A post by writer Sue Pace:
Some of the most memorable films depicting strong women bonds are rooted in the south: Steel Magnolias, Thelma and Louise, Fried Green Tomatoes.
Conversations about sex, men and birthing babies just sounds better when it involves women with high-rise hairdos and a ya’ll dropped into a sentence.
But, as part of a real sisterhood of the south, I know the secret to this bond. We tease each other, not our hair. We can find Southern Comfort in a bottle and in the strength of good friends who know how to have fun smack dab in the middle of a thunderstorm.
There are six of us in this group.
We are all from various regions of North Carolina, and we were brought together at that tender age of newly-conferred college graduates finding jobs as worker bees at a Chapel Hill, North Carolina multi-media enterprise. We were hired cheap and taught well. We each excelled in our own careers.
Some of us worked in the graphics department (Beth, Lisa, Denise and myself). Polly was in sales. Boots worked as the CEO’s assistant. Thirty years later, we’re still dancing collectively at someone’s wedding.
We call ourselves The Board.
It started out like a secret post-college sorority.
Our night’s out became the talk at the water cooler. Co-workers wondered where we’d go? Who did we talk about? If they had to ask, no doubt we were talking about them.
But, as we grew older our bond went beyond the walls of our collective companies. We started doing grown up things like having babies, getting divorced, changing careers.
Our dinners moved to each other’s living rooms. Our conversations held more real-life meaning. Our friendships became more substantive.
But, just like the differences in a tangy eastern BBQ and the sweeter taste of the western fare, we each bring our own distinct ingredient to the recipe.
Boots is the comedian.
Denise is the eternally glass half-full kind of gal.
Beth is the organizer and planner.
Polly filters nothing.
Lisa is a self-proclaimed control freak.
I think I’m perfect until one of them tells me otherwise.
Our success in staying together for thirty years?
Truth be told we prey on each other’s foibles. We never let each other forget them.
We force one another to put our big girl panties on and “getover it ya’ll.”
But, there’s no din more powerful than of the six of us, wined or whined up women, rejoicing in each other’s victories.
So, between us we’ve been married ten times, divorced four, suffered six miscarriages, birthed eleven kids, suffered three rounds of cancer and one heart attack.
We’ve watched five parents die and two lose their memories.
Two brothers have died before their time.
Most of us are in menopause. The rest of us are cranky enough to pre-qualify (except perky Denise, of course).
We know crying is about as useful as a trap door in a canoe.
So, we get together and we laugh. We love our other catch phrases, too – “fish gotta fly,” “ya’ll stop laughing at me,” “Un-cle Ben’s or Min-ute Rice,” and our collective favorite “Ya’ll, I’ll bring the wine.”
We’ve supported each other through challenging times – a cheating spouse, bankruptcy, a change of careers, a lost brother, death.
And we’ve marveled at the victories – an RN degree at 40, dangerously preemie babies, that first love after a lost marriage, second weddings, surviving cancer.
While not everyone chooses to disclose their own personal details (some of us are more proper Southern girls, after all), there are those that have shared hilarious stories about intimacy – on a gator cart in a football stadium, in a field of sunflowers along a highway in France.
One of us has even proclaimed that getting dragged over broken glass sounded preferable to that first amorous encounter after birthing a baby.
To be continued….