Thursday, October 16, 2008

The pleasures of feminine congregation


Book club, Hadassah chapter, quilting circle, bridge club, running buddies, inner-city volunteers, softball team, knitters' group, investment club.

What groups do you belong to, a
nd why?

My Texas Hold 'Em group has met monthly for four years, and I've missed maybe two g
ames. We play for quarter bets, $2 limit, and being a bunch of women, feel bad if someone loses $20. We bring brownies, chicken wings, banana bread, samosas, Nanaimo bars, the occasional vegetable platter, and our favourite drinks.

Gay and straight, working and retired, single and attached, most of us had not met before our founder Bon tacked up a sign on a phone pole: "WANTED: WOMEN TO JOIN NOT TERRIBLY COMPETITIVE POKER GROUP".

There's something freeing in enjoying the company of women you likely would not have met in your own routine rounds. Everyone adds something: funny stories, life lessons, poker instruction, dating advice, oddball jokes. Jane works for 3M and brings everyone tape.

We always laugh, eat without guilt, laugh, win or lose a few bucks and leave with lighter hearts. I hope to eternally belong to a some kind of group of women of good will, gathered for a common interest.

11 comments:

WendyB said...

Sadly, I'm not much of a joiner.

Nancy (nanflan) said...

Thanks for the little push. I don't have a poker group, but there is a sewing group I've attended that meets monthly for Stitch and Bitch. Maybe I should call and find out when the next meeting is--and then make myself go. I always have fun once I rouse myself.

La Belette Rouge said...

Like Wendy, I am not much of a joiner. I am pretty introverted and don't like a lot of group activity. I am more of a one on one kind of gal.

bonnie-ann black said...

i'm not much of a joiner either, but i have always enjoyed the company of interesting, interested women of diverse backgrounds and lifestyles... somewhat like the wonderful bloggers i enjoy most.

men are good for some things -- but there's nothing like a group of opinionated women to make you laugh.

Mardel said...

Gee, I tend to be on the introverted side as well and groups have to be pretty contained to lure me in. That said, I have a knitting group that I love and it is my lifeline at the moment. It might be nice to eventually be able to branch out.

greying pixie said...

I don't find I want to be part of a group of women as such. Perhaps I had enough of it as a child as I went to a girls only school until the age of 17. I much prefer a mixed group for company in adulthood.

A girlfriend of mine organized a women only dinner once when her husband was away on business. I hardly enjoyed a moment of it as women who should have known better became more and more competitive as the evening wore on, if not about themselves, then about the success of their husbands.

I think the group of women I most enjoy are my colleagues. We are all from different cultural backgrounds and of different ages, but with one passion in common. We discuss, debate and disagree a lot, but there is real respect.

An interesting posting duchesse. It makes one stop and think.

Duchesse said...

I'm somewhat introverted too. We meet once a month, that's perfect for me. I've learned I can enjoy three hours with four or five other women,free of obligation and contact outside that occasion.

Julianne said...

What activities do I belong to? Too many I think. I am about to feel overwhelmed by all my groups.
Let's see.

I belong to a Monday Morning forum book club. We meet each Monday morning. This group has mostly older members in their 70's and 80's and I really cherish their friendship. They travel the world. I will be a happy lady if I have half their energy when I am their age.

I belong to another book club that I founded. We meet once a month and try to tie our meal to the book theme. I really enjoy this book club.

I belong to Dining For Women, which I urge everyone to think about joining, or starting a chapter. It is so worthwhile.
http://www.diningforwomen.org/


I also belong to a Girls Night Out group, which is made up of a group of girls that all went to high school together. I think I am going to stop attending this group, as it serves as a reminder of why this introspective friendly introvert did and does not fit in with the extroverted party girls.

Is that enough? ;-)

Anjela said...

Must be lovely. When I read about friends and clubs I wish I weren't such a recluse. Sounds like so much fun.
I am such a non joiner- early motherhood was sheer terror for me- no, not the babies but being with other mothers-and yet I wanted to be social with these people who talked about their love lives and what colour grout and dinner that evening I was bored silly ..... I held the baby club at my home and sat there and couldn't wait until everyone left and I could be alone with my babies. I guess I am anti social.....

Anonymous said...

I think for the boomer generation there is a cultural aversion to women's groups, probably based on the unfortunately stiff rah rah women's groups and tea parties we saw our mothers having. Today's women are nothing like that - outspoken, spirited, brave and funny. I belong to a rural family-based Euchre club - a wonderful, magical game that can be played without too much attention (or with ferocious attention depending on your preference) while the gossip and planning and bonding takes place. We meet every 2-3 weeks. Offer me Euchre and some smart women and I'll be your joiner.
sjcyogi

Duchesse said...

sjcyogi: Good point, those of us who belonged to womens' "conscious groups" have memories recall that they sometimes devolved into bitterness or collusive negativity. My poker group is a completely "up" experience.