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!