And the YaYas gather to Break Fast for Yom Kippur last week. The YaYas, as you know, are about the best girls on planet earth. We always have each other’s backs; especially when we fall down drunk. YaYas are of varied faiths. Some Catholic, some Lutheran, one or two I’m not sure what and Bean is our beloved Jewish girl. Bean never saw a party she didn’t like and the ones she hosts are always of the best variety. The YaYas are basically Bean’s happy goyim so are included in her special holiday.
This night we may be outnumbered but as we spy the food, it matters not. Bean’s Best Guy has prepared his famous egg salad and the first bite explains why she married him. One nosh makes this gentile envious. The food is a work of art and it’s surroundings are magnificent. The tables, the yard–all is perfect, as is the case whenever Bean entertains.
We come bearing gifts–after all we are Christians and it’s a religious holiday, and well, it’s Bean. Bean has an appreciation for gifts like no other so we shlep something she might like. The goyim, being YaYas and all, hits the bar first. Generally, we’re not so hungry before wine and what would a high holy day be without wine. When whistles are wetted, we indulge in the feast. Research tells me it’s supposed to a light breaking of the fast. Not for this girl. By the time I have a little of this and a little of that, my plate is overflowing. And I haven’t been fasting for twenty four hours. I might have needed to belly up to the buffet had I actually been observant. Pfft.
Although still hovering in the three digits here on the surface of the sun, we take our seats outside. Etiquette tip girlfriends: the closer you are to the hostess, the worse your seat should be. Always let her more honored guests be the most comfortable. Take the crappy seats–she’ll pay you back later. Goddess Trish, for example, spent every year at Thanksgiving sharing a festooned card table with The Norwegian, The Other Norwegian and myself since, even when you’re rolling in dough, there really are only so many tables that will fit in a house.
We sit outside and commence sweating our girly bits off. The social friend at my right advises, “Dolly, put your cloth napkin under your butt. It’ll keep you from sweatin’ all the way through.” You can’t buy this kind of advice. And damn if the girl is not right. I stand, spread my cloth napkin and plunk my largesse down. You lose, Swamp Ass.
I am openly admiring Bean’s beautiful home and yard and feel the pinch of nostalgia for the one shared with The Norwegian. At that very moment, in walks the woman who now occupies that very abode. She is charming, lovely, nice–but she lives in my house. She has painted, ripped out bushes, redone the pool, decorated and filled it with her family memorabilia. The stamp of my family no longer lives there. She is nothing but kind and when I feel the urge to punch her I think perhaps I’ve had enough wine. Verklempt is not my best look. Good thing. More than one YaYa will need a ride home.
Instead, I counsel myself. Hold your head high. Bite your tongue. Join the crowd. Drink your Diet Coke. Trying to keep my stomach flat, or fool myself that I have that ability, I am abstaining from carbonated beverages. The bubbles soothe my wounded feelings as does the peach and apple cobbler, the chocolate chip cookies, a couple of strawberries and some chocolate covered raisins. And my ass laughs aloud yet again.
It is as the crowd dwindles and we move to another room to watch ASU somehow squiggle victory from Wisconsin with a bizarre last second play, that I encounter Snickers. I take a deep breath and sigh with relief. Snickers is Bean’s beloved cat. There are people who know all will be well when they enter a party, become overwhelmed and then discover the family pet. If that pet is a cat, my fear dissipates. I know for certain I have a friend for the evening. And if fish is on the menu, I know there is someone to give it to.
Snickers is, as a cat should be, vastly overweight, her skin stretched to capacity. Her affections are afforded to only a few and I am amongst the chosen. Are we sure this isn’t a Catholic holiday? She sprawls next to me rubbing her face into my hand. Her ears, her eyes–all deserve scratching and I oblige thanking the many Gods above that, at last, I have found my special friend at the party.
Cat people are different. Dog lovers are pretty straightforward. You love that dopey animal that idolizes you, bounds to the front door at your arrival and sails wine glasses across the room with its wagging tail. Cat lovers resemble their feline’s behavior more closely. We will get up and leave the room if we find you annoying. We eat many times throughout the day, whenever the mood hits and very often need a nap shortly after. We don’t care for our paws being dirty and will take care of that business right away. Don’t ever lick my face. Just don’t. Ever. If I like you; you may or may not be sure. If I don’t, get the fuck away. Now. Do I need to scratch you?
Piss me off and I will hiss at you. Ruffle with my hair and I will claw your eyes out. Tell me I’m beautiful and I will purr. Tell me I’m the most beautiful the world over and I may purr so hard snot runs out my nose. Want to lay on the couch and watch an old movie? You are the purrfect date. In sweat pants? Wanna get married? Allow me to finish primping myself or you will pay the consequences with my haughty attitude all night. It may take me days to forgive your neglect. I simply will not eat what I do not like. And if I hate someone, you better hate them too or we can’t be friends.
Connection between owners and their felines is deep, intense and incomprehensible to a dog lover. Not knockin’ dogs. It’s just that cats don’t smell like the back yard and they’re easy to pull onto your lap when you have a broken heart and a tub of ice cream. Dog lovers simply wouldn’t understand. The next day, when I tell Bean how amazeballs her party was and ask if I can blog about Snickers, she squeals, “Oh my God, she’ll be so excited when I tell her!”
In the words of Bravo Andy, the Mazel of the Week goes to Snickers. Thanks for the save Doll. You’re a mentsch.