"I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!!" is how I end up describing a lot of my friends. Old friends, new friends, crazy friends and absurdly inappropriate friends. All of them bring some new facet to my life like a sparkling gem that nobody can quit stealing glances at. There is SO MUCH POWER in seeing them how God wants me to. Sometimes they do odd or uncomfortable things, but the more I see them like they're supposed to be, the more they become that way. Its a gift in me I really don't understand. I just try to go with it. Recently, I've become an overweight, greying 45 year old with an 11 month old baby. I'm a lot younger and more fit in my mind than you might guess from my outward appearances. The last year has not been generous to this figure. I only remember what I really look like when I try to sport a pair of jeans.
A week ago, my conscience reminded me that I needed to fit devotions in. That was actually the umpteenth time my conscience reminded me of it. Even though I was REALLY BUSY I decided I'd better listen. Trying to host an event at my house is like dumping a nest full of teenage squirrels into my living room. There is chaos in every direction. My house is too small for events, but it seems to be the place of choice for many people. There is always people tripping over each other and half the crowd ends up sitting on the floor while small children drop food and fuss in every direction. Its chaos in its purest form. That particular day, strangely reminded me of a few weeks back at the bar. It, too, was another day of chaos - but equally a day to remember. Due to the sensitive subject matter, my husband has disallowed me from blogging on events that happened then so I'm going to tell you about my chaotic bar encounter. I promise you'll never guess how the night ended...……………………
"Co-Dependent No More" has been cycling through Yaak like "Hand Foot and Mouth Virus", except in a better way. Instead of women finding spots on themselves and developing a high fever, we seem to be realizing a new kind of freedom. This freedom finds itself seeing bondage and not quite knowing how to break free from it. Each day, though, we find a new measure of freedom than the day before. This keeps propelling us in the right direction.
My girlfriend, Elasta Woman, had just finished this book and she was ready to put some of it into practice. So was I. We were going to "Ladies Night" at the bar with our girlfriends and not worrying about anything else. It was our night to express ourselves to each other and find freedom through dance, laughter and mirth. Our men were not so sure about this form of self expression seeing as how they are such good protectors of us.
Mostly the women who frequent "Ladies Nights" are the ones in the 60+ age group. They are hilarious fun. There is nothing like dancing with a bunch of wild old ladies abandon on the dance floor. It makes for a scene that you can't stop laughing over. They are always faithful devotees of "Ladies Night" in Yaak. On this particular night, I'd invited 75% of the "below 60" age group.
No sooner did I walk in the doors, but wild Twila, who lives very primitively in the wilds, scooped me up and drug me over to a table. We hadn't caught up in months and she was bouncing off the walls to catch me up on every last detail of her new job tanning hides and preserving animal body parts. As she described every gruesome detail, I couldn't help but remember that it was this very bar where I'd first seen her several years ago. She was dancing like a mad woman and sporting the slightest idea of a dress. At 57, she has a body rippling with muscles and can sport any kind of slight dress she wishes. At the time, it was just a little shocking for me to take in. I looked out there at her dancing and it was like somebody else was seeing her. The still small voice spoke to my heart and said "I want her", and I would be forever linked to her future. I would forever pursue her as my friend and see her how He saw her. So here we were, years later, and she is a different person than the woman I once pursued. She was bubbling over with gratefulness about her new job and proud to tell me. It was like coming home to a long lost friend, but more than that. It was seeing what a rich, generous and gracious woman she'd become. I felt humbled.
As the one man band began his introduction, he asked if anybody had shot anything that day. I was the only one who raised my hand. Everybody thought it was funny that I was at the bar only hours from having shot a 4x4. Only in Yaak do these bizarre mixes of huntress turned dance warrior take place. That is another cool story for another day, but sufficient to say there were some disgusted men involved.
Elastawoman and I started talking about "Co-Dependency No More" and how free we were feeling and then I just felt compelled to hug her. She started sobbing. It was a new freedom for her and I could just see her running for it with everything she had. Elasta Woman is like that. I did feel the slightest alarm at the idea that my hugging her invoked that kind of reaction. We were there to have fun and I wasn't trying to lead devotions in the bar. We sashayed out to the dance floor and started to "get down".
It wasn't long before a rainbow array of women old and young were moving to the beat and losing themselves. Then I looked across the bar and saw a woman standing by the pool table and I just knew I needed to go over and hug her. She looked fine, but the feeling wouldn't let up. I sighed, left the dance floor and put my arms around her, knowing that I never win out to my conscience. Suddenly she said "I'm so afraid' and started sobbing. I was beginning to get a complex now about the downward effect I was having on people, but I just kept on hugging her. I felt her pain and couldn't imagine what it would be like to try and winter in Yaak as a new widow. She wiped away the tears and we both took to the dance floor dancing our troubles away (or so I thought). I just wasn't getting into the music. I was starting to see a common theme here and unrest seemed to take me.
Thankfully, another wild and unusual woman bought us all a round of some type of fiery shot. Up until then I wasn't really feeling like alcohol, but more mulling over this new freedom busting out here. That's when this heavily intoxicated shot buying woman came up and started talking to me. I had some issues with her and knew we needed to iron some things out. My dear husband had busted onto the scene feeling the need to protect us girls. We sat together by her and I gently asked her, or maybe very gently confronted her. Then things turned south in a hurry. She was about 6 inches from my face yelling loudly. Other women gathered round, wondering if they needed to intervene, stepping closer and closer until there were several invading my personal space. My Honey's face turned grey with fury hearing the intoxicated woman's ideas. Peace kept me still and the wisdom in knowing that reasoning with alcohol is never wise made me chose my words wisely. After I heard what she had to say, Honey pulled me out on the dance floor. I was shaken and frustrated, but I knew the conversation was far from over. Honey walked off outside. I looked over at the woman. She was sitting by herself and the overwhelming urge to hug her came over me. It was again, just what the still small voice wanted. I thought "you've got to be kidding me, I narrowly escaped a brawl", but it persisted. Almost comically, I walked over laughing to myself at my absurd behavior and threw my arms around her. Yep, you guessed it, she stated crying. I gave up on the idea of ever whooping it up that night. She told me about her childhood and I realized we were fighting the same battle just from different standpoints. We came to an agreement.
Not long after that, one of my closest friends, who doesn't believe like me wanted to talk about God. We started having a funny conversation, but felt compelled out to the dance floor feeling the beat. As the beat grabbed us, we got crazier and crazier. That's when Elasta Woman said "wanna dance on the table?!". I looked around at the crazy mix of woman and all things considered said "sure why not?!". Before I knew it, Elasta Woman and I were bringing down the house, dancing on a table. She was free and she knew it. She was becoming "Co-Dependant No More". I was wondering about the sanity of an overweight 45 year old woman dancing on a table at the bar. I felt women around me, restless to express themselves. I wasn't the last woman to dance on a table that night, but I was the first. And strangely, its one of the highlights of my life...………………....