Rejoice with me. I sustained a deliciously exhausting visitation from three longtime friends last Saturday and lived to tell about it. Barb was the first to arrive. She and I are two of the three surviving original Hennessey Ya-Yas. The other one, Clemy, stayed home to nurse a tummy ache. There have been five of us Ya-Yas for more than 30 years, but not always the same five. Marianne is the daughter of deceased Ya-Ya Joy, and the newest fifth Ya-Ya is her friend Holly, whom we eagerly adopted. We would have broken the gang-of-five rule and adopted deceased Ya-Ya Alice’s daughter too if Lori had agreed to fly in from the West Coast on a quarterly basis to celebrate our birthdays.
This time it was Holly’s birthday we celebrated and — I’m embarrassed to admit — also one more celebration of my own.
In fact we were born on the same day, but about 30 years apart. I’ve always been the matriarch of the group, though the absent Clemy vies with me for that honor, and Barb is somewhat younger than either of us.
Age is not an issue when we’re together.
The original five Ya-Yas had always planned on incorporating a couple of Petite Ya-Yas into the mix as time moved on — not to replace any of us but to drive the car when our agenda included out-of-town trips — but that hasn’t worked out as planned.
We’re not comfortable with the speed our Petites prefer to drive, nor the one-handed steering that holding a cell phone requires.
The Petites are both pharmacists in the Norman area, so we always find time to ask our prescription-side-effects questions, but we don’t dwell on our aches and pains. Mainly we catch up on the bright side of each other’s lives while we laugh and eat and admire each other’s birthday gifts, and then we go shopping — something we didn’t have to teach the Petites how to do.
This time we breakfasted on a Plucot (a plum/apricot hybrid) cobbler and Very-Berry tea while the Petites recalled the harrowing events surrounding their close encounter with the Moore tornado and the damage in its aftermath, followed by the hilarious telling (complete with pantomime) of the removal of a tick that had infested Holly’s derriere.
Then Barb shared recollections of deceased Ya-Ya Joy’s reaction to a purchase I’d made years ago that had all of us laughing till we couldn’t breathe. The Ya-Yas do a lot of reminiscing. We’ve taught the Petites to put down their cell phones and reminisce too, and all of it’s good.
There followed the traditional mad dash for lunch and then the extensive shopping, after which we returned to the house to consume a good half of the birthday cake (a fabulous Flourless Chocolate Torte) in commemoration of two birthdays — one a Senior Ya-Ya’s and the other a Petite’s — before we parted amidst promises we’d be together again in the fall. Please, God, make it so.
MARJORIE ANDERSON is an Edmond resident.