The Table

Remember this piece, which I wrote at the beginning of my new job with a crew of primarily men?

It still holds, but let me tell you that too much of it results in the same as too little of it. I went out for a lunch walk today and ended up meeting one of my girls for a bite, something I’d not done in a while. It was as uplifting as I needed, with an entirely different and shifted energy than what I experience when I’m surrounded by only men.

I think there’s three things here: energy experienced when it’s only women together, energy when it’s only men with other men, and the specific energy rooted in cis straight men and women when together.

Like too much of anything, too much of any singular above experience is a boner-killer.

For all of my love of men, for all of my love of even the 80-year old man who is still the 9-year old, it was a welcome reprieve to spend two hours with only a woman.

A and I have often discussed this – The Table at which women sit is not one to which men are invited. And vice versa. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this; getting upset about this does no one any favours and it’s silly. Why try to shove a circle into a square when you can chill the out instead, Boo? The gorgeous woman in the first photo? We have shared a Table since the moment we met – through her ex-boyfriend. The rest, in Uni, through activism, also through a ex, and through my poetry. These are seminal broads in my life. There are secrets we share and conversations into which we dive which are of no business to men. To our main male partner? Not even them.

Sidebar: Of course yes to open communication and transparency, without fear of punishment or silence. Another topic for another day.

Men shit-talk and talk shit. So do women. But about different things. Every single one of today’s conversation points ended in hysterical laughter, reflected in a shared experience. This wouldn’t have happened were I with men (we would have laughed at other things, but not these things, which is saying nothing. This sentence is dumb but I’m still keeping it.) At one point, I was crying because I was laughing so hard; my favourite place to occupy because the world is a f.cking garbage can, and hand to God, I would light it completely on fire if I couldn’t laugh about it.

Here’s the thing. We don’t only talk about men and feelings, which I think is what men assume. We get raw. We talk about everything. Men just happen to be one of the lanes, maybe 10%. Almost all of the rest is political, and our experiences rooted in that political.

A lot of the time, we talk about our own sh.tty habits, with fear of neither reprieve nor blame. These aspects of The Table are in service of how to get rid of them or fix them. Some of my girls shift and others are ramrod stuck, and the joke is that I’m the chameleon. Because evolution serves my state best. A calls it my Daily Lessons Learned. I legit have this.

Like a demented surveyor, I’m constantly “Oh that didn’t work, tomorrow I’ll do this to make it different.” It is 100% conscious. My mother says I’ve been like this since I could speak.

I also process as fast as a demented surveyor, so The Table knows that I may send something in a chat, asking for advice, but if you leave me alone, I process and then follow-up with a “Sorted!” and they’ll get the rundown when I’m ready.

A2 (more than one A in my life, loves) says that she knows when I’m doing this, because I vanish from The Table and come back when I’ve handled whatever in the hand I’ve just been dealt. I come back with another Lessons Learned and a whiteboard explanation of how I got there. They give me their feedback and Bob’s my uncle.

Sometimes we talk about the rats A just brought home to surprise the boys. Sometimes it’s about the witchy senses and the dreams. A lot of the time it’s about the new shoes. A critical rule of The Table? We don’t trust women who “I only have male friends” / “I am only comfortable with men” / “Women don’t seem to like me!”

B.tch, sit down, as D has said. Sit. Down. You are not special.

It gives the same as when a woman once said to me “I have to cut my hair really short because otherwise women won’t like me. I’m too much competition.”

Actual and legit LOLZ.

Okay, sis. Thanks for doing us a favour. 🥴

Obviously, The Table is a metaphor. Sometimes it’s the kitchen floor, sometimes it’s cuddling on the couch, sometimes it’s coffee and cuddles in bed, and sometimes its hiding in the backseat of the car from the children. Every time, it is the absolute safest of spaces.

For me specifically, it’s also an afternoon or an evening, but never a night or more away from the man. That’s not how I roll. Never has been. I like to fall asleep with a man more than I want to be at The Table. I also prefer sex to The Table, so there’s that. If my man needs to go away and do boy things with other men for a night or a week, he’ll do his thing without agitation from me. I understand why men need this more than women.

All to say, don’t neglect The Table. I am grateful for mine, and I am grateful for the calibre of extraordinary broads who have not pulled my invitation. I love you each and all, As.holes xx


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