Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hen tales.....

We have the most delicious parties my sisters and me. When our kids were small we'd have our once a week "Hens". It was a way to stay connected to each other; it got us out of the house for a couple of hours which refreshed us for another week of motherhood. They were as necessary to our survival as food and water.

In case you may be wondering..."What exactly is a hen?"

Every hen has a few core elements...they are always (but not limited to) rich conversation, tearful hysterical laughter, name calling, sinful indulgence in tooo many pieces of chocolate and tooo many handfuls of Lays potato chips to name a few.

The true richness and value of a hen rests heavily on its attendees..they are always (but not limited to) a good audience, a non professional, yet wonderful masseuse, a hard worker or two, a few snoozers, ( and in later hens) one or two odd ball children, a much loved couple and a delightful new honorary family member.

In the beginning the rules were crystal clear....

No (rotten azz) men.
No (rotten azz) kids.

Our hens have evolved over the years to sometimes include children...(even hairy ones that pee standing up). This is especially true of birthday hens. The more the merrier is the motto.

Last night's (birthday) hen had us talking about the strange phenomenon that occurs when a person sees another person pull out a tube of Chap Stick (Carmax, Lip Balm)...unless you've survived a Michigan winter you have no true understanding how absolutely dire it is to have some kind of something to smear on your lips. That something needs to be within arms reach at all times...

One quick notice of that familiar yellow jarred Carmax in someone else's hand and in a span of mere seconds my lips go from simply hanging out on my face to being noticeably tight, parched, dehydrated, dried out, dried up, scorched, searing, burning blobs of puffed tissue that need some moisture. And fast! 

Don't look to your tongue to provide any hydration during one of these episodes. Your tongue, usually supple and moist, feels dried and tumbleweed.

Well, desperate times call for desperate measures....and if a desperate search to the bottom of one's pigpen purse doesn't turn up a mini jar of Vaseline or a tube of Carmex that person could become desperate enough to ask a total stranger for squirt or a dab or a dribble...anything to put out the lip fire.

I've been there.

This same phenomenon occurs with hand lotion...once when Googie was in the fifth grade she noticed a classmate moisturizing her hands. Googie's pint sized, instantly dry as a bone paws ached for a cure. She got up all her nerve and asked for a squirt.

The mean girl denied her request.

No, she couldn't spare a smidgen.

Googie's hands would have cried if she'd had any liquid left in them at all.

She claims to have never spoken another word to the girl who left her chapped and burning.

And some 11 years later she still holds a grudge.

We laughed at the uniformity of our human experience... all of us agreed dry hands, chapped lips, and mean girls suck.

Later, in the living room, (just as he knew they would when he snuggled up to her knees) Aunt Mick's hands found their way onto Bear's sore shoulders and he melted into one of her famous backrubs.

You know there is this strange phenomenon that occurs when we see someone getting a back rub......


  1. I love how, in this liquid life, some things just become richer. We are the queens of the hen indeed.

  2. For the past 19 years I have accepted the No (rotten azz) men rule just to find out that the rule has been broken. Thanks for the invite. (You are going in the pool for this one).


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