Joyce OreYears later, it's coffee time again


There was a time nearly half a century ago when I met with friends several times a week in the cozy atmosphere of a kitchen to discuss the trials and tribulations of life — actually, everybody’s life.

With coffee in hand, women received an education unlike any taught in a classroom. It was around the kitchen tables of America that the wife and mother shared the secrets of white diapers, the latest tummy exercises and whose husband’s car was parked in Norma Jean’s block the preceding Tuesday afternoon.

Despite countless interruptions from preschoolers hitting each other under the table, in the bedroom swallowing Weebles or in the bathroom conducting toilet-flushing contests, these intimate conversations, especially those with a subject matter similar to the latter topics, were far more stimulating that any prime-time soap opera of that era.

Then, instead of gathering for an intimate coffee, a group of women met around a fire for a bra-burning event and life changed. That event combined with changing living standards resulted in most women transplanting their coffee mugs from snug kitchens to a sterile business environment void of coziness as well as squabbling youngsters. It was the era of the superwoman who had a different agenda than pure white diapers and the latest coffeecake recipe.

I, for one, missed those old coffee klatch sessions and the companionship it offered, but life goes on and often comes around. And with it comes retirement. Once more, I find myself with coffee cup in hand, sitting around a cozy table with friends, discussing the day-to-day intricacies of life.

Some topics are similar in nature to those we discussed during those earlier times; kids, hair, diapers may still come up but in a totally different context and not nearly as enticing. Subject matter more likely revolves around gas prices, medication, government taxes and hair loss.

The companionship is as strong as ever, but I still do wonder about that car that was seen at Norma Jean’s decades ago.



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