1. the relationship between sisters.
the feeling of kinship with and closeness to a group of women or all women.
2. an association, society, or community of women linked by a common interest, religion, or trade.
I don’t have any sisters. I’ve always wished I did, and I admittedly romanticize the idea. Someone to walk arm-in-arm through life with, sharing clothes and inside jokes, cooking Thanksgiving dinners together while nieces and nephews run underfoot … I imagine it all to be very Pottery Barn-like. (My imaginary sister and I are also fabulous and thin, of course. Like a U.S. version of Pippa and Kate Middleton.)
Women need sisterhood. Since I lack a real sister, my girlfriends fill that void. I can almost see the relief wash over my husband’s face when I find a friend to vent to so he doesn’t have to listen to how that lady at the gym looked me up and down again. What’s her problem? Is it me? Am I breaking some kind of gym etiquette rule without realizing it?!
He doesn’t want to dissect the situation to figure it out, because he does not care. He doesn’t enjoy DISCUSSION. Sisters specialize in DISCUSSION. They also listen and don’t judge when you say things like, “I think I married a terrible man because he refuses to discuss the gym lady with me. Doesn’t he LOVE me?”
Last week was hard. No one slept. My 2-year-old found a bottle of Children’s Motrin and chugged it down, resulting in a call to Poison Control. I found out the hard way that our kindergartener doesn’t know how to undo his belt — and so every day we’ve sent him to school with a belt on, he hasn’t used the bathroom for the entire day. This has been going on for almost three months, and I just now realized it.
My husband and I were exhausted and arguing. I started thinking irrational thoughts. My kids were being bratty, so clearly I was a failure. I felt overwhelmed by laundry, cooking, and life, and to top it all off, I was breaking out along my hairline. Before I went completely over the edge, I reached out to some sisters and we discussed all of it in detail … and all of the sudden I could think clearly again. I announced to my husband that I needed a break – I was going to Target, and would not be back for a really long time. “Good,” he said.
I had no makeup on and I pulled my hat down low, but the sister behind the Starbucks counter immediately recognized me. “No babies?!” she asked. “No,” I said, “Not today.” I went on to tell her that I had run away from my family because I think they are plotting to kill me via sleep deprivation and I intended to walk up and down every single aisle in Target, slowly, with my coffee, until I was ready to face them again. We chatted for a few more minutes while she made my drink, and then she did something that probably seemed so small to her, but in my exhausted, frayed state, it moved me to tears.
“Here you go,” she said, handing me my latte. “It’s on the house. Enjoy your time away.”
I wanted to hug her. And I totally would have, but she was behind a counter.
THAT, my friends, is sisterhood: women looking out for other women. You don’t have to know someone to be sisterly … you just have to reach out and remind them that we are all in this together. And a very large cup of coffee doesn’t hurt, either.