A week ago I spent three days in the exclusive company of women. We were celebrating the dwindling bachelorette status of my good friend, Leyna, in the oddly German town of Leavenworth, Washington. I went into the weekend with unconfronted nerves — I mean a houseful of women, most of whom I didn’t know, for three days, sounded like the opening of horror story.
But as I pulled away at the end of the weekend, with one eye still on the women milling about in their own exiting activities in my rear view mirror, I had to reassess my own initial misgivings. Why did I think a weekend with nothing but women would be DRAMATIC?
Because the truth is there was no drama. Zero. No arguments or cat fights. No snide comments. No backhanded compliments or eye-rolling, no one talking shit in a confessional booth.
And that’s probably the crux of my fears: reality TV. I’m the kid who grew up with Real World and Road Rules, where attractive people fell in and out of love with people they hated. And the women were the worst. They were best friends one episode and mortal enemies the next. They’d hug just before separating into different confessional booths where they’d rip into each other like sharks. While the men were prone to fisticuffs resulting in damaged furniture and broken noses, the women used words as fists and reputations were the target.
But in the Leavenworth house, there was no confessional booth, no yelling, except my own drunken ramblings. Women cooked meals, cleaned, showered, dressed, sat around doing not a damn thing,and got wicked drunk then nursed hangovers in complete harmony. Conversations were light, dark, funny and serious. Some of us had filthy minds and mouths, but this was welcomed. And when we went on a hike, and a few of us (me!) bitched thoroughly the whole way up to the mountain lake, we were bitching at ourselves and not at each other.
Credit should be given to Leyna, this group of particular women being her friends and therefore a reflection of her. And maybe it had something to do with the age group — none of us younger than 26, old enough to be over ourselves. And maybe my experience was completely different from the rest of the group and somewhere there’s a woman who never wants to see me and my drunken antics again, but I don’t think so. So why do women get such a bad reputation for being catty or bitchy? And what can we do to dispel that myth?
Well for one, we can stop with the assumptions. Then we can all work at being kind and considerate. That goes for everyone. I think a lot of drama can be eliminated by utilizing the Golden Rule. Next we can always assume good faith. We can also try our best to confront issues with civility and in the moment they arise instead of waiting until they snowball into real problems. And maybe, we just need to drink more wine, more wine, more wine.