August 10, 2008

in praise of les femmes

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 11:20 pm by marinagrey

note: this post was written in June of 2008, one month before my move to Chicago and in the midst of the release of Sex and the City and the end (and aftermath) of Hillary Clinton’s run for the presidency. -MG

For whatever reason- maybe because I’m moving into womanhood, or maybe because I’m just moving, again, I’ve become acutely aware of the women in my life. Its not that I was ever without a strong female presence, just that for the past few months I’ve really noticed how vital female companionship and love is. One theory is that with the strong presence of women in the media these past few weeks, I cannot help but think of those present in my own life. Indeed, between Carrie Bradshaw and Hillary Clinton, how could I help but reflect?

I am twenty-three. I am recently out of a long-term relationship. I am leaving my first “real” job and returning to school. I am moving to a big city with a girlfriend, and it seems like lately, everyone is either getting engaged, getting pregnant, or getting a life of their very own. So there are many reasons why I’ve noticed the women in my life; the important part is what, exactly, I have noticed.

It began with the breakup. After the end, I called two girlfriends and talked with a third, my housemate. The girls were available immediately, telling me just what I needed to hear and making plans to keep me occupied for the next few days. They sent cards, took me out to dinner, offered a glass of wine. They knew, instinctively, what I needed. I didn’t have to ask; I simply informed them of what had happened and they were there.

That female bonding came into play at a bridal shower I attended (actually, I helped throw it) this past weekend. My family is close with the groom and his parents, not the bride. Yet my mother and the other (female) neighbors spent an entire Saturday ensuring that this young woman had a proper shower. She had food, and family, and beautiful decorations. She even had cake and a goofy tiara to wear. Why? Why did a group of women decide to do this?

That’s the thing about women. We don’t decide to do the things we do. We simply act. Men and women both joke about how much thought females put into things, but the truth is that when it comes to acting on instinct, we can make snap decisions alongside the most primal of men. Women are nurturers. We do not think about consoling a friend through the end of a relationship; it simply must be done. We do not ponder whether we know a fiancée well enough to buy her kitchen appliances; we simply check out the registry.

Perhaps that’s why, as my move-in date draws near, I am increasingly grateful for the women in my life. I know, deep down, that Chicago is not the last city I will live in. After 5 moves in as many years, this is something I sense and know to be true. And I believe also that I will take many missteps and learn some tough lessons in the future, as I have in the past. Most importantly, I know that the women who lived with me, taught me, listened to me, and helped to cushion my falls are also the women who will support me, laugh with me, and be by my side, through our quarterlife and well beyond.

Many thanks, and cheers, to the gals!

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