I just returned from a trip to Napa Valley with a group of women friends and I am spending this week in the company of my daughter, my mother and several other precious ladies. I’ve been thinking about our most consistent narratives, and trying to boil them down to a list.
We womenfolk talk about many, many things. But there are some we discuss in more depth when men are not among us. In no particular order, here are a few from my experience. A toast to all our toasts, ladies.
2. Sex. This is different from No. 1. Contrary to pop psychology, men, we occasionally separate the whole you from that, you know, part of you. Many of us are not into men at all. And sometimes the only person we’re having sex with is ourself. At the end of many days, our lady friends are the only ones who truly know what we mean regarding sex, or love, when they meet, and when they don’t.
2. Kids. We talk about their poop, their eating habits, the way they will complain for 20 minutes about 10 minutes of homework, the way they fight us on taking baths and wearing bras, the bullies at their schools, and all the colleges / job offers / life opportunities they accept or reject. We love them madly even when they are bat crazy, regardless of whether they are genetically ours or “ours” by nurture. God help the teacher, boyfriend, best friend who is mean to our child. If I am mean to my child, the only person who can truly soothe me is my own mother.
3. Mothers. In one way or another, we are all mothers and we are all daughters. And no relationship is deeper and yet simpler than mother-daughter. Every little thing about us is a replication of or a reaction to every little thing about her. We talk about these things. We understand some of them and we reject the rest.
4. What’s next. We talk about the future. Women plan most of the stuff, whether it’s dinner, Saturday night, graduate school or retirement. Some women – I am one of them – prefer to delegate “what’s next”. But in essence, we’re still the planners.
5. Y’all. All y’all. Sometimes we talk about other people’s lives because we don’t want to talk about our own, and sometimes we talk about other people because we care about them. We all do both, and we all can hear the difference. Such is life.