The Luckless Joy Club . . . of Kindred Spirits

Oh my! Could the following news item possibly be true? I will let the reader decide! My apologies in advance to Amy Tan, who wrote the original THE JOY LUCK CLUB in 1989 and has nothing at all to do with this story, except providing a source for the provocative title. The book was made into a movie in 1993. 

Years ago, two women literally ran into each other on the sidewalk after leaving the movie theatre featuring, THE JOY LUCK CLUB, which they had both attended alone. Simultaneously inquiring if the other is injured, they assured each other that they themselves were no worse for wear save for shame at being so careless due to certain “distractions” leaving the theater.

Both, you see, had recently been involved in relationships with men that had soured. A night at the movies, albiet alone, had offered at least a couple hours of escape. Elated at their newfound rapport, they extended the  evening commiserating in a nearby coffee shop.

How is it, they marveled over tea and crumpets, that two women come to be attending the same movie, both unescorted. They agree it is one of those incidents that Providence arranges when there’s some inexplicable cause for bringing people together. Imagine their further surprise when they learned they shared the same nickname, Joy. (It was one of the things that attracted them to the same movie.)

The way that happened, one demurely explained, was that one night, finding herself wrapped in the throes of passion with a new boyfriend, he passionately uttered at a climactic moment, “Oh Joy, Luck is me.” (He thought himself to be a purveyor of all things literary.)

To make a strange story even stranger, the second Joy related her nearly identical experience with her old flame. In both cases, as soon as the passions of a new relationship diminished the man ceased uttering “Oh Joy, Luck is with me,” and disappeared soon after.

You must admit it did look suspicious, and–while these two ladies may have been too accommodating too quickly–neither of them were dim-witted. After sharing other intimate details, one of which was disclosing a secret birthmark, the two Joys were certain they have been misled by the same fellow both had come to know as Luck.

Is it not reasonable, they wondered, that this same Luck had misled other  women as well? Over the weeks that followed, as the two women became more and more bonded in friendship, they decided it was payback time for this hapless Luck. So they placed ads in newspapers all over northern California seeking other Joys who may have experienced the same Luck as they. It was no surprise to them at all that in no time they had accumulated a dozen other names. They spread their search east, north, and southward.

At last count, the group had grown to 27. Perhaps Luck heard of the disgruntled group or, more probably, continues to seek Joy in Oregon, or maybe even Canada; he has not surfaced in California for at least five year now. As for the 27 women named Joy, they found themselves to be so comfortable with each other, they now meet every third Saturday for cocktails.

They talk of their new relationships, many of which now include spouses or domestic partners, and remind each other not to submit too quickly to the whims of fickle fellows, not to relinquish their independent selves, and–especially–not to depend so much on luck. Afterwards they sometimes dine, together, and they frequently attend concerts and movies together. Oh, in case you were wondering, they call themselves The Luckless Joy Club.

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