Theme: The personal rituals shared between lady friends.
Written by Meg
Besides the obvious rituals my friends and I practice (animal sacrifices, throwing virgins into volcanos, and dancing around a burning pile of self-help books), what I do with my ladies is make stuff. My husband will tell you it’s a kind of illness. It’s not like I have a lot of spare time on my hands to take on new ambitious projects, but when I meet talented and creative women, I can’t help myself!
Like, back in 2009, I was happily spending many evenings at my now-husband’s apartment. He would make his Classic Bachelor Dish for us (variations on pasta), and his roommates and I would sit around the table working on crafts. We had a knitter, a crocheter, a monster-hoodie maker, and a girl with a business plan (who could also make anything pretty out of yarn). We all decided to go into business together, and founded Polka Dot Robot (PDR).
We sold our goods at craft fairs, we had an online store, and our trusty blogger-maven helped generate buzz for us. It was exciting, it was hard, and it was incredibly fun to do with these ladies. We kept at it for a few years. We never made a whole lot of money and eventually came to a crossroads. It got to a point where it was not sustainable for us, so we put PDR in hibernation-mode. I don’t cherish the blog comments, the sales data, or even the designs that we created from those years of working together. What I cherish are the nights when we hunkered down around a table finishing products, writing descriptions, and drinking bottomless coffees so we could be ready for the crowds at the fair the next day.
Those are the moments I live for in a friendship.
Around this same time, I was a baby in the theater community. I was working part-time with multiple theater companies and finding myself doing a lot of paper shuffling and not a lot of art-making. My other theater-babies were in the same boat, so you can imagine the most logical next step: we founded our own theater company. We worked under a few different names. The first was Antistrophe Ensemble, but we quickly learned that a successful company shouldn’t require it’s audience to look up the meaning of their name. We shifted to Inkblot Ensemble, got a logo, and started making art! Again, it was hard. We were young and wanted to create something “challenging, provoking, and experimental” – I mean, come on, we were fresh out of liberal arts programs. Give us a break.
We busted our collective ass on a collaboratively written full length play about greek mythology, space, and being stuck in an abusive relationship. IT WAS ART. It was something we could not have created individually, and it was an incredible process that bonded us tightly together. Inkblot is a thing of the past now, but we still carry the memory of sitting in a living room with pages of script laid before us, trying to figure out just where these characters were going.
Which brings me to my most recent group of ladies. We are good at making one thing, and one thing only – we make bitches laugh. We call ourselves Lucky Bitches, and we’re in the planning stages of making a comedy podcast featuring the three of us being hilarious. Once again, I find myself sitting in friends’ living rooms hovering above a yellow legal pad taking notes. I am tracking my calendar like a mad woman, making sure I don’t triple-book myself with another project. I continue to do this to myself, and as much as it makes me (and the people I love) crazy, I love it. I’m creating something with my best friends. How much better can it get?
Sure, my lady rituals may not involve menstrual blood, running naked in the wild, or an elaborate secret society initiation that takes place in an underground cave, but I just don’t think those are all that creative anyways.
Bring me your yarn, your characters, your cheap fart jokes yearning to break free! That’s my kind of ritual.