The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

Dear Husband was to be out of town, so on three consecutive days I made plans to hang out with a different female friend. Due to COVID and, you know, life in general, it had been ages since I’d been able to do that, so I was really looking forward to it. I think I had forgotten what I had been missing.

At the risk of setting the women’s movement back 50 years, in my opinion, in general, men are expected to have their bro time. We would all find it very strange if they didn’t go fishing or hunting or to sporting events. They’re expected to have a “man cave”. They go to bars or just hang out in the garage with a couple of beers. No one begrudges them the opportunity to do their thing.

Women, on the other hand, are expected to put everyone and everything else first. The kids. The house. The shopping. The coordinating. When women manage to carve out time to get together, it’s considered a special occasion. And at the end we always say, “We need to do this more often!”

But we never do. I don’t think I have ever hung out on three consecutive days with three different women in my entire life up to this point. It was a rare treat.

Men get frustrated when we react differently than they do, and assume that it means we’re irrational, broken, or need help. Women understand what it’s like to be triggered, and don’t judge you for being triggered, and don’t get irritated when you don’t just snap out of things.

Not trying to male-bash, here, and not thinking of any man specifically, but it’s very rare for me to be able to get into deep, hard, emotional conversations with men like I can with women. Men prefer to stay near the surface. Women dive deep. Women get it. And they don’t judge you for having emotions, even if they can’t relate to those specific emotions themselves.

Women also understand why you take a quick glance in the back seat of your car before getting in, because they do it themselves. Like me, they don’t see that as some evidence of a personal problem so much as it is a problem with the society in which we navigate.

It felt good to just be myself for once. These women made that possible. It was like taking off a shoe that’s too small. When I get the feeling that who I am is enough, that gives me the energy to want to be more.

That, and I now work in a department with 20 males and 1 other female, so I feel like the judgment at work is that much more magnified. It’s hard to be the only elf in a group of trolls. So it’s nice to hang out with other elves and talk about our pointy ears with utter comprehension.

On these three days, I felt heard and understood. I felt accepted and validated and safe. I felt appreciated. It was nice to catch up, and do creative things, laugh, cry, relate and just have fun.

Thanks, dear friends! I needed that. Sustenance for the soul.

Hey! Look what I wrote! http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5

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