Honey and Vinegar

Bethany is getting married, and she was in the City over the weekend to shop for wedding gowns.

And, of course, to celebrate with the Women of Winesday.

Before the girls came over, I was thinking about what a friend of mine said to me a few months ago when we met up for dinner.  He is the father of a teenage daughter, and he remarked (paraphrased): It’s wonderful that you have such strong and supportive female friendships!

Really, it is.

There was that piece in the Journal the other day about The Tyranny of the Queen Bee — about the professional indifference and/or brutality of women towards other women.  And there’s all that scrutiny of female executives, and the choices of working mothers, and mothers who choose to stay home, and blah blah blah.

A few years ago, I just decided to be human.  I realised that people were going to treat me one way or another because I am a woman, but that didn’t mean I had to respond.  And that regardless of how I was treated, I could treat people how I wanted to be treated.

I will, at this point, do my best to resist my temptation to go all New Testament on you, except to say that the idea of forgiving people for treating me in a way I don’t like, and moving forward is perhaps particular to the Five Discourses on the Church from the Book of Matthew.

This is useful reading and teaching for whatever purpose you like — literary, religious, or simply as some nice statement on living.  My purposes for the reading don’t have to match yours.  The Main Idea here is not merely forgiveness but: humility.  I have learned (and perhaps I have learned this most acutely since my divorce) that relationships — be they friendships or otherwise — take a heaping dose of humility for success.

But back to the point.

Bethany was in the City, and she is getting married.  So we had come together to celebrate.  Also, she brought over an ice cream cake.

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Lord knows I love an ice cream cake.

And it got me thinking about how hard we have all worked on these relationships.  How we have climbed mountains and run marathons; how we have stood by each other through tragedy and hospital visits.  How for better and for worse, this group of women and I have sat around my round table, sharing our burdens and our joys.

Enjoying when we are right.  Admitting when we are wrong.

It is true that I have a fabulous group of girlfriends.  But I think, more importantly, I am surrounded by a truly wonderful group of human beings.  And I am humbled; grateful to share these extraordinary moments with them.

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