surviving in the land of women

downtonI am about to lead off into a post that might make people go “huh” in the first few paragraphs (or all the way through).  It is however, just something I have been pondering, so I decided to write it down.

My friends will tell you that I think some women on occasion are wasted space.  And I am not saying that to be mean, I just have great female friends and relatives and don’t have time for the games and the hormonal B.S. that exceeds P.M.S. in a lot of  “adult” women.

And face it, a lot of purportedly “adult” women are still pulling the same stunts they did in grade school and high school. I try not to be intolerant, and I want to be understanding always, but sometimes it is just not possible.

Such is the nature of relationships women have with other women. If we are honest with ourselves, that is. And if we are truly honest with ourselves as women, surviving in the land of women can be like navigating a maze or an obstacle course.  And in that vein, every woman goes through phases where other women make them want to beat their head against the wall.

I don’t expect everyone to like me, to understand me, to want to be my friend.  And I am quite o.k. with that.  I know who I am, so it’s all good. I do not pretend to be perfect; I am a human and I am flawed.  I am just me, have no desire to be anyone else.  Like everyone else I love, I laugh, I have experienced hardship and loss.

Those who have seemingly magical lives untouched by anything unpleasant are really, really lucky.  I will never pretend my life has been a continual paragon of perfection because all relationships take work and sometimes life circumstance takes us where we never expect.  Besides, acknowledging occasional bumps in the road isn’t a bad thing.  It is part of who we are, adds character. I guess I don’t understand when people are afraid to live life out loud and in color.

As women our differences and similarities shouldn’t freak people out so much.  But have you noticed how it often does?

Where I used to live, some of us (male and female) used to refer to this group of women as “the mean girls.”  And oh, were they ever.  They were like a gaggle of mean, pecking geese.  If you weren’t like them, didn’t share their politics or parenting style, you were literally a target.  They were rather parochial in their very limited bullying ways.  It was somewhat astounding and always amusing. Especially when they acted like  quasi well-bred alley cats and then lectured others on manners and decorum.

Of course one of the things I always found amusing was one of them who was always particularly critical and mean to others  had the worst body odor.  I often wondered if she ever knew the reason people backed away wasn’t always just because they did not want to deal with intimidation, but because she was rather odoriferous.

Even out here in my newer world I have found that it is not always easy to survive in the land of women.  One such creature contacted me unbidden the other day.  She said to me (and I quote)

“Stupid bitch.  It’s ok to have an opinion as long as it agrees with yours.  You’re ugly inside and out, blogging bitch.”

Amazingly enough this woman sent this to me with full disclosure of who she was.  Equally amazing is that this woman was never a friend or an acquaintance, had never met me, never had a conversation with me.  Nothing.  She just did not like my opinion is pretty much what it boiled down to.  Hopefully she feels better now.  Did I mention this woman is a grandmother I am told?  I am sorry I just can’t picture my grandmothers ever doing such a thing.

Other things about women that drive me occasionally crazy as an adult (and also did as a teen and in my early twenties) is the way some women can obsess over what others are saying and trying to divine what they are thinking, search for hidden meanings where none exist.  Some women can even create issues and drama where there are none to worry about. This happens a lot more today I think because of social media.

Have you ever had someone ask you if your Facebook or Twitter status is about them? Maybe some people roll that way, but I do not.  When someone did that to me recently, it actually creeped me out a little.  It also annoyed the bejesus out of me.  I am pretty darn direct and if something bothers me, I spit it out in person.

Does what happened bother me still?  No.  But I am writing about it because I think it is germane to what I am writing with regard to how women interact with each other. The person who did this will undoubtedly be upset to see this written down, but again, nothing personal please avoid drama- it just is a good example of the dumb stuff that happens.

Recently, out of the blue, someone I let go from my life easily fifteen or twenty years ago surfaced.    This is one of those people who always used to leave a trail of emotional wreckage and drama behind her.  She was one of those people you just let go of because among other things you get tired of hearing what she has done and living in the wake of unecessary drama.

As life always comes full circle, this woman is back again.  New husband, new life.  I am in truth, happy for her and wish her well.  But it doesn’t mean I want to pick back up.  I don’t.  The funny thing is she doesn’t get that  I feel neither hate nor animosity, but in truth, feel nothing.  Not being mean, but she is just not part of the equation of my life. Maybe it is file under once bitten, twice shy.  I don’t know.  All I know is I just can’t go there again.  And it should be o.k. to feel that way.

And that is at the crux of change sometimes: it just is, and it is not done for others, it is done for yourself.  After surviving breast cancer a lot of crap doesn’t matter to me any longer.  I have let stuff go and moved on.  I have also let go of people I did not feel were positive in my life.

It sounds a little zen, so maybe it is.   There are other things I want to do, other people I want to meet.  My core group of friends remains the same and I am blessed because a lot of them pretty much go back to the cradle of it all. But as for others?  Sorry, but I have to do what is best for me.  In some cases that means walking away and ignoring people, in other cases just letting people go.  Life is too short and often too hard to spend it around people who do not make you happy.

niaIn this odd land of surviving woman also comes something cool this week:  I will be reading  an advanced copy of actress/director/writer Nia Vardalos’ book Instant Mom.  I will then review it for this blog and possibly interview her.  She is one of my favorite actresses, so how cool is that?

I also have been published in a book that is a compilation of a book of essays written by breast cancer survivors.  A long while ago my friend (and amazing writer) Nicki Boscia Durlester told me she was writing another book.  Only this one would be different.  It would not just be her journey through breast cancer, it would be the stories of many.

Nicki asked me to be part of this, and I said yes.   And as the calendar creeps up on the 2nd anniversary of my diagnosis and the 2nd anniversary of my surgery, the book is out and published.

I am incredibly proud and rather emotional at being a part of this book.  There are a lot of survivor stories out there, and it is an honor to have been chosen to stand with all these amazing and incredible women.

Like every breast cancer diagnosed, no one woman’s story is exactly the same although you will find threads of commonality that bond us together.

It is called The Pink Moon Lovelies: Empowering Stories of Survival [Paperback] .  It is available on And again, Nicki Boscia Durlester is the overall author, editor, and provides the inroduction.

Anyway, life is a journey.  And we all deserve to be happy.  But as a woman, sometimes I just find surviving in the land of women an uneasy sisterhood at best.  I am sorry if that upsets people, or others interpret this post as a weird betrayal because it is not.  Some of what I write is from my own life experience, and my writing mentors have always said “write what you know.” Well this is part of what I know.

Do I think women should be more supportive of each other? Yes, but we also have to be honest.  And part of that honesty means acknowledging to yourself and others that you are not going to get along with everyone, nor should you be expected to.  We are all different.

Thanks for stopping by.