Sunday, November 2, 2008
The Company of Women
Tile Mural "The Casino" 1928, Catalina Island
I read the other day that a UK magazine recently canvassed its readers for words and phrases which women use (and which men would be unlikely to use). They included: pilates, body image, book club, empowerment, emotional intelligence, kitten heels, and pomegranate.
I went through the list carefully. I have to say I believe that I have used each of these words myself lately with the exception of kitten heels. Though I did note the reference in something I was reading.
I love my husband. I also like him; I find him quirky, funny, and interesting. We share many passions (beyond our endlessly absorbing children) including sailing, hiking, birding, reading (maybe minus poetry on his side), and music (minus Wagner on mine).
Before we left for this year away, the most common question women asked me was “are you nervous about spending so much time together?” At first I was surprised. It seemed like our lives were so busy, especially before we left, that we didn’t get enough time together.
We have been gone for 6 weeks now. And here’s the thing. I’m not tired of his company. Sometimes I need to be alone and so I just take a day off, go wandering, or painting, stop in a café and scrawl in my journal for awhile.
But last week I spent an entire morning lost in blogs, reading about the joys of Clairol Cream hair dye, a great thrift shop coup (which included a pair of plaid mules with kitten heels) and the anguish of failing to conceive after the last of many IVF attempts. As I sat at the computer, tears streaming down my face, I realized what I was missing—the company of women.
While in San Diego I have the temporary but perfect yoga class. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m short on women, but I feel like I could be the best friend of anyone in the class. We could go out for coffee, talk about jobs and children; then we would discuss books and the last great movie we saw, and maybe, eventually share some secrets. But of course the women in yoga have their own lives and mostly they rush off after class to their busy days.
Which leaves me to blogs. I always seem to come late to technology, being preoccupied with pre-industrial crafts. So if you know this already, read ahead. But blogs are amazing. I first started reading one regularly, the wonderful materfamilias writes. What entranced me was how the medium conveys the rich texture of ordinary life. Not that Materfamilias is ordinary—I can unequivocally state that as she is the only blogger I follow whom I actually know. Through her blog I have found a community of stylish, clever, worldly, anxious, ardent women. And, conversely, I feel the presence of my own community of women (because, let’s face it, it looks like “blog” is one of those words women are more likely to use than men) when I think of them reading my own posts.
Blogs I follow:
La Belette Rouge