Clayton is considered the unofficial "den mother" of the group, as she frequently looks out for her friends even at the expense of dealing with her own problems, which are plentiful throughout the series run. Joan, originally from Fresno, met Toni when they were children, met Lynn in college. Maya is her assistant at the law firm. She has always had problems with relationships and gave up her law career to pursue her dreams. She and Toni clash several times throughout the series, resulting in ending and reconciling their friendship. Major incidents involved Joan inadvertently revealing Toni's cheating to Greg, and Joan's jealousy of Toni's marriage to Todd, but their friendship officially ends by the end of Season 6 when Joan fails to appear for Toni's custody hearing. For much of Season 7, Joan mourned the loss of her friendship with Toni, eventually opting to resent and belittle her in front of the group. At the end of Season 7, she became engaged to Aaron Waters, whom she met while rehabilitating homes in New Orleans damaged by Hurricane Katrina; she moved into his home while Aaron was deployed to Iraq and rented her house to Lynn.