In response to 3 Score & More’s Summer Postcard Series, guest blogger Paula Forman writes an eloquent post about her week away. Complete with a postcard she explores the joy and importance of female friendships. Something we never grow out of.
Read on and enjoy…..I have just returned from a week at Camp Fowler in the Adirondacks. My companions were about 90 girls between the ages of 8 and 16, and about 20 female staffers.
How does it happen that a woman who is three score and a lot more is at summer camp? Most of that is a story for another time but for now, it suffices to say that I accompanied 20 inner city girls with whom I have an intimate relationship, and brought along a pal of mine for aid and distraction. It was “a business trip”.
The company of women for a week was nothing short of wonderful. We forget how relaxing it is to float in an estrogen cloud in which it is unnecessary to explain or compensate for moodiness, bouts of hysteria on both ends of the spectrum (tears and laughter), a bit of the bitch, and a blessed relief from our well honed grooming routine.
I so enjoyed being a girl.
The pal who was brave enough to accompany me is now a close friend, as camp friends tend to be. Life as an adult woman does not generally provide the opportunity for many consecutive days of confidences and stories that take hours and hours to do them justice. If we are lucky enough to make new friends late in life, it takes years of occasional encounters to fill in the details of past loves, lives and our mothers. Not so at camp.
My pal is now a BFF.
Surrounded by girls, girls and more girls brought back my own girlhood with great poignancy. I remembered so vividly the days when my thighs rubbed together, and sweat stains that extended nearly to my waist. I remembered the sun in my eyes at softball, the pain of being picked last for a team, and the naked envy I felt for those who were taller, thinner and better athletes. But I also remembered the joy of being totally present without the anxieties of sick and aging friends and family, or the pressing concerns of work and husbands and kids.
I had a wonderful time.
Best of all was the chatting. Oh did we chat. With each other and about each other. About the people we knew and every single affront- real or not real. It didn’t matter. Girls and women have so many feelings. What a complete joy it was to indulge them all without the limitations grown-up life requires. We so rarely get to enjoy the company of women without boundaries.
There were a few men around and in the small doses that had to be shared by all, even modestly displayed virility took on psychedelic proportion. They glowed with competence. That’s why they were there— to fix things.( But it did feel like they all worked for us.) They were not really available to us in the way that the girls and women were, and boy oh boy, that was just fabulous too.
These opportunities do not often present themselves to women of our age, but if you ever have the chance to go into the woods with girls, I would suggest that you do so.
© 3 Score & More 2016
Photo credit: Val Shaff