Wednesday
Nov222017

The Women's Colony

The Women's Colony

Many years ago, Mrs. G. and her beloved friend Faye showed up at the same mom's group. They connected instantly, and it didn't take them long to ditch the group (as Mrs. G. recalls many in the group were overly invested in and vocal about just how important they were prior to having children) in favor of a more intimate connection. Mrs. G's three-year-old-daughter adored Faye's three-year-old son, and Mrs. G. grooved on Faye -- the years they spent together are some of Mrs. G's most cherished. While Mrs. G. is lucky to have made many dear friends since she and Faye moved to opposite ends of the country, there has never been another friend who Mrs. G. has truly felt got her the way Faye did. And even though Mrs. G. hasn't seen Faye in six years, she holds Faye in the nook of her heart that she reserves for those rare people who offer unconditional friendship, unconditional love. In other words, if Faye ever flipped her lid and accidentally committed a premeditated murder, Mrs. G. would not only help her move the body but store it in her freezer and lie under oath.

During their many days and months of hard core mothering, birthing of additional babies, sapped marriages and overall weariness, they would frequently talk about the Women's Colony they would retire to when the kids were grown, and the husbands were gone. Just exactly how the husbands would be gone wasn't examined at any dangerous length. The fantasy was more about the sanctity of a female refuge for older, tired women who needed some sort of estrogen infused utopia. When times were tough, Faye and Mrs. G. would simply utter "Women's Colony" and nerves would ebb, hope would rally, dinner would make it to the table, children would be bathed, bedtime stories would be read, and, finally, wine bottles would be drained.

The Women's Colony would be in some out of the way place, some little slice of paradise that was off the grid and extremely difficult to access. Men would find it particularly hard to locate because without a doubt, they would be required to stop and ask for directions. Like that's going to happen.

 

It would be a place where women could come to spend their post mothering/wifing/working woman years to live completely as themselves. The selfish pursuit of individual desire and authenticity would be encouraged and allowed -- guilt free and without any emotional cost. No scales, no mirrors and fat asses, cellulite, age spots, chin hairs, crows feet and bras optional. For those reluctant to cut all ties with their heterosexual needs, husbands and boy toys gentleman friends could be bussed in on Thursdays and Sundays for conversation and such. Appreciative children, grandchildren and emotionally stable relatives could come to visit every other Saturday and all major holidays.
 

This Women's Colony would not be any sort of Hee-Haw existence. No one would have to live on a school bus or make hemp hammocks to support her diet of quinoa and tempeh. Or kale, no motherfucking kale. 

 

Each woman would have an entire floor of a house like this...

 

or this...

 

or this.

 

Faye and Mrs. G. felt strongly that there should be a row of connected rocking chairs on the front porches of the various houses, and each evening, it would be one woman's responsibility to do the rocking. The rest of the women would just sit there and sip gin chill.


There would need to be a butler to overlook the running of the house and the division of labor that would not involve any of the women.

 

After years of full calendars and the juggling the lives of others, every woman's "to do" list would basically be nothing, nothing and nothing. For those with a need to be productive, they would be free do whatever the hell they wanted. There would be no pairing of socks or locating anything for anybody. Anyone who uttered the phrase, "What's for dinner?" would be told to shut up, just shut up.
 
 

 

In the Women's Colony, bathrooms would be sanctuaries of solace and joy. No bathtub or toilet scrubbing or dealing with hairs whose origins are too disturbing to contemplate.

 

There would be creative spaces for each woman: writing and pottery studios and crafting spaces and dark rooms.

 

Communal dinners would be optional.

But this guy would be the Colony's personal chef. We'll get to the maid and dishwasher momentarily. Bourdain doesn't do dishes.

Fresh organic vegetables,fruits and herbs would be grown right on the property

 

And, of course, a full-time gardener would be on site.

 

Oh, and there would be flowers...fields and fields of flowers.

 

Despite the Colony not having an in-ground pool, a pool boy would be available for serving cocktails, rubbing in sunscreen and gratuitous eye candy.

 

There would be no no pool, because the ocean would be just a stone's throw away from everyone's homes.

 

As mentioned earlier, members of the Women's Colony would have no mandatory chores. Those would be completed by the Colony's full-time maid.

 

Yes, another pristine woman-only bathroom. Mrs. G. is willing to admit that the concept of a man-free bathroom was the cornerstone of her Women's Colony fantasy.

 

Despite the Colony's rural setting, regular house calls would be made by a prominent physician.

 


There would be a music room with a roaring fireplace.

 

And a yoga/meditation space amongst the luscious trees.

 

And a library overflowing with books and flanked by overstuffed chairs.

 

Please forgive Mrs. G's obsessive need to keep returning to the clean bathroom.

