Sunday, February 1, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Changing tastes mark our development

MarionFranckW

By
From page A12 | April 27, 2014 |

My women’s group has been meeting every week for 37 years. For a writer, this could have meant several lifetimes of things to write about, but all our discussions are private. I can, however, tell you our food story. Every group has one.

First, a little background on the group.

We came out of the ’70s when a new feminism emerged and was nourished, in part, by small “consciousness raising” groups. Ours was sponsored by the women’s center at UC Davis and designed for local women who were professionals or intended to become professionals.

Two social workers facilitated the group for 10 weeks, after which the women decided to go independent and meet in each others’ homes. One of the social workers remained as a member until she moved away.

In 1978 I joined, 36 years ago. The pair we call the “newbies” joined 22 years ago. Our membership is stable at seven.

My first meeting was at a home in Dixon. When I walked in, I encountered a friendly group of strangers and a table full of food. I think we consumed an entire meal, which intimidated me because I don’t like to cook.

But I fell in love with the group. We talked about our struggles and our hopes, offered each other advice and sometimes took it. We cared for each other.

Not long after I joined, food traditions became more to my liking. No more meals, but the hostess would serve beverages and at the midpoint, dessert.

After about 10 years, when we had acquired most of the members we have now, we noticed that one beverage, cranberry-flavored sparkling water, had become the group favorite. Soon “red bubbly” was the only drink we served.

Another 10 years passed, and tradition changed again. We had become older (age range 35-66) and started paying attention to calories. Soon everyone was serving “white bubbly,” sparkling water without the juice.

We didn’t give up our sweets. Some members baked. Others bought treats from places like Konditorei or the Nugget. We ate out or had potlucks rarely — less than once a year — but we didn’t skimp on birthdays, which always included cake and ice cream.

Members who preferred salt over sugar would stage minor rebellions and serve popcorn or chex mix — along with the weekly dessert. Although most of us drink alcohol outside of the group, we never served it at meetings.

Meanwhile, babies were being born, children were growing up, jobs were changing, and marriages took place or fell apart. Through it all, we paused in every meeting at the midpoint to drink white bubbly and have our snack.

More years passed. Our ages range now from 55-86.

A few months ago, our food traditions changed again. One of our members developed diabetes, an illness that required her to cut down on sweets. In support of her effort, we agreed to give up our snack. There have been murmurs about adding healthy foods back in, like apples, but it hasn’t happened yet.

I’m struck that just as a marriage unites two people to create a new entity, a group of seven women have become our own little demographic with our own traditions, our own likes and dislikes.

Other groups serve wine and cheese (too expensive) or sit down for whole meals (too time-consuming) or eat at the end of their meeting (likely to disturb our sleep). Compared to the food traditions of other groups, I’d call ours “spare” but perhaps that’s because we meet every week.

Recently, we decided to go out to dinner to celebrate the 80th birthday of one of our members. It was hard to find the right place. After all these years, no one hesitates to offer her opinion.

“I can’t digest Chinese.”

“I don’t like Italian.”

“I never go out to eat, so let’s choose some place nice.”

“That place is too expensive.”

“I want a round table.”

“Would you accept rectangular?”

“We need a quiet place so we can hear.”

Negotiations begin. We know we’ll reach consensus.

In the beginning, we were young professionals looking towards careers and agreeing to raise our consciousness.

Some of us have had careers (teacher, doctor, scientist), and some of us have not. I don’t know if our consciousness was raised in the conventional, feminist sense. We care about women’s issues, but we rarely discuss feminist politics.

We talk about our struggles and our hopes, like we always did. We offer each other advice and sometimes we take it.

We talk about our lives. We engage in simple acts of living, like choosing our food.

After 37 years, we’re quirkier than we used to be, and more honest. Sometimes I miss red bubbly. Sometimes I miss dessert. Sometimes I feel sad when I realize how old we are now.

But I don’t feel sad for long. This group, which seems as accidental in its beginnings as it does in its choice of food, is one of the best and most enduring things that has happened in my life.

I toast with a glass of white bubbly.

— Marion Franck lives in Davis with her family. Reach her at [email protected]

Comments

comments

.

News

 
The end of an era for The Enterprise, as pressroom closes

By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Jewish fraternity vandalism classified a hate crime

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

 
Well-loved library has services for all ages

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Man arrested after body parts found in suitcase

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Islamists post beheading video

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
More than a foot of snow possible for Midwest, Northeast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
UCD Med Center patient tested negative for Ebola

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Kudos to the Thomsons

By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A3

 
Arboretum ‘I do’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
The story of Mark and Maria

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Summer lovin’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Stories come alive at the library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

And bingo was the game-o

By Tate Perez | From Page: A9

 
Lee will speak Wednesday about city issues

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Training starts Tuesday for Jepson Prairie Preserve tour guides

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Lecture looks at women in Egypt

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

Stepping Stones supports grieving youths

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9Comments are off for this post

 
Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Japanese students seek Davis host families

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Tuleyome Tales: Searching for the elusive McNab cypress

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

Questions and answers about breast cancer set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Davis Arts Center welcomes students’ work

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

.

Forum

 
How much drinking is too much?

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

Help a veteran feel loved

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A10

 
Three old ideas going, going, gone

By Marion Franck | From Page: A10

Ensure that you’re protected against measles

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

 
Act would let patients control their own fates

By Our View | From Page: A12

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

 
They’re experienced and honest

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

Toy drive was a big success

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

 
One-way street solves dilemma

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

Council, follow your own policies

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

 
Wi-Fi in our schools could result in health impacts

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13

Life goes on in Rutilio Grande, despite country’s gang violence

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13 | Gallery

 
.

Sports

UCD women survive against winless UCSB

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Foursome will represent Davis at national soccer tournament

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Depth charge: DHS girls defeat Elk Grove

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Blue Devil boys lose on Herd’s buzzer-beating trey

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Kings get past Pacers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sharks blank Blackhawks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
UCD roundup: Aggies make a racket but fall to Sac State, Pacific

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

And the survey says: Success for Davis Chamber

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

 
Putah Creek Winery launches ‘Give Back Tuesday’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

Doby Fleeman: Toward a more perfect Davis

By Doby Fleeman | From Page: A12

 
Ullrich Delevati, CPAs, adds senior accountant

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

Seminar will cover business challenges

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A13

 
Japanese fondue dips into Davis scene

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A13 | Gallery

Novozymes, Cargill continue bio-acrylic acid partnership as BASF exits

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, February 1, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8