I grew up thinking my mother was a feminist, and she is - to a point. She talked about Gloria Steinem and about how women are equal to men and how my sister and I could grow up to be anything we wanted. She also said things like, "You know, men are better friends than women. Women are so bitchy!" Or, "I'm glad I work with mostly men - they're so much easier to get along with." It's funny how we pick up our parents' habits especially when they say one thing, but do another.
In high school, my best group of friends were all boys. When I went to university, I thought my roommates and I would be best buds. I thought we were, right up until they ditched me to room in a double. My roommate junior year turned into a psycho nightmare when she felt we weren't all living up to her standards. I used these experiences to decide my mother was right. Women are bitchy and impossible to get along with.
I'm not sure when we started our spinning Saturdays, maybe a year ago? There was a group of us who wanted to meet more often than the local spinning guild does, so we started meeting at a local coffee shop. We were careful only to invite people we really wanted to spend time with and it has become the oasis in my week. It's the thing I look forward to most when the weekend comes.
Driving home today I felt blissed out. I was relaxed and happy. It occurred to me that it's because I really like these women. It's not just a group of people who spin, we genuinely enjoy spending time together and spinning is just the excuse for it. Are we bitchy? You bet. But we don't hold the bitchiness against each other - we call it out so it's in the open and doesn't get a chance to fester and build up hard feelings.
We encourage each other to break out of our boxes. We discuss health issues (go make your appointment to see your gynecologist). We talk about issues with our kids - "how do I handle this?" We laugh, we scream, we watch Pride and Prejudice on an endless loop and talk about which Mr. Darcy is the BEST Mr. Darcy.
I got a little teary when I realized that this is the first group of women I really like and feel entirely comfortable with. We're all different, but maybe that's why we work together so well. My mother was wrong, women make the best Best Friends and I'm eternally grateful for mine.