escape from anyone."

This post originally appeared on Write Away on WordPress on 23/8/2010

Popular posts from this blog


Many years ago, when I lived in Dublin, I met someone nice and started dating. I wasn't serious, I just thought we could have nice interesting discussions about India, which I found absolutely fascinating, as I was working in the Embassy of India back then. I had no intention of getting attached with a foreigner, with all the attendant cultural problems. I was happy living in Ireland and the idea of marriage couldn't have been further from my mind. We both thought we could just keep things in control. One day, after a lot of emotional turmoil and denial, it hit us both that we were in love. Truly. Madly. Irrevocably. To the point where we couldn't live without each other. I'd known about the Indian system of arranged marriages and when it occurred to me that he would probably be married off by his family as soon as he returned to India, I felt physically ill at the thought. We are both tenacious and patient people. We realised that bringing our two worlds together

The Tale of One Kitty

The cat..... Those who know me already might say that they didn't know I had a cat.  I didn't, you know! Our dog, Duggu is such a handful, I didn't think we could take on another pet. But a few months ago, a beautiful cat (whom we eventually named Puggle)  arrived. She's not really ours..... Nope! She's someone else's cat who just went on what the Aussies might call a walkabout. My younger daughter Riya found her on the roof of our house, a pretty calico (three-coloured) cat. Riya was instantly smitten. Some milk was fed to the little creature and the deal was sealed. Puggle has been a regular visitor to our house ever since. And two days after she arrived, in mid-May, she gave birth to four kittens. We'd had no idea the kitty was enceinte. So what did we do? What can you do? If a single mom landed on your doorstep and gave birth in your house, what would you do? Try to help, obviously. As the cat bore no identification and had been roaming the colony unst

A Blogging Guru

This is what a guru looks like - well something like it! Back to blogging I'm back at my blogging again. Three blogs at the moment. Not bad really, is it? My favourite blogging adventure was my original expat blog, which, unfortunately, I had to close once I was no longer able to blog anonymously. Because it was what some of our US based friends might call 'way TMI.  This is my general blog, MBB is my book blog and My East/West Life is my current attempt at blogging about life in India for an Irish wife. Then there's the experimental writing blog on Wordpress....and you know, can you believe I've been blogging for ten years now? Yes, that's right. But I've taken a looooong hiatus from blogging recently owing to the loss of a beloved family member. And I've stood back from the blogging a little. And then I came back. And amazingly, I've discovered stuff I never knew before. New discoveries I discovered that owing to Adsense ads, I've