Sunday, August 16, 2009

Women - With Women

Women, in the long run, get along better with women. I know I am
saying this to a group who have lot of men-friends and perhaps prefer their men-friends, being engineers, but still, here it is.

Our relationship with women travels multiple paths, and phases, but in the end, we find rest back with one of our kinds. No sexuality involved though - this is plain kinship.

The “Naaah” Phase:

Between ages 4 and 9: We love girls, hate guys and their clumsiness and boorishness.

The “Look who’s looking at You” Phase:

Between 9 to 16: We like girls, lots of fights with them, and are getting VERY interested in boys. Most of our interactions with girls is about boys and studies, in that order. We still like girl friends quite a bit, and have intense love-hate relationships with them, but our dominant shared interest is the same - Boys.

The “Ouch” Phase:

Between 16 to the-time-we-find-the-guy-we-sleep-with: Girls are
great to sob about HIM, and great to discuss how to finally "nail"
HIM, and sometimes we fight like cats over HIM. Our innermost thoughts and yearnings are with HIM, and we look at similar female travelers on this quest for support. We don’t much like pretty girls and turn up our noses at guys who chase them. We declare ourselves as being cerebrally attractive, though we are inwardly aching with our feminity. We meet a lot of men, and some we genuinely like, even though he is not HIM. We become great friends with them, and we love horsing around with both girls and guys, and publicly have a blast, with nightly tormented private sobbing-in-the-pillow moments. For touchy-feelie woman stuff, we keep those deep in our hearts, and prefer to keep the stuff upper lip, much like our guy pals. After all, we are equal to men, aren’t we? We just somehow deal with our abundance of emotions, sometimes without any support.

The “Found My Man” Phase

Between 19- to the time we get married: We have finally found our man, and we are mighty pleased about it. We love him, revel in his manliness, our love for him, the fulfillment of our dreams, and yes, our sexuality. He is the center of our universe. We outgrow our girl friends at this stage, and loose all contact with them.

The “Mommy” Phase

Between 20 to 30: Then comes the most earth-shaking one of it all. We become mothers! We have a human being completely dependent on us, and we are overwhelmed. And we need other MOTHERS! And we go out and get them. A million questions – urgent and important - Oh shucks, how does one sleep when the kid is wailing? Just does one work leaving the child behind? We wonder at how our mothers raised us, and we become great pals with them. Guys, even our lover and soul mate, is only an appendage now - needed only to be the thoughtful baby sitter

The “Coming Together” Phase:

Between 30 to 40: Having gotten comfortable with our "mother" type friends, we suddenly realize - hey, I enjoy being with girls!! We reconnect back with old girl friends, reach out and make more girl friends of all types – older, younger, working, non-working - and really enjoy discussing relationships, parenting, cooking, work, dresses, nail paints, mascara brands etc. Our soul mate, we have by now realized, is an emotionally simple human being, and we need more than him to meet our multiple emotional needs. We become comfortable with men, and a lot of the desperation associated with them has now vanished. For the first time in our lives, we have come together.

The “Mother” Phase

After 40- and happily ever after: Professional relationships apart, men are now like our babies. To be humored, taken care of, petted. Still a strong friendship- but the lover part of it is now kind of faint. This is also the stage when men start calling their wives "Mom". And younger men worship them as moms.

By now, our girl friends form a big part of our lives. We rejoice at births, and grieve at deaths together. We organize birthday parties, trips, travel, take-a-class-together and dinners. We giggle, cackle, criticize – and have great fun. Men friends, I hate to admit, normally peter off in this stage. In some cases, we are firm friends with their wives now!

By the time we have reached the Mother Phase - we are firmly with the girls, and we enjoy being there, and will stay there till we die. It can happen at age 28, or it can happen at age 48- depending on the life path the woman has taken. The Mother phase is a great phase to be in - it is restful, nurturing, life-giving and most delicious fun. Being a part of the sisterhood is emotionally liberating, and finally, we are comfortable being in our emotional skin.

Amazingly, from what I have observed, this really is a "woman" thing. Men do not seem to get into this phase. I have seen men envy friendships that women share at this stage of their lives. Most women, however unfortunate, will find her own sisterly band, and most men, however fortunate, would be lonely, with few friends. Another amazing thing, a woman who does not get into this phase, is irritable, out-of-sorts and a pain to be with. Being with other women calms a woman down.

So, all you women engineers, struggling within a man’s world, bear it for a while! The sisterhood will come to you – and will come surely. Just give it time!

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