Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Girls' Night Out(s)

I had trouble punctuating the title. Is the plural in the middle, like attorneys general?  Or is it, like lemon meringue pie, three words acting as one?  I fudged and used parentheses in an attempt to get around the rules by being cute.

As TBG tells me quite often, it's a good thing that I am short.  Were I 5'11" with the same attitude I would rarely go a day without encountering someone who wanted to punch me in the face.  But, that persona in a small but sturdy body results in rueful head shakes or surprised laughter, much to his dismay.  I'm not obnoxious, I'm small.

But, I digress.

It doesn't matter, though, because that's what a good Girls' Night Out is all about - digressing.  Weekdays have a tendency to smoosh into one long blur of alarm clocks and bus schedules and elevators and errands.  Necessary but routine.  Glad to have the places to go and the life which needs tending but, for most of us, it's about the other more than about ourselves.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women .... volunteer at a higher rate than .. men across all age groups, educational levels, and other major demographic characteristics. I love it when the facts bear out my preconceived notion.

Whether we make the lists and let others fill them or take on all the tasks ourselves or ignore them while worrying about them, being a homemaker means that you sleep in your in-box.  And don't think that working inside or outside the home for financial compensation, or living alone, or sharing an apartment doesn't mean that you aren't a homemaker, too.  Creating a home is what we do. 

Ronni Bennett, elder blogger extraordinaire, has lived alone in Greenwich Village and Portland, Maine and Portland, Oregon.  She's aware of the irony, which is one of the many reasons I love her.  Through the personal pieces she occasionally posts, I've watched her create her own personal private spaces on both coasts.  When she opens it up to friends, it's as homey a place as one can imagine.

Yet there are posts which reveal a longing for New York, an emptiness I imagine for her because of something I've noticed - she has never mentioned the name of any of the women who live in either of the Portlands.  The named characters are, like Annie, New Yorkers. 

My guess is that if you offered Ronni a chance to spend two or three hours with her Village girlfriends she'd be all over the travel arrangements in no time.  Sometimes, only your girlfriends will do.

There are times, of course, when a group of women can be toxic, with friendships ending and feelings broken beyond repair.  But that's often something that you can see coming down the road.... and something that I try to avoid at all costs.  Life's too short to burden it with negativity.

I'm rambling here, because I keep checking the comments on Monday's Applebee's postTen years...since August 2010....nine years.... I can't remember..... is nobody spending some quality time with the girls? 

In Chicago, I played poker on the first Monday of every month with a group of similarly situated women.  It ended in disaster... but we saw it coming and were able to laugh about it after the fact ... but for several years I had an anchor in my life.  Men were allowed as long as they were naked and serving.  None of our husbands/boyfriends/roommates took us up on the offer.  We drank vodka and cranberry juice and carried our quarters in cigar boxes or Crown Royal bags and starting at 6 and ending with the last hand dealt no later than 10pm once every 30 days or so we were responsible for no one, for nothing.  Only the hostess prepared; the rest of us were guests.  It was heavenly.

It wasn't the cards or the alcohol or the foodstuffs which filled me - it was the company of women.  There was an ease to the conversation that was noticeable the one time a husband walked through, commenting on our nails.  "Certainly the prettiest card table I've ever seen," wasn't much of a statement, but it ripped through us like a hot knife through butter.  Outside of the poker game we rarely socialized with one another; inside the poker game we were one unit.  We felt the rent of his presence, not because we disliked him (that came later) but because we knew that he had intruded into something very special - Girls' Night Out.

I'm ready anytime you are..... just give me a call.


  1. I think it would be: Girls' Nights Out.
    Out is not a noun, so it wouldn't take a plural. You're incredibly fortunate to have so many women friends.

  2. Me and my girl friends try to get together as often as we can. As of last week, a number of us got together up the street and had drinks and dinner on July 4th. Sometimes it's the impromptu get-togethers that are the best. Because it was July 4th, most of our schedules were open. It was awesome. I would not be able to function without my girlfriends. They are my rock and keep me sane. Especially because we all have children and they are around the same age. That helps a lot. ;)

    I saw some of the posts too on Monday and it made me sad. It's important to have friendships with women and you need to have close friendships.

    Wish I was closer geographically to you. I would love to join you for a girls' night out.

    Sending hugs,

    Megan xxx

  3. Hi AB, you do have the title correct. It should be Girls' Night Ou. Check out the Grammar Girl site.

    I also would have given anything to have had a camera with me when I came upon a menu advertising “Ladie's Night,” L-a-d-i-e-'-s night. I'm assuming the proprietors meant “Ladies' Night,” but I have this image in my mind of the restaurant providing free entry to one particular laddie.

    The bottom line is that whenever you are using apostrophes, especially if you are making signs or flyers, take a second and a third look at them to make sure you're doing it right. Do you want to make your noun possessive, or are you making a contraction?

    1. Girls' Night Out -- sorry, cannot spell today. And if we are talking about proper grammar, I should have said my girlfriends and I. ;)

  4. Allison, your explanation that verbs don't take plurals makes sense. Megan, you are right about apostrophes - their misuse makes me nutty. SO glad you corrected your "me and my girlfriends" b/c after all, your girlfriends are not MEan :)

  5. If you mean a one-time night out with the girls, it should be "girls' night out." If you mean several nights out with the girls, it should be "girls' nights out." The "out" should not be plural in either meaning. My two cents....

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  7. Superb share on Girls' Night Out. I am just a big fan of night parties with my girl gang. One of my friends is getting married so we are now planning an all-night DIY bridal bash for her. Currently looking for affordable Chicago event space for that.


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