I was greeted this morning with mid 80’s and high humidity. I was feeling thick myself, (water retention is real – and a real pain in my pants) so I threw on a pair of forgiving beat-up vintage Levi’s with a few holes in the knees, and one in the crotch. I made sure to wear underwear – which isn’t always a given. No one wants a beav shot this early in the morning. Well, some people might if we are all honest but I certainly don’t want to be the provider.
I paired the Levi’s with a 1985 t-shirt, Birkenstocks, nerd glasses, no make-up, a frizzy high bun and deodorant. I looked like a generic lesbian. It’s one of my favorite down day looks. I think I rock it but in all fairness I am the fortunate owner of nearly diamond quality self-confidence so I can’t always tell. I think I look awesome in most things including but not limited to polyester plaid bell bottoms paired with a polka dot button down and blue suede platform shoes. In reality, when it comes to looking good I am probably batting about 0.500 but who is counting? My younger sister’s high-school boyfriend told her I think I am a lot more attractive than I actually am. Just goes to show you how wrong people can be. And are we going to hearken to fashion opinions from a person who wears camo on the daily and sports caterpillar eyebrows ladies? I think not.
So here I am, traipsing along Main in Madison, hiding in the shade of so many federal style three stories, peeking into store fronts and plotting my new career as the society writer and social media queen of this cool little village. I have some tasks to complete for my paying job but I feel like those things are going to get done around midnight tonight. I just have a general, visceral feeling that I am going to get absolutely no work done this afternoon. As it turns out, I was correct. The moment I walked into the Roaster, I spotted my bestie behind the counter and crowd of ladies I was certain were destined to become my friends.
This is how it works. I enter the Roaster, eye Stephanopolous (aforementioned bestie), give a small shriek and a big hug if business is slow, or a quick wink and an obscene gesture if the place is rockin’.
My Bestie Stephanopolous
Turns out the shop was full so after a dirty wink and a hilarious facial expression, I ordered my drink and breakfast. I then dragged a lovely handmade stool to a corner that should have a plaque there with my name on it but instead is reserved for storage. I move the offending boxes so I can sit where I only partially block the drink bar. I sacrifice the convenience of others so I can talk to all the staff and interact with most of the customers. By interact I mean intrude into their conversations and comment on their fashion choices.
Enter Raquel. A gorgeous woman from Brazil with an ADORABLE rose print dress perfectly paired with a red lip. Who can resist talking to such a woman?! Not I. I immediately informed her that she looked smashing and then asked her if I could touch her dress. I know that sounds bizarre but in context it was a completely natural request. The fabric had a pleasing tactile quality and the print was on point.
From there we found we both do photography (me informally, she had an actual business card), we both like to shop (we are women so that’s almost a given), and then she introduced me to her friend group. I met a Kindergarten teacher with delicious flaming curls, another elementary teacher who was vibrant, community-oriented, has couches in her classroom, and is noted for her informal counseling services, and a darling introvert who I promised to drop in on drunkenly. Taken out of context that last part sounds terrible. But it was a promise I am likely to fulfill and what’s better, it won’t be just me. It will likely be the result of me throwing a small wine party on my back patio for her friends and taking the party to her place if she can’t make it once we are properly inebriated. So you can see, I would actually be doing her a kindness.
How lovely to be surprised continually by my little town. To wake up in August, frizzy and bloated, aggravated but intending to be productive, only to find myself in a circle of like minded hens cackling away and exploring new personalities. My social circle swells happily to include them and so probably do theirs to embrace me.
We women, soft of heart, tender in nature are so much better off supporting and embracing one another, celebrating and nourishing each other’s existence. For all of us are queens are we not? Accidental rulers of our own huge internal universes. It is painful and beautiful to live inside of a human body as a female for a myriad of complex reasons. We can sometimes be inspired to open the portals of our mosaic world in response to something as simple and sweet as an honest compliment. Who knows what blessings these small kindnesses impart on the soul of another human? Or what friendships might be born out of such an easy alm, a simple hymn, one lovely line… an offering from one mortal goddess to another?