It was sure cheerful — we embraced in the parking lot. It was free, for Jayne and me, because Gretchen picked up the tab. We ate ate at newish Italian joint in Winfield where the food was good, the service terrific, and no one seemed impatient to dislodge us from our seats. I think that’s because they were eavesdropping.
A Girlfriends Lunch, with real true friends, is something I don’t know that men experience. Guys, even with their oldest buddies, I imagine aren’t as ready to share as much personal stuff on the micro level as women are — there’s always some alpha dog theme happening. (Gentlemen: Please correct me if i’m wrong.) I meet my friend Kat Butler at least once a year for lunch — her daughter Mary Claire and my Honor went to preschool together. Holy shit, we’ve known each other and loved each other for thirty years. We don’t paddle around in the kiddie pool of our lives when we get together, we dive into the deep end .
And so was it today. Let me introduce you to two women you would love to lunch with. I met them when I was working at the giant payroll company Paychex. (PAYX) It was the job for me that was FAIL: not because many of my clients didn’t love me (including WBEZ, the awesome Chicago Public Radio station) but because I don’t have the kind of brain that can care about the SUI laws for fifty states. Gretchen sensed this, but she was a great, great boss. She found a couple of things I was good at,like writing and training, and made sure I had a chance to prove myself. A terrific mentor, a woman with a mind like a steel trap, and an incredibly generous friend. She also has a complexion that I can reliably compare to a ripe peach.
And then there’s the divine Jayne Waite. She was a model in her youth, and is still one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met.
She was once married to an actor and raised her two daughters in LA — and she can dish about Sharon Stone. But she doesn’t. She’s returned to her Naperville roots, remarried a Midwestern guy, raised two cool daughters and — if I may pull out a tired cliche — is even more beautiful on the inside than she is on the outside. And yes, she loves to fish.
I’m so honored to have lunch with these three women. And Gretchen, Jayne and I have set up a First Thursday lunch date. I’m gonna nag and make it happen.