A few of my neighbor lady friends and I have been kicking around the idea of taking a “girl’s” weekend somewhere, anywhere away from home. When I say “girl’s” I am not referring to actual girls, we are all well past all the points where we might question if we had hit full womanhood status. We’ve been discussing the possibility on and off for nearly a year. The men say it is never going to happen, that we will never agree on a weekend or a destination. It is a bizarre six-sided conversation (give or take, depends on who is in at any given time) with issues of expense, duration, distance, and itinerary to consider. New York is too expensive, New Orleans too wild, the desert is blah, the beach might be ok, but no one can agree on which beach. Chicago seems likely, but then someone has to go make dinner and the discussion is tabled. A paranoid person could believe that there are saboteurs in the mix, deliberately shooting down ideas just to keep the whole prospect safely out in limbo. A trip that is never scheduled never triggers guilt, or leaves the children in inept paternal hands, or evens out the one-up in mom’s favor for dad’s weekend or weekends off. I consider myself extremely flexible, and harbor no guilt, concerns about my children’s well-being with their dad, or worry about the one-up. The only thing that is a no-go for me is when the men get frustrated and decide to be “helpful” and want to plan the whole thing for us. “Think about it,” they say. “We can take the worry out of the cost and take the blame if you don’t have fun. You won’t have to do all the research or talk about it. You just pack and go!” Damnit, no. I am a grown woman, and I will plan my own vacation. I might have to go by myself, but the idea of the husbands in the ‘hood sitting around congratulating themselves on planning their idea of a perfect ladies weekend for their indecisive women makes me gag a little bit. There is a danger that all the other wives might decide that this is a good idea, but I consider it a small one. We aren’t going anywhere.
“Chick trips” are common among my circle of friends. Usually annual events, they range from a girls-only camp-out at an area state park to a spring tour of beaches around the world. In my experience, the secret to planning these things is to keep it simple. Consider the basics:
How long can you stand each other? If it only takes a day or two before you get on each other’s nerves, you’re talking overnight trip not a week in the Bahamas.
What’s the point? Looking for relaxation? Try a spa. Adventure? Canoe trip. Retail therapy? Metropolis with good shopping opportunities.
Show me the money. Pick a trip everyone can comfortably afford. If it’s a hardship, you won’t enjoy yourself.
Let it go! Everyone has responsibilities at home, at work, in their community. But you also deserve a break once in awhile. Be willing to take one.
Work it out, ladies! It can be done. And for God’s sake, don’t let your husbands plan your trip for you. Unless they’re suggesting you go someplace absolutely fantastic and they’re offering to foot the bill. And if that’s the case, you should invite me to come along.
I admit it. I’ve always had a secret desire to be a supermodel. Well, come on – who doesn’t? They get to travel all over the world and make scads of money to stand around and look bored while wearing fantastic clothes. And then when they’re not working, they pal around with rock stars and actors and go on talk shows to let us ordinary women know that the reason they look that way is due to good genes and they really can eat whatever they want and hate to exercise. If that’s not a charmed life, I don’t know what is.
Yesterday the women of “So then SHE said…” had our first photo shoot. And it was hard. We found some great locations and while our “vision” for the end result was spot on, the execution was a little tougher than expected. To smile or not to smile? (You look a little evil. OK, now too sad. Are you pissed? You look pissed.) What do I do with my hands? (Well, not THAT because now it looks like it’s growing out of your chin.) Standing? Sitting? (God, am I really that much shorter than you?) The lighting’s all wrong. (I agree. You can actually SEE us.) But on the upside, we got through it and even ended up with some pictures that while they may not grace the cover of “Cosmopolitan”, can be posted on our blog without causing us too much embarassment. After all, we think it’s important that you know who really writes this stuff…
One of my favorite characters from “The Incredibles” (yes, I know it’s a kids’ movie and I don’t CARE – it’s funny), Edna, has a great line about supermodels: “Nothing super about them… spoiled, stupid little stick figures with poofy lips who think only about themselves.” With respect to Edna, I now have to disagree. We’re not spoiled (we hauled our own equipment), don’t have poofy lips (Angelina Jolie has poofy lips and we don’t look like her) and don’t think just about ourselves (we even changed some locations to avoid bothering others with our supreme coolness). So what say you, modeling compadre? Next shoot in the Bahamas?
Even if people wanted to look at us, we’d never make it in the modeling world because of how truly painful the act of being photographed was. I don’t understand how so many people can be relaxed and happy in front of a camera. I don’t know why I personally CAN’T be. (Try to look natural. No, not like that. Try looking up. No, that doesn’t help. Really, can’t you just look natural?) Models enjoy the camera’s attention and seeing images of themselves. We are self-conscious but would much rather get attention for our message or literary delivery, or other creative expression. That being said, I can’t keep using a photo of my cat as my image. A cat avatar says something about me–maybe something true, but not the message I want to send to the world.
I love Edna Mole. I quote her frequently.
We are super (in our own special way,) we are models (in the sense that there are pictures of us available for use in media.) Let’s leave it at that. Except that I want to share one shot of us that we captured as we explored the webcam possibility that I think really captured the essence of our striving...
I have to warn you, friend: 45 is turning out to be kind of a tricky age. I didn’t think it would be when I hit it a couple of weeks ago, but it is. When it’s your turn the end of this month, beware of people who feel the need to constantly remind you that you’re only “five years away from 50”. Oh, the horror of it all! That only leads me to wonder what’s supposed to happen when I turn 50? I envision it to be something fantastic like I win the lottery, move to Europe, become a world-famous author and discover that you really can lose 50 pounds on the Chocolate-and-Wine diet. So if it turns out to be something less than that, I may be disappointed.
Forty-five? Hah! I laugh at forty-five. And fifty. Generally speaking, aging is better than the alternative, right? I have a friend who just turned fifty this week, and as I told her, she makes fifty look like the new thirty-five. I could just admire her beauty and energy but there is a bit of aggravation that she sets the bar so darn high. My thirties were WAY better than I expected, and the forties started out rough but my youngest graduated middle school this week ending five years of hell (counting both boys’ time there,) and I am really looking forward to the next stage. I don’t know about you, but I’m smarter, more confident, further on my writing, and less apt to take crap than I was five years ago. I might be a bit more delicate in the joints and digestion and daily grow closer to death, but before we completely fall apart I like to think there might be grand adventure and published books with our names on them in our futures. The Chocolate-and-Wine Diet? I’m already on that, I didn’t know it had a name.
Oh, you won’t see it called that on an infomercial but that’s what the clerk at the Quik Shop says it is. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any documentation on how much of which you should have when so you have to figure out the portion sizes on your own. I’m up for adventure if you are – I’ve got both annual leave and gas money to burn.