CHICA PEEPS: groups of women who anchor, guide and nurture each other, often through humor; sisterhoods of strength and support.
Velya Jancz-Urban maintains a website filled with stories and women and friendship, and is calling for more stories about why we value our female companions: http://www.chicapeeps.com/.
This Christmas as I open my cards from women friends I once again reflect on how these female friendships have grown more valuable to to me in my December years. In my youth I had girlfriends I couldn't wait to share all my news with. In junior high, for instance, I had baton-twirling friends from Carpenterettes, and fellow referees and umpires from Girls' Athletic Club. By high school, there were sorority sisters from Scians, fellow dancers in Pavlovettes, and reporters from the Manual Arts Daily.
Then, by college, things shifted. Books and boys took over, and I married at the close of my freshman year. So in my early adulthood, my husband became my closest confidante. Later my days became so stuffed with childraising, housework, college classes and then demanding jobs...there weren't many moments left to even think about making any women friends, let alone spend any time with them.
In my early 40s I divorced, and once again I had time to form bonds with other women. Some of those friendships, begun 30 or more years ago, remain the closest to my heart today. Over the subsequent decades I've found new friends, as well...women I've worked with, women in my book groups, and recently, women I've met at the University of Cambridge International Summer School and women I've worked with in civic activities, such as Colville Branch AAUW.
More recently I've joined a new family of women, all connected with the family of the Not Your Mother's Book publishing project. Plus I have other individual female writers that I check in with frequently.
When I think, though, of my women friends, Annie these days first pops into mind. She's the one I connect with every day...the one who hears it all, just as if I were in high school all over again. Sometimes it seems to me as if nothing really happens until I've shared it with Annie. Even as I write this blog I'm munching on the Christmas cookies she sent me from Pennsylvania.
Velya wants women's stories about their same-sex friendships for her Chica Peeps book. Please browse around her colorful website and send her the word of why you're sentimental about your women friends! Here's the Chica Peeps website again: http://www.chicapeeps.com/.
My story about Annie first appeared in Thin Threads: Stories of Women and Friendship.