Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Debunking the Myth

I don’t get along well with other women.

At least that was the myth.

The blame list goes on both sides.

On My Side:
I definitely feel more comfortable around men.
I speak ‘sports’.
I am not home with my child, my husband is.
I don’t look like them (no makeup, I love my jeans; I rarely care how I look).
I don’t smell like them (perfume… are you KIDDING me).
I don’t talk like them (my subjects: sports; my demeanor: confident, boisterous even).

On Their Side:
They always want to hug me even when we have just met. I mean, what is up with that? First, WE JUST MET. Second, I am from the northeast, we do not touch there. Third, I am usually way taller and definitely broader than the woman hugging me – so it is awkward. I have to simultaneously: guess which way they’re going so we don’t bump heads, not squish their multiple earrings into their heads, keep my boobs from poking them in the eye, and not crush them with my softball-playing, 25 pound baby-lifting, arms (really they are not that huge, but I FEEL huge when these tiny women come in for the kill).
They often seem very fake to me. Everyone is trying to hard to come off like the perfect Mom, the perfect wife, the perfect consultant… I don’t have time in my life for bs. I want authentice, non-bs relationships.

I admit a lot of this comes from my own feelings of inadequacy and not belonging. I have been Julia Roberts in the store and no one would help me because I didn’t look like them (perfect illustration except that I’ve never been to Beverly Hills, I am no longer a hooker (kidding) and I could not look less like Julia Roberts if I tried).

Lately, something pretty cool has been happening with my relationships with other women. I am not sure if it is because I am a bit older or if it is because I am a Mom now – but something has definitely changed.

I have found authentic community with three separate groups of women.

First, I have this blogging community, The revgalblogpals. My friend told me about The Real Live Preacher. I read his book first, I checked out his website, I registered… it asked for your blog site. Guess I’d better make one of those! I ‘chatted’ and then I was invited. I interact with these women on a daily basis. I have found authentic community with these women.

Second, there is a group of ordained PCUSA women (some with children, some without) in my area who commit to getting together. I had coffee with them yesterday. We laughed and cried and shared and drank coffee and ate scones and they accepted me for who I am and I accepted them right back. I have found authentic community with these women.

Third, a group of women involved in various religious organizations are attempting to pull together in our town. There is no agenda, no book to read – just a monthly lunch for those who can make it. We had lunch together today and shared ideas for Christmas day and talked about some of our hidden talents. I have found authentic community with these women.

Of course, some adjustments on my part will need to be made. For one, sometimes I need to listen more and talk less. I love community and I love making people laugh, but there is a time for that and there is a time to shutty. Also, I will have to adjust things so that all of my authentic women groups do not meet in the same week or else we will have no authentic sermon!

In the end I guess ‘it takes one to know one’ is a good phrase for me. I think being involved in ministry can only be truly understood by others involved in ministry. This goes even more so for being a woman in ministry.

It is that bond that can transcend all of the other stuff we carry with us.

Maybe someday I will be able to have authentic community with women who are not in the ministry, but for now this is good.

Thanks for debunking the myth.

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