My Tribe

“You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die.”

-E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

The other night, I’m having a drink with my good friend Charlotte. Normally, my Wednesday nights are spent at home, hanging with the hubby. Earlier in the day, though, Char had put out a cry on her Facebook page, calling for a girl’s night because “Grammie’s got the kids! Who’s with me?!”

Char is like me. We almost NEVER go out.

I saw that post, glanced at it with a “ha-ha,” and went back to “whatever it is that [I] do all day” (direct quote from Ray). But because I “liked” her post, it kept updating me on the comments. “No’s” one right after the other, like, a ton. Charlotte knows a lot of people, but none of them were available. Looked like she had two choices: go out alone, or stay in . . .again.

Well, I wasn’t going to let either one of those things happen, dammit. She’s in my tribe.

When I Googled “women tribe” looking for my picture for this blog, there were images of African tribal ladies, images of women hugging each other, images of groups of ladies in swinging floral skirts and hippie bead headbands flashing peace signs at the photographer.

Um, where were the wine, stink faces and stained gym clothes? Where were the chipped (or missing) fingernails and the chick on her phone with the police on the other end telling her to come and pick up her husband again?

OK, so my tribe is a little different.

The Fit Friend

Well, of course I have one of these. And thank goodness. Without her, I wouldn’t likely push myself in my workout (or go as often, for that matter). I wouldn’t clog my weekends and break the bank registering for a myriad of running races (“Have you seen this medal?! OMG LOVE!”). I wouldn’t develop strange hurts in places I didn’t know could hurt. And I wouldn’t constantly be trolling for the next workout craze to drag her to before she finds it first.

She (and I) live in our workout gear, so it’s always nice when we get to see what we look like on the rare occasion that we “clean up”. . .although it’s not likely we will recognize each other when we do. But at least we will look good after all that hard work.

The Wild Friend

I love her. I get to live vicariously through her without going to jail. I judge her, and shake my head at her antics, and realize that breaking open a bag of Cheez-its at the store before paying for them doesn’t even come close to what she’s capable of. I also get to hate her for the adventures she gets to experience while I’m hanging out at my house folding laundry. So basically, she allows me to be self-righteous and envious at the same time. Keeps me well-rounded. So that I stay good.

The Responsible Friend

Drives me home from a night with the Wild Friend. Reminds me about school activities and parent meetings and always has whatever I need in her purse. She also has a way of putting things in perspective. She’s my Mary Poppins. And she makes me look good.

The Organizer

Woot WOOT!!!! It is (insert holiday here) again! Let’s celebrate! Never fear, this chick has had local events on her calendar for months. If ever I need something to do, she’ll be the first to respond on Facebook. And not just with something. Something COOL. Which I can then take pictures of my kids doing and share. Which makes me look good.

The Cheerleader

SO supportive! Anything I do, good or bad, she makes sure that I know how awesome I am. Which is awesome. Her smile is infectious, which always makes my day and can pull me out of whatever funk (or hangover) I may be experiencing. Which makes me feel good.

The Martha

Oh. Martha. You are perfect. Is there nothing you can’t do (dammit)? I will continue to go to your parties because they are amazing. I will totally aspire to be you with your perfectly put together home, your meticulously coiffed and ridiculously clean children, and your inability to create any craft that is not “quality.” But I’ll just live in your shadow, thanks. I have a feeling if I tried ever to one-up you, you would just do it ten times better the next time to show me how it’s really done. So that’s OK. I’m good.

Getting the theme, here? Whoever makes up your tribe, likely you keep them around because they bring out the best in you. My peeps keep me good. Whatever the definition of “good” means in relation.

And which category do I fit in with my tribemates? I’d like to think I’m a nice combination of all of them. . . except maybe my Wild Friend and Martha. But I can always aspire.

Wrapping up our evening, Char leans in and says, “Your shirt is inside out,” and hands me a napkin. “You got this little thing. . .”

Ahhhh. TRIBE.




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