Voice Up

I prepared for the conference by eating lots of ice cream and fudge.

This week I am attending a conference for bloggers, spreaders of sparkle and DIY extraordinaire. I don't really fit the mold for the festivities. I don't wear glorious clothes freshly flown in from New York, I don't know how to create magnificent landscapes out of paper mache and a little luck and I have never used a glue gun. However. The people are nice and the opportunities are shiny. I write for Caravan Shoppe occasionally so when they said, " Hey Meg, you want a ticket to that Alt thing?" I was like, "yes, please, thank you."

Last night I went to one of the opening dinners at Settebellos. First, can we talk about how glorious that place is? Their  misto plate comes with  mini balls of goat cheese rolled in nut slivers. The accompanying artichoke hearts are cured in house. THERE ARE FIVE DIFFERENT KINDS OF CURED MEAT PILED ON A WOOD BOARD OF DELIGHT. I am sure there was conversation occurring while the first course sat on the table, but I did not hear much of it because, you know, MINI BALLS OF GOAT CHEESE.

Once I came up for air I spent the rest of the night trying to hold back tears. Yeah, I was that girl. Can you imagine the collective conversations on the way home from dinner?

"Did you see the brunette at the end of the table? Yeah, the one that practically made love to the mortadella and then kind of looked weepy the rest of the night? What was her deal? Should we be concerned?"

Anyways, the cause of the tears. Here was a group of women I had never met. All different backgrounds and different hopes. As I sat in front of the battlefield that was my plate ("Was she angry at the pizza? Is that why she ate it so ferociously and unnaturally quickly?"), I marveled at my circumstance. Fifteen years ago, I didn't think my voice, my hopes, my thoughts - my person! - was worth anyone's notice. Which I suppose is sad. But I also didn't think I was worth my own care, my own understanding. I was below my own notice. And that, fair reader, is sad. If statistics have anything to say about it, a few, if not a majority, of the the women at that table last night have been below their own notice at some point or another, too. And yet, in a grand statement of hope and worth, we had all put on lipstick and gathered around that table to hear and be heard.

My tears, my gratitude for the circumstance had nothing to do with the world of blogging. It is a place that doesn't always fit me. Rather it came from the fact that I think in this moment of light and understanding these lipstick shined dinners are happening so many places for so many women. We are finally coming together, finally utilizing this magnificent sisterhood to support our voices and lend support to the voices of others. We are seeking our tribes, understanding the power of being heard in our workplace, our communities and most importantly, our homes. The forum doesn't matter, the gentle power behind each voice does.

So, dear sisters, today while I shy away from photo booths and try to figure out how to walk graciously in heels for more than three hours, I ask this. Please. Take notice. Your fellow women need you and you sure as hell deserve to be heard. Gather, talk, listen and seek. And for the love of heaven, if you happen to be wearing red lipstick while you do it all the better.

Goat cheese optional, but strongly encouraged.