 

In recognition that men need to pee too, an outhouse would be provided. Toilet paper at no extra charge.

All animals welcome.

 

No shortage of spaces to be alone and spy on the gardener read a good book.

 

Mrs. G. would assume the responsibility of taking care of the laundry, so it wouldn't take too long before clothing became optional.

 

Rocking chairs, gardens, beach front property, no chores, clean bathrooms, gourmet food, conjugal visits, handsome servants...paradise, people. Female paradise. And in the meantime, when the boss is bitching, the kids are mouthy, the spouse is cranky, the relatives keep reminding you of all the things you could do better, take a deep breath and exhale Women's Colony...Women's Colony.

 
But with better hair. Who's in?
Sunday
Oct192014

Well Hell, Woman

I don't think this is going to surprise most of you, but after much thought, I'm hanging up my blogging hat. After nearly eight years, I feel Derfwad Manor has run its course. I actually feel it ran its course a good while ago, but I just couldn't let it go.

 

Unlike in the past, this is not a reaction to anything other than that it's time. The quality and consistency of posts have gone down and the pesky breaks are getting longer. My love for Johnny Depp has, frankly, waned. Now it's all about Mark Ruffalo and Peter Quinn from Homeland. I think blogs have seasons and I can feel this one's is over. 

 

The main reason I've been hanging on is because of of the community we've built over time. I can't speak for you, but without it, my life would be far less satisfying. I know many of you nearly as well as you know me. I've been reading your generous, thoughtful comments (and blogs) for years and had the privilege of meeting a number of you. I've met your families and slept in your homes.

 

Thank you for that.

 

So with all this in mind, I hope we can start a forum to keep on trucking, together. I'm thinking we should start a private Facebook group. I'm not very well versed in forum platforms so if any of you have better ideas, please let me know. If you're interested in creating a group, leave a comment on this post on DM's Facebook page and I will invite you to join. I'm going to keep the blog open a few weeks so everyone knows the scoop, and then I'm going to pull the old broad down to eliminate monthly hosting fees.

 

I began Derfwad Manor when I received a laptop from my family on my 40th birthday. Thank you to them for kicking off a really amazing ride.

 

May your Secret Boyfriends remain loyal and your hair keep looking good. If you are ever in Seattle, let's have coffee. I mean it (mrs.ggggggggggggggg@gmail.com). See you in the funny papers.

Thursday
Oct162014

Full Confessional Friday! 10/16/2014

Be it Venial or Mortal (there's no escaping Original), we've all got secrets -- light, dark, funny, sad -- worth bringing to light. The act of confession can be liberating, mollifying and entertaining. Contrition? Repentance? A shot of Tequila? That's your call, sister. 

Tuesday
Oct142014

The Certainty of Uncertainty

Mrs. G. sat down six hours ago to write a long overdue update of her life in the margins. September was a trying, uphill month for a number of reasons she is incapable of explaining with any clarity. And should she? Of course she should, because who wants to miss a minute of her ongoing, continually unfolding Lifetime drama: Stout Middle-Aged Woman Searching for Meaning in the Walgreens Candy Aisle

That's right. Mrs. G. lives at the corner of happy and healthy. Just not in September.

It all started with Algebra, hours and hours of tackling it head on, day after day. Mrs. G. couldn't get it because she never got it. Her last required math class was in high school, taught by a man, Dan Hedgeman, who was counting the months until he was eligible for retirement, Mr. Hedgeman smelled like old coffee and anguish. He frequently referenced ships that didn't come in and warned his students to "Just wait, you'll see."

Mrs. G. finally saw...she needed a tutor. The battle continues. Mrs. G. is winning.

Algebra was followed by family visits and a stomach issue that required consistent vomiting for a couple of weeks. She'll spare you the details but Mrs. G. feels the need to share that her visit to a gastroenterologist further compromised her lifelong commitment to the sanctity of her ass. When she called Mr. G. to report the security breach, he told her Sanctity of My Ass should be the title of her first novel. She hung up on him. He called her back and asked her if she had just hung up on him. She assured him she hadn't, that he must not have heard her say goodbye. It's these kinds of games that keep their love alive.

In between throwing up and solving for x, Mrs. G. would sit down and try to write, but she kept coming up empty, so empty she started to question her ability to write, to even discern good writing. She felt like a fraud. She was embarrassed. Rather than pouring a glass of ginger ale and calling it a day, Mrs. G. shut her laptop and didn't open it up until yesterday when her daughter called and told Mrs. G. that someone had contacted her to see if everything was ok.

Everything is ok. Thank you for asking. Mrs. G. just needed to take a break...a long ass break. Her laptop sat on the dining room table, untouched, for nearly thirty days. This is odd to admit but Mrs. G. was wary of it. She would walk by and avoid looking at it. There was a peculiar stand off that Mrs. G. is unable to clearly explain. Like her, the whole deal was weird. Particularly since September is typically her favorite month of the year. October, though, is looking a-ok.

