Ladies Lunch. Lady’s Lunch. It’s just something we do. I’m not going to tell the real story of how the name of this event came about, but me and another persona-sin-patria (aka “expat”) girlfriend get together once a week, sans babies, sans partners, and we have fancy tapas and a drink or two too many, and we talk, like chickens in the coop, for hours. This lunch is as important to my health (albeit with its excessive alcohol and calories, cholesterol and sodium) as any other activity that I intentionally carry out to be “healthy” (insert run, sleep 8 hours, Pilates, brush my teeth 3 times a day, take deep breaths, keep my home clean, fight stress, etc.). I cherish my Ladies Lunch, as I cherish my Lady that I have Lunch with. My husband, el Doctor, is curious and somewhat skeptical about Ladies Lunch. He will never know (he may just think that we get naked at bars or do some other similar inappropriate act). He cannot come. He makes fun of it. Our conversations flit from politics to lip gloss to yoga asanas to diapers to sex and back again. I leave inspired, comforted, sassy, happy, giggly, a little bit tipsy, and feeling understood. We always dress up and put makeup on (well, not always…). We cross our legs and bat our eyelashes at nobody but ourselves. We probably talk too much and too loud about things that are too intimate.
All mothers should find the time and resources, as meager as they may be, to separate a small window of special time with a good friend on a regular basis, without their offspring. And if they don’t currently have that good friend that is a good Ladies Lunch partner, its time to find one. It’s easier than you think. Smile. Open up. Ask where they’re from or how old their child is.
Do you have a weekly girls-only ritual? Are you thinking right now that I’m mean and sexist and a bad mother? (Am I that obvious about my insecurities?) What “rituals” really relax you and make you feel better? Do you NOT do something like a Ladies Lunch because you feel like you don’t have enough time or money or someone to watch your children?