14 February, 2015

galentines day

a few days ago, m asked me if i would be her galentines date on friday as she had been invited to do a talk at a local independent bookstore. i gladly agreed since it had been a while since we'd seen each other, and suggested a fantastic local watering hole for a drink before the event. we met, we ate, we drank, we laughed and then we practically skated over to the bookstore because of the freezing rain that had covered the sidewalks with a treacherous glaze.

the bookstore talk featured three local writers, each reading a little snippet of her book. one read a piece about the stain and shame of menstruation; one read a piece about the gathering of metis women in a small cabin, and the illicit pregnancy of one of them; and the last one read a very evocative piece about a young girl envying her friend her beautiful communion clothes. it was heartwarming to know there was such talent all around. then it was m's turn to speak.

m teaches women's studies at the university and is intelligent, warm, and funny. she always pushes me to think, expands my mostly organic home-grown feminism with her academic perspective, opening my eyes to so much, causing me to rethink, and in no small way changing the way i see a lot of the things around me. she is the wife of a high school friend of mine, and i am ever so glad to have her in my life.

her talk began with a virginia woolf quote from a room of one's own about two women liking one another. she moved on to talking about a group of radical feminists who managed to maintain strong friendships despite being often vocally and passionately opposed in their points of view. she ended with  the story of us - how when she first me me (at a gods and goddesses party, where both of us came dressed as fairies, and where i remember her husband wore a toga and a solitary horn attached to his forehead) she immediately decided she did not like me because i was tall, confident and the centre of attention. i, of course, don't remember that last part, probably because i was used to being the centre of attention and didn't think much of it. still, she had decided. much later, when we were both living in the east, she and i met again at a dinner where she was surprised to discover she liked me after all. now, all these years later, we live in the same city, and see each other regularly at parties, shindigs, firepit gatherings, and our annual folk fest hot dog and coffee breakfast and talk.  the point was - that initial jealousy could have prevented what in the end is a really wonderful friendship. i am so glad it didn't.

as i have said here before, the older i get, the more i crave women friends, although i still enjoy my boys and men immensely. i am ever so blessed in both departments (to the point that k, my sanity salad, says i need to stop bragging about my friends quite so much!)

at any rate - happy galentines day to all my ladies, and happy valentines day to the rest of yous!

4 comments:

Zhoen said...

My female friends are pretty much all online. I've not had good luck with many women as friends over my life, dunno why. No doubt it's me.

Tom said...

I'm never sure where 'friend' begins and 'acquaintance'ends, or the other way round. I suppose it's something one discovers in the abnormal, rather than normal, course of events. Anyway, I have discovered people 'out there' as a result of my blogging activity whom I count on as virtual friends, and am very grateful for that. So often they, like the friend you mention, push me to think about my views and opinions, and that is beneficial. It's a very complicated business, this friends stuff. As for 'galentines', this is the first year I have heard the word. Call me cynical, but could this be yet another way for the commercial world to make an extra buck/pound/whatever? Perish the thought.

polish chick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
polish chick said...

zhoen - online or not, friends is friends.

tom - i think that your cynicism isn't misplaced, given the "giftification" of all major holidays (easter gifts? what?!). i like the idea, though, of subverting the concept of only celebrating romantic love, and embracing other types of relationships. i think that galentines, much like every other holiday co-opted by the marketing machine, is just another opportunity to say pfffffft! to the hallmark card pushers and thematic flower sellers, and purveyors of colour-coordinated stuffed teddy bears.