I’ve written about The Red Tent before. I loved this book about womanly camaraderie based in fictional ancient biblical times. It’s the sort of book that makes a lady a feminist. You practically wanna shout to your random sisters-of-the-hood from across the street, “YOU GO HONEY! YOU CAN DO IT! WE FUCKING BLEED ONCE A MONTH AND STILL TACKLE THE WORLD!” Then you high five a million angels and she high fives them back. Lady angels, of course.
Or maybe that’s just me and possibly Liz Lemon.
Consider this the eloquent transition from The Red Tent and 30Rock to how my friends ended up in a kitchen with our underwear on.
Some good friends of mine decided to do a weight-loss challenge together. A few of us gained a few pounds (cough seven) over the holiday and wanted to get back to our sleek, healthy selves but with some good ol’ competition with money involved. Nothing strengthens friendship like placing money between it.
So we gathered together in the kitchen of my friend’s house with a scale, a camera, and a tape measure. We stripped down to our “summer” selves, bathing suits, small tanks, bare tummies. We measured and weighed and posed.
It was a scene our children watched in both fascination and utter horror. “Our moms have LOST IT,” I overheard one of the three year olds say. A six year old bent down, “You just figured this out?”
We laughed and jiggled and confessed. I noticed how often we would want to cut ourselves down while building the other ones up. Someone would disagree, “oh, no no, you’re fine! You can do it!” and we would write down our stats and continue on, not a single judgement on the face of those in the room.
It was cathartic. We not only shared our insecurities, we showed them to each other, and the other girls? Didn’t wince once.
The first step to healing is being open to your people about where you’re at.
Afterward a friend texted me, “That was fun! Like Acid Rain!” We laughed about it, how insane we were to stand there in the kitchen, six women in our skivvies measuring and jiggling. At the same time, we all agree, it was fun in a way. Healing. Refreshing. Accepting. There’s something about knowing you’re accepted by other people to begin allowing you to accept yourself.
I love those ladies like sisters in a Red Tent. Women who you call to when your life is tough, when you feel fat and frustrated, when you hit financial rock bottom. These are my village of women and we proved to each other this week that there is no place we won’t go together. Even in our underwear.