Angel and I were having one of our marathon phone conversations the other day where we cover everything from our books and plans for our RWA chapter to kids and life in general. I mentioned something off-hand, and when Angel didn’t call me on it, telling me how selfish and self-absorbed I was, I felt better and like I wasn’t the only one with a weird selfish streak.
We were talking about our chapter and the Saturday meetings. We both expressed the feeling that the second Saturday of the month was sacred and our family had better not expect us to do something else that day. That is HOD Saturday; we spend the mornings with the Playfriends (and invited guests) plotting, chatting, planning, and bonding, and the afternoons with the rest of the chapter at the meeting. Woe be to the hubby who thinks he can plan an event of his own and think he can expect me to watch AC that day. Uh-uh, ain’t gonna happen.
Not only is the day sacrosanct, the group is as well. I love my mom, but even if she wanted to write a book, I would feel infringed upon if she wanted to join. I love Shelley, and I’ve brought her to meetings to do a program (and last month she had a pre-meeting lunch with the Playfriends before she headed back to Louisiana), but she can’t join my chapter either. (And DG better not get some silly idea about joining either.) HOD is MINE.
Come to the Luncheon; come to a workshop. Meet my friends in other situations. But, no, you can’t join my chapter. I’m downright territorial about this.
Why? Because when I’m with these women, I’m Kimberly. Not DG’s wife. Not AC’s mom. Not my mom’s child. Not “Miss K” the teacher. I have deep friendships there, but none of them are based on anything other than my personality and my drive to be a writer. None of these people knew me in high school. None of them know my ex-boyfriend or witnessed first-hand some of my more tragic 80’s hair moments. We aren’t friends simply because our kids attend the same school or because our husbands work in the same office. The Playfriends may have dirt on me, but it’s fresh dirt—not the dirt that goes back into the mists of history and gets trotted out at inopportune moments. And I know the Playfriends are my friends because they like ME, not because they have to because of other circumstances tossing us together.
And you know what? I really like it. And I never really thought about how much it meant to me until after I got off the phone with Angel and pondered it a bit more. “A room of one’s own” may be important, but so is an identity of one’s own. I need this.
So, pardon me if I cordon off this part of my life and only let you look in over the rope. But it’s my space, and I’m going to guard it with everything I’ve got.
I’ll be a much better wife, mom, daughter, and teacher because of it.
Now, if I could just convince my baby brother-in-law to move his wedding from the second Saturday in June… Doesn’t he know I have a meeting that day?