Partying in the Hen House

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The last week has been girl party after girl party. It was my birthday on Wednesday so—as always—I spent a lot of time with friends. I love going out with my women friends; they’re smart and funny and generous and, when necessary, catty. And they’re always on my side.

They celebrate with me when things are going well, commiserate when they’re not. They listen when I whine about work—again—and listen just as well when I do an about-turn and tell them how much I love my job.

There’s something incredibly satisfying about knowing that if I’m bitching about work or my partner or a store clerk or my computer or vacuum cleaner, they’ll back me up. They’ll never poo-poo my annoyances, never tell me they’re trivial or that I’m pathetic for feeling that way.

What they will do, the thing that women do so well, is that they’ll tell me stories about how the same thing happened to them. It’s just one of the many, many ways we confirm our sisterhood.

That sisterhood, that connection that women make so easily and quickly, is one of the reasons we make it through the hard times, the sad times, the good and bad times, the I’m-so-busy-I-don’t-have-time-to-pee times.

And then there’s the practicality of women…

It’s no wonder that they’re the ones who think to help clean the house after the baby’s born, rearrange the closets when their friends move, help them pack and unpack, help them organize showers and weddings and funerals. They’ll bring groceries or homemade soup or a bottle wine. They’ll phone every day just to make sure you’re okay. They don’t just say poor you, they DO something.

But more than all of that, they pay attention. They don’t just hear what you’re saying, they hear what you’re not saying, the thing you can’t say because you can barely acknowledge it to yourself.

Women are amazing. Completely, utterly, and often astonishingly amazing.

Thank you, all of you, those of you I’ve known for years, those of you at met at the grocery store last week, those of you I know in person or only online.

I couldn’t make it without you.

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