She For She: Every-Day Ways Women Help Women.

Growing up in the 70s, I was lucky to be told I could be whatever I wanted to be by mom.  She was a huge fan of Gloria Steinem, admiring the voice she didn’t have to promote equal rights for women, at least not publicly.  She could tell me.  Over forty years later, the world is still talking about gender inequality and a new movement, HeForShe was launched in September.  The movement redefines the perception of 70s feminism to include men in the fight too.  I applaud Emma Watson’s speech to the UN, giving a heartfelt and thought provoking talk about her own experiences of gender bias and encouraging everyone to make it stop.  The HeForShe movement got me thinking about how women help other women, “she for she,” the every day kind.  Sometimes only a girlfriend will do.  My mom showed me how to do this too, driving our elderly buxom neighbor to get special bras only available at a store faraway.  It makes me so happy when women get behind a girl-in-need whether it’s for a fleeting moment or for the long haul. We need each other. We help each other. We get each other.



I could kiss the sales lady who helps me find the perfect dress for an event or picks out an amazing pair of jeans. You gotta love a sales girl that will tell you, “Those jeans make your butt look GREAT!”   It’s kind of awkward to ask a BFF if your butt looks awesome in your new jeans but by then you are probably out to lunch in those fab pants. She would do it for you though. A husband will NEVER do in those moments, too much on the line. For the brutal truth, my teenage boys are pretty good, except the “butt” question. In general, fashion is best left up to the girls, a “she for she” moment.

Don’t you love the complete stranger nudging you at checkout, “Psst. The price tag is still on your shirt.” Or in my mom’s day, “you’re snowing down south” if your slip crept below your skirt. In the veggie aisle I noticed a lady’s cardigan was hiked up in the back, trapped under her cross-body purse. I reached out to pull it down and told her, “You just need a girlfriend to pull down your sweater in the back.” She laughed and so did the man witnessing the interaction. He could never do that for her but he could sympathize.

So embarrassing!

So embarrassing!

Work is tricky territory. I love what Madeline Albright has to say, “There is a special place in hell for women who do not support other women.” Work is a happy place when you are a team. Amongst my peers, we are thrilled for the friend who finds a new job as we look for the next thing after motherhood. I’m overwhelmed at the number of friends supporting my blog. I was scared to death people would find it silly. Instead it’s the complete opposite. My followers tell me they miss me or tell me they love a post and I am walking on air for at least twenty-four hours. Although rarely stated, when a girlfriend high-fives the other on the new job, the subtext of the message is like she escaped, i.e. “she’s getting out” or “she found her thing.” We are genuinely happy for our new working friends and maybe a tiny jealous. Nevertheless, we are “she for she” on the work front in my circle.

Then there are the big moments when a girlfriend really needs another girlfriend or even a posse of pals. A happy time is delivering dinners to a mom with a new baby. Dreary times might be a big bike accident when dinners and drivers are needed as happened with my hubby. And sadly, horrible times when one of our own is struck down by something widespread like breast cancer. I don’t know if it’s my age, better technology or the impact of a toxic world, but I know way too many people affected by breast cancer with no family history. I don’t know one woman who wouldn’t drop everything to help. A guy would help for sure, but this one needs a “she for she” connection.

pink ribbonOctober is breast cancer month. Ironically, a good friend of mine was recently diagnosed and is starting treatment mid October. She is lucky as it was caught early so the radiation treatment is minimal. When she first told me I was shocked. I wanted to help immediately. I wanted to do anything. I put the offer out to her and she was so grateful. It’s a tough thing to tell someone or even hear those words come out of your mouth.

My friend asked for the most touching request for support. She asked a group of us for two upbeat songs she could add to her playlist so she could be happy, feel her friends’ presence while she’s driving to radiation treatment or sitting through it—a virtual hug she called it. Maybe she would even sing the songs out loud! I wanted to cry when I read her request. I got goose bumps. I am getting goose bumps just thinking about it again. I love singing my favorite songs while driving or cooking. I immediately thought of two songs for her to sing.

Carry On by Fun. The title alone tells it all, just leave the past behind and keep going.  It’s also one to sing really loud and really strong.

My second pick, Try by Colbie Calliat.  The first time I heard Try I thought, “Wow. This is a great message for the gals.” The beginning is about how hard we work at the gym, dressing up, making ourselves up so our friends like us.  Maybe it’s partly true. The important message comes at the end when we let it all hang out, “Don’t you like you?” I kind of look at it as a “she for she” encouraging “me for me” and liking you anyway. I like that message and I especially like it for my friend when I bet she isn’t feeling very pretty. She is very pretty, no matter what. She for She, the way it should be, always.

Share on Facebook

Sweet Revenge. The Good Kind.

Revenge is sweet sometimes. Yes, the feeling of getting even is gratifying but often times it comes about by a mean act, sinful really. Sometimes revenge can be a way to settle the score, nicely. A time when nobody gets hurt but the message is heard. I found myself in the most unlikely of situations…

Share on Facebook

Electronic Dance Music and Sriracha Festival

I was hip for two hours with my family at the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) and Sriracha Food Festival in San Jose. Food trucks featured the tasty hot sauce in their signature dishes be it tacos, poutines or cupcakes. I just knew my boys would like it, particularly the youngest. My husband would love it…

Share on Facebook

College Tour 2014: University of British Columbia, Vancouver

The University of British Columbia was the last stop on the Summer 2014 college tour.  The other schools we toured included:  University of Oregon, University of Washington and University of Puget Sound. As long as we were in Seattle, we thought a “quick” drive across the Canadian border to Vancouver would make a fine stop. (Not quick!)  …

Share on Facebook

College Tour 2014: University of Puget Sound

The University of Puget Sound was the third stop on the Summer 2014 college tour*.  Our tour guide made the hour long walk around campus an entertaining and welcoming experience.  She encouraged everyone to talk and tried to match up their interests with someone she knew for a duet, i.e. my son and her friend for…

Share on Facebook

College Tour 2014: University of Washington

The University of Washington was our second stop on the Summer 2014 college tour.  The other schools we toured included:  University of Oregon, University of Puget Sound, University of British Columbia. Our guide was pretty smart, just like the school.  He said coming from a small town the big school was an adjustment but it…

Share on Facebook

College Tour 2014: Oregon University

Summer 2014 was packed with college tours. Our oldest is going to be a junior and because we are planners, we are starting the college hunt now. I don’t know how much fun he is having with the search, but the parents are really into it. Neither mom nor dad had a choice; we went…

Share on Facebook

BlogHer14: My first blog conference.

Last week, I went to my first blogger’s conference, BlogHer14 in San Jose, a three-day affair. For my readers, BlogHer is what I call the BIG BLOG in the sky, a website home to just about any type of blog imaginable in one place– a directory and community of mostly women bloggers, founded by three…

Share on Facebook

LA: It’s About the Doughnuts

Doughnuts and LA go together about as well as candy bars and diet pills, at least that’s what I used to think. To me, LA conjures up images of beaches, bikinis, movie stars and Malibu Barbie. A recent trip to LA was anything but a suntanned and slender experience. We stayed inland, about an hour…

Share on Facebook

Retinal Detachment: A Public Service Announcement.

For about a week, I had a “smudge” at the corner of my left eye. All I wanted to do was clean my glasses or my contacts but the smudge didn’t go away. I kept thinking of a photo a stranger took of my husband, my 14-month-old and me in front of the Louvre in…

Share on Facebook