A couple of months ago, when I was still employed, my co-worker Maureen, laughing her head off, presented this book to me. She had discovered it while sorting through donations for the thrift store portion of the non-profit we worked for.
This, I think, is one of the simple things in life to treasure: working with someone who likes and appreciates you. Someone who’s thoughtful, generous, and knows how to make you laugh. I just love this woman. She always lightened my mood.
I read this book shortly after she gave it to me.
It’s important to note that the author, Wendy Reid Crisp, wrote this in 1995. Because of that, some of her commentary is not necessarily applicable or relatable, in my view, to the upper middle-aged women of today. Like me.
Yet there were some bits and pieces that struck a chord with me.
Here’s one excerpt that I have a little something to say about:
“I’m not going to….3. Introduce body parts as topics of conversation.
In New England, there’s a group of women in their sixties who have been friends for forty years and who meet annually for a long weekend at a good spa. Their first event, on Friday night, is an “organ recital”. Everyone recites ad nauseam the state of her organs-heart, uterus, lungs, kidneys-and other anatomical conditions. As it should be, for the rest of the weekend the subject of personal health is taboo”.
I love this. Having a group of friends who get together yearly at a spa sounds fabulous! I’ve had this notion for a while now that someday, I’ll have a girls weekend. My sister will be there along with my “bonus” sister (Hubs’ sister), along with a couple of my girlfriends and a few cousins. We will sip sangria in the mornings, jam out to rocking tunes, and spend time in a pool or lake lounging on giant inflatable flamingos. We will dance, we will laugh, and we will raise a little hell.
It will be epic.
But there’d be one catch: at my girls weekend, on Friday night, we will engage in newfangled version of Ms. Reid-Crisp’s “organ recital”. There will be a designated amount of time (not to exceed one hour) during which we are allowed to freely discuss all things related to our weight. We can bitch about our muffin tops. We can talk about the pros/cons of intermittent fasting. We can swap Keto recipes. But when the timer goes “ding” (yes I will bring a timer) that’s that, ladies.
I might even bring a big old jar that those in the group who utter a word about their weight at any point after our Friday night “recital” will be required to put a dollar in. Kind of like a “sear jar”. All monies collected could later be donated to Planned Parenthood or another non-profit that benefits women.
I say all this because I detest the conversations we women always seem to engage in about our bodies. Our weight issues. It bores me. It seriously irritates me. I don’t like how when one woman will look at a perfectly good tray of delicious cupcakes and make some comment like “I need one of those like I need a hole in my head”. Because then, I feel like I need to “own” the fact that I’m a little fat. Probably 10-15 lbs over what I “should” be based on my height. I always feel compelled to respond by saying I don’t “need” a cupcake either.
Like “hey girlfriend, I’m fat too!”
I just find this troubling. There’s so much more to us women than how we look in our jeans. Or how we think others think we look in our jeans, I suppose.
And there’s so many more interesting topics of conversation, right? The books we’ve been reading, the vacations we’re planning, the new job we are applying for, the state of the world, our favorite movies, who’s pissing us off at work, who’s pissing us off at home, caring for aging parents, fun experiences we’ve shared together, and so very much more.
Sometimes inspiration comes from an unexpected source. Thank you Maureen, and thank you Ms. Reid-Crisp.
***Featured Image courtesy of https://www.healthygirl.co.za/20-healthy-girl-body-positive-quotes/