Women get a bad rap.
Women in groups, I mean.
The rumor is we can't get along, we're competitive, backstabbing, backbiting, writing on the bathroom walls bitter, and don't forget, jealous. The term bitch fight is not about men. In fairness, and in my experience, it is sometimes true. Particularly with the younger set.
We are not the younger set anymore.
There are many (many, many) things that suck about getting older. Realizing my bloat was just fat suspended in water that quickly descended down around my knees was not a fun day. And when did my ass trade places with my gut? And who does my esthetician think she is anyway, asking me when I planned to do something about my moustache? This is the definite downside.
The upside is learning what I value.
I've learned I value the sisterhood.
At our age, in the war between women, we are united on the battlefield by our losses, and we're not leaving anyone behind.
We've loved and lost. Hated and lost. Fought and lost.
We've lost husbands, children, parents, siblings and friends.
We've lost jobs, muscle tone, teeth and our eyesight.
We have husbands we love and ex-husbands we don't.
We know what heartache is.
We aren't perfect and we're tired of pretending we are. Our families and marriages aren't always rosy. Our kids have substance abuse problems, disabilities, can't find jobs, or sometimes they're just assholes.
We still love them all and press on.
Then we get together in groups to drink and bitch about them behind their backs. So what? We've earned it.
We've cared for sick husbands, handicapped children, aging parents, co-workers on the verge. We've adopted children in need, taken step-children into our hearts. We've saved lives on the side of the road, raised families on a wing and a prayer, figured out how to buy $500 worth of groceries when we only have $150. We've worked full time and gone to school at night, written novels at 5 am because we had to get to work by 9. We've run when we barely felt like walking.
But, the best thing is, we've figured out there isn't much that happens in life that isn't funny. And there's no better balm for the soul than gathering your sistas in a herd and laughing so hard your ribs hurt for days.
Let's face it, if you can't laugh about the time you broke down in tears because your cataract exam was postponed, you need to re-evaluate.
There are many (many, many) things I'm grateful for in this life. My husband, my children, my grandchildren, my writing career. But today, I'm grateful I've been smart enough, and lucky enough, to hook up with some badass women who inspire me. If you can bring it, they can take it. If they're called on, they'll come, bearing gifts, booze and warm clothing for the homeless, or whatever else you might need.
'Cause that's just the kind of gals they are.
So, if you take away just one thing from this post, I hope it's this:
Women in groups rock.
If you need to get shit done, send a group of women. Preferably those who've been around the block, who wear their stretch marks and cellulite with pride and know what weapons to bring.