Sunday Morning ~ Women and Brighter Days Coming
Timwenji ife, dzungu ndi mgonera kumodzi. ~ What can we drink, a pumpkin just keeps sleeping on one side.
March 8, 2020
I read a Native American quote somewhere saying, “Only the white man could cut the top off the blanket, sew it to the bottom, and think they have a longer blanket.” This was referring to daylight savings time. Our industrialized, clock-driven society benefits from the time change but for those who live close to the land and live by it, it must seem ridiculous. All I know is I hate going back to standard time. I hate losing that hour. It’s the same day; I don’t know why I feel less normal when we spring forward. I can travel to another time zone and not have any problem with the time change, but when it happens in my own home, it throws me off. Maybe because I like getting up early and going to bed early and when I wake on this day every year I already feel late. I feel cranky and antisocial. I’ll sink into my springtime funk while I wait for my biorhythms to get back in sync.
The annual girls gathering at my house (aka Hen Party) was Friday night. Having it the weekend of International Women’s Day feels apropos. The party started fourteen years ago as a buck-her-up kind of night after a friend’s husband left her for a younger woman (same old same old). We wanted to take her out somewhere but everything was closed so I suggested coming to my house since my husband had left me for a younger woman (the usual) a few years before and I didn’t have to get rid of a husband for the evening. (So many upsides!) We decided to serve cosmos (the cranberry juice was all the health rage at the time), chocolate (a good crisis food), and some real nourishment as, like many of us, she had stopped eating (the heartbreak diet is the ultimate weight loss program). Many of us had been through it and she was at the stage when it seemed like life was over and survival seemed impossible. I thank God for my friends who held me up and got me through that stage. My personal collapse was in the summer and it was harder to crawl into bed and hide. My friends took me drinking outside in the park where my kids wouldn’t have to watch me cry. I was just seasonally lucky that way. I wanted to give back.
The party is open and every year we have new faces but the spirit is always the same. We recognize how much we need each other. Our burdens shared are easier to carry. It’s interesting to see the demographic shift but the energy remain constant. Some who’d earlier sent regrets because of travel plans, appeared anyway after border closings threw their lives up in the air. A few canceled at the last minute when colds or flu hit, and though we feel a little safer here in Maine where isolation is more of a lifestyle than public health imposition, there wasn’t panic (yet) about the virus. We’re older and hangovers aren’t funny anymore, so moderation in the cosmos consumption is more the norm now. Which, was a good thing Friday night since the hen bringing the ingredients for the second batch got sick and couldn’t come at the last minute. Luckily I’d prepared for quarantine and had reserves.
No fresh marital crises this year, but some haven’t given up on finding another man. The risks and benefits of on-line dating was examined. There was much discussion by the fire about whether at this stage of life it’s even worth finding a good man as long as you can afford to pay a plumber. And what is a good man anyway? Hadn’t we thought we’d had one? What is it at this stage we’re looking for anyway? One woman pulled out her phone and showed us the list of eligible men on one site within a 50 mile radius. The list showed exactly zero of them. Some have persisted and found happiness with compatible partners and we reminisced about the early parties when we screamed with laughter hearing someone’s phone sex stories with some guy in Canada. We had been more curious than voyeuristic, “How exactly does that work?” It was hilarious at the time. Later, we talked politics and lamented women’s losses and the plethora of decks stacked against us. We grieved another brilliant woman kicked to the sideline. There are so many iterations of me-too. The wonderful thing was there was no sense of hopelessness, just resignation and determination. The evening was full of camaraderie, gratitude and respect. We can see progress in some areas, regression in others, but it was understood we’d still get up, dress up, and show up. That’s what we do. That’s what we will continue to do. Thank you hens in my life.
Love to all,