There you have it in 521 words. Mrs. G. intended to just quietly slide back in with no fanfare because she hates writing slushy accounts of her good, little, typical life. There are so many bigger fish to fry. Truly.

Fair is fair. How was your September?

Saturday
Oct112014

no, she is not in the witness protection program

 

Mrs. G. apologizes for her absence. Back on Monday with the whole twisted story.

Friday
Aug152014

Full Confessional Friday! 8/15/2014

Be it Venial or Mortal (there's no escaping Original), we've all got secrets -- light, dark, funny, sad -- worth bringing to light. The act of confession can be liberating, mollifying and entertaining. Contrition? Repentance? A shot of Tequila? That's your call, sister. 

Friday
Aug012014

Full Confessional Friday! 8/1/2014

Be it Venial or Mortal (there's no escaping Original), we've all got secrets -- light, dark, funny, sad -- worth bringing to light. The act of confession can be liberating, mollifying and entertaining. Contrition? Repentance? A shot of Tequila? That's your call, sister. 

Thursday
Jul242014

the friend with the GREAT sense of humor...you know, the funny one

Mrs. G. has always been skeptical of popularity, a bit cagey of it's often shallow, slippery nature. It makes her skittish. Maybe it's because she spent her youth on its periphery. While popularity was her desired bright lights and big city destination, Mrs. G. resided squarely in the suburb of close but no cigar. She wasn't unpopular; she was just there...amiable, no trouble, perfectly fine. She was always invited to the party, but she didn't, you know, own it. She stood in the corner with her friend Karen nursing a Bartles and James wine cooler and smoking a clove cigarette. She was worldly though she lived in teeny Tigard, Oregon.

 

When she went to high school, Mrs. G. had a decent time. She had plenty of friends—she ran cross country and was on the speech team. She was a brain, but she was also good-natured and approachable. It's true Mrs. G. had sensational hair, but she was short and stocky and wore fairly thick glasses. She tried contacts but she accidentally swallowed them in a movie theater and her mom wouldn't buy her another pair because money doesn't grow on trees you know, or fall from the sky ferchristssake.  Mrs. G.  wasn't deferential. She was cute enough but not hot...as in hot hot if you know what she is saying... and you do. She was luke warm, fair to middling. It didn't take her long to figure out that she needed to be funny. She needed to be charming and share her impeccable biology notes, so that the hot hot people would occasionally invite her out with them...for entertainment purposes. She could make them laugh while they sat around drinking Big Gulps and looking beautiful. She was the nonthreatening friend.


 

One of the advantages of being a girl with the good personality in high school is that Mrs. G. had no trouble getting dates. She was a guaranteed good time—gracious and grateful, drama free. If there was a dance, Mrs. G. was there with one of her many guy friends. Dancing. Laughing. Her dates were engaging, perfect gentlemen. They gave her frothy pink wrist corsages and helped her fluff up her hair when the humidity of the dance floor made it droop. Her dates were unusually supportive of her commitment to save herself for marriage and often went shopping with her to pick out the perfect dress and matching heels. They were kind and respectful and, Mrs. G. found out a few years later to her genuine, twenty-four carat surprise, gay. Gay gay. She's not sure who was deeper in the closet, likely her since she was genuinely clueless. Mrs. G. slowly came to realize that she might have been the most popular date of the gays in her high school. And to make matters a little more nonsensical, she didn't find out her homecoming and prom dates were gay until she ran into them after college and asked after their girlfriends. Columbo she's not. Mrs. G. often wonders if they took numbers—sorry pal, you had her for the Spring Fling...she's mine for Tolo. And while it's true that she didn't brush up against love until later in college, she also didn't come home disappointed or pregnant. Or with chlymidia. 

 

flat-tire-770803

Mrs. G. never really felt bad that she wasn't hot hot. She is a genuine believer in the American Dream and making the most of what you've got—she didn't sit around whining or wishing for longer legs or cheekbones...until she got a flat tire in Northeast Portland in 1986. She pulled her car over to the side of the road and hoofed it to a phone booth to call her friend Beth. Beth said she was on her way, so Mrs. G. hoofed it back, leaned against the hood of her car and watched the rush hour traffic go by—car after car after car. Beth showed up a short while later. She had barely pulled her six footed, blue eyed, creamy skinned, down-to-the-waist blonde haired body out of her car and walked six steps toward Mrs. G. before a guy in a red Jeep pulled over and jumped out to offer his assistance.

Mrs. G, who had been standing on the side of the road for over thirty minutes, watched this scene unfold in slow motion and realized that there was only one thing she could do:

be funnier.