Women talk. We talk a lot. Sometimes when I’m around a lot of women, even I get overwhelmed from all the talking. I remember when I went to Hawaii for a week with 17 women, I got so sick of all the talk one night I went to bed early. I just had to have a break. But, it’s the way we communicate. You can see it in little girls. They learn early on that talking is the way to relationship. Women are driven by relationship, and talking is the primary means by which we relate, especially to other women.
I just spent an entire weekend with two very good friends. The premise was that we were running a half marathon in Nashville. But, essentially, it was a girls’ weekend and time to talk. I’ve known Jill for 16-17 years. We met working at Whirlpool. We’ve never actually lived in the same city. We were members of a team that traveled to field branches, and we often were together at meetings and at work functions. The true gift of that was it sped up our bonding process. We would be in a strange town with only each other for company. So, we hung out together. In addition, there were no boyfriends (neither of us were married) or other friends or other life responsibilities to keep us distracted. We just spent a lot of focused time together. I’ve known Shelly for only about 5 years, but we just recently became friends through our running. We are really just starting to get to know each other as women. We also met at work.
It’s interesting how connection happens for me with women. I usually experience an initial “small talk” time where we sort of catch up on what’s going on, how they feel physically, or any variety of things that on the surface are happening in their lives. Sometimes we may stay at this level, and that’s okay. Some women can’t move past it out of their own fear or because they are just not in a place to get vulnerable. We can usually sense that from each other, and it’s not a problem.
“So, what did you buy at the expo?” …….”I bought two bras. I loved the ones I bought last year, so I bought some more. And, of course, I bought more headbands, haha…you know, if you buy three, you have to buy four to get that free one.!”
“So, how are your kids?”
“How’s work? Are you working less these days?”
Most of the time, because women are so moved by talking, we start to talk about deeper things, funny things, sad things and all the other things that bring up feelings. We are so emotional, and talking is the vehicle that we use to access our feelings.
“Do you still have your cats?”…..”I had to put my cat down last year. It was really hard. Brian was out of town, and I had the kids. It was really hard making that decision. I just never knew if I was doing the right thing. It’s hard to know.”…..”Yeah, I had to put my dog down a couple of years ago, and it was so much harder than I thought it would be. He was my dog before I got married, so it was the last of my stuff. It was really hard for me. I didn’t expect it.”
“So, are you still really hot for your husband after all these years?”…..”Yes, I mean I have to let go all of all the life stuff that’s going on, but, when it’s just me and him, and I can get in that place, he really does it for me. (giggle)”
“I feel like I’ve lost myself. I’m trying to get back to who I want to be. I just don’t know who that is.”
“I never thought I was attractive. This is the first time in my life that I’ve ever let myself feel this way, and it’s so much fun!”
“I remember realizing one time when I was pregnant that I was crazy. I just was really cognizant for a moment that I felt insane.”
The talk goes on and on. It gets really deep and tense and emotional, and then we laugh and lighten up to ease the tension somewhat. It often feels like a roller coaster to me or like music the way it swings so high and low and fast and slow. It’s spiritually connecting, and it can be intensely bonding. I have had women friends whom I’ve barely known tell me things that they’ve never told anyone else on the planet. When it feels right, we say it. And, we don’t apologize. If this happens with a man, it usually gets really awkward for a minute, and they will use humor or minimizing to erase the tension. Women don’t really do that. Some do, but most are more comfortable with emotions.
And, the laughter is the most fun. OMG…We laugh until we cry. My face hurts after a weekend like this one because of how much we laugh. Everything is funny, and we tell stories and make fun of everything that happens. We tell story after story of when we were together the last time, what happened with old boyfriends, what happened with their kids, and so on and so on. I usually cry at least once, too. I know I cried this weekend when I was reading my blog “The Gift” to my friend Jill. If she was a man, she would’ve run for Kleenex or apologized for making me upset. Not women….we just witness each other’s tears. They are so normal, and sometimes we cry with them. That’s the best!
We went out Saturday night, and I felt so sexy and fun. It had nothing to do with my outfit or the men I met. It had everything to do with my time with my girlfriends. There were several bachelorette parties out this weekend, and we talked about how young they were. Were we ever that young? They have no idea what they are about to do. They can’t know. It dawned on me that I didn’t “get” it at that age, this connection with women. I remember thinking that alcohol could make me feel sexy and fun. Then, I thought that finding the right man would make me feel that way. What I’ve learned is that it’s not something that can come from the opposite sex no matter how kind they are. Those feelings come from the inside. They come from tapping into my feminine energy and becoming a woman that is sexy and fun. My connections with women build that in me. Those connections help protect me from the men and the substances that take away from my power. I’ve often heard that “men become men in the company of men.” It’s the same for women. We become women in the company of and in connection with other women. It’s important. It’s life giving.
I drove home from Nashville with a huge smile on my face. I wasn’t thinking about the dancing the night before or the great boots I bought or the race I ran, although all of that was fun. I was thinking of the words we shared, of the bonds we forged on this weekend. The three of us…so different in so many ways… but so much alike in our words, our lyrics, the music we make in life…I can’t wait ’til next year. There will be so much to share through the lyrics that we sing.