I’ve belonged to a women’s group since 1990. The whole thing started out as a sort of feminist discussion forum but that got old–for some of us–pretty quickly. The real feminists (as opposed to those of us who just liked getting together now and then to chat and eat) formed a splinter group, which quickly went out of business. The fake feminists have been meeting once a month ever since.
This is how it works. Someone hosts and someone (else) presents on a topic of her choosing. The food is–as always–a serious concern. There are some really great cooks in the group.
Over the years we’ve had some pretty interesting meetings. We learned how to do that Japanese flower arranging thing with sticks. We had a knitting bee. We discussed the OJ Simpson trial and the evidence botch in the Amanda Knox case. We learned how to make sushi and had a demonstration of molecular gastronomy. We also learned from our resident biologist how sex reassignment surgery works and it ain’t pretty. We’ve shared photos of ourselves when we were teenagers and opened up about our greatest wardrobe disasters. We’ve had authors, artists and chefs as guest speakers. Elizabeth Gilbert stopped by during the ‘Eat’ portion of her ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ tour and read excerpts from her one of her books.
As Friend Susan said in an email this morning, “Honestly, without the monthly fix of the women’s club, how could one keep up with world events and current scandals, Roman happenings, good books, tips on food, insights into health issues, what’s what and who’s who in the sit-com world, and more?” Indeed.
There are 12 of us in the group. People have come and gone (and sometimes come back) over the years but most of the members have been with the group for at least a decade. It’s not the kind of thing you walk away from willingly. We’ve been through illnesses, births and deaths together. We’ve shared recipes and hairstylists and skin care tips. We’ve grown up (or at least middle-aged) together.
The meeting was at my house last night. I made enough food for 20 women’s groups. Friend Elizabeth came and gave a presentation about diet and nutrition while feeding us cookies that were probably about 3 000 calories each. We giggled and gossiped and ate. Today, I’m just really grateful to know these women and to be lucky enough to be part of a group that has given me so much support and friendship over the years.