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Friday, May 22, 2009

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Thursdays With Athena


The circle widens, contracts, and rotates from week to week, but the axis coordinates are more or less fixed: five o'clock sharp, my front porch, kids welcome, no husbands, no regrets. The drinks are fancy, the snack is simple. The children are encouraged to play video games and forage from the pantry. This is our time. The Ladies have convened.

Our conversation is a pool with sunlit shallows and sudden depths. We talk about hair and make up, sex, clothes, religion, music, food, and the riddle of being wives and mothers, and still ourselves--the invisible handiwork in our laps that needs untangling over and over again. We hold it up for each other to help tease out the strands.

The laughter becomes deep and earthy. The second round is shaken and poured. Someone puts chicken nuggets in the microwave for the children. The husbands are called, soothed, cajoled, notified. A little while longer. This is our time.

Patrick stays discreetly in the background, steering the boys toward baths and homework. On a trip inside to refill the ice bucket, I tease him, "We are talking about our vaginas. You don't want to go out there!" He raises his eyebrows in mock horror, smiles. The kids slip outside, hovering near the porch like moths around lamplight. I wonder if I should shoo them back inside, if our conversation is too strong for them. They are wound up with excitement. Patrick herds them into the house, but they keep escaping, dancing on the lawn in the twilight, pagans around a mighty bonfire.


Blogger Ashley said...

Sounds lovely. Oh to have friends. Maybe one day.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Amy B. said...

Reminds me of my friends back home. Beautifully written.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

You've made me miss my girlfriends who moved away and left me. Now I'm sad. (But in a good way. Thanks)

12:39 PM  
Blogger bluebird of paradise said...

wish I was there!

1:53 PM  
Blogger sweetsalty kate said...

I'm coming over.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

wow. if this is a sample of what we can expect from your book, I can't wait to read it!

5:00 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Blissful. I feel as though I were there, dancing in the twilight, hanging on the nuances in the conversations. Thank you for a beautiful post.

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great day!

10:10 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

You've perfectly described what small groups of women have done since I was a child when they need to refortify with one another. Glad you had a nice time!

9:30 AM  
Blogger Joy! said...

Wish I were there. :)

10:02 PM  
Blogger Cid said...

As much as we mothers enjoy these times, I think it is the kids who always think they are getting away with something while we are otherwise occupied. I remember those magical hours as the sun set and the streetlights come on and we all ran around the neighbourhood with such freedom.

10:43 AM  
Blogger HaikuKelly said...

Perhaps I should move into your neighborhood. You make suburbia sound appealing!

7:40 PM  
Blogger Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Nothing like girlfriends...depth, empathy, fun...what would I do without mine? So very important.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Christy said...

I truly cherish those moments with great's like nothing else. And you describe it so beautifully.

1:23 PM  
Blogger HaikuKelly said...

Okay, I just have to post again.

Over the weekend, we had a BBQ at our house. After eating, the men went outside to play b-ball and the women stayed inside to chat.

When the men came back, we weren't done spilling secrets. I said, "You can come in if you want, but we're talking about our vaginas."

The men stopped dead in their tracks, turned around and fled.

It was fantastic!

10:26 AM  

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