I'd have to say that the best part of living in Maine is having a whole boatload of off-beat friends. I had a handful in Dallas, but for the most part, my Dallasites could fit comfortably into the I Shop Exclusively at Whole Foods and Carry an $800 Purse box. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, I'm just saying...
But here in Maine my friends run the gamut, and let me tell you, these girls make Whole Foods look just about as crunchy as Best Buy.
There's Anna, who owns and operates an organic farm--she knit the sweater Maggie wore for her baby blessing in approximately four minutes. The last time I saw Anna, she was all torn up because Oboe the goat was ramming her in the ass with his horns every time she bent over to tend her herb crops. Three days later, Oboe was loaded up into the back of her Volvo wagon for a very special field trip--if you know what I mean. He's since been donated to the food bank.
As for me? Well? I make my own yogurt.
Impressed? No? Fine.
Then there's Monika. Instead of money, the woman basically barters eggs and beeswax for everything she could ever dream of owning. I have a couple of friends who nursed their children past the age of three, I have another set of friends who run a hard cider business out of their basement (and grow the apples in their very own orchard...and have a tractor), there's the friend that has a chicken and beef home delivery service, there's the full-time soap maker and of course, there's Jenn.
Jenn is just, well, Jenn.
She has reddish curly hair, she lives in a circa-1800 farmhouse, and this girl is a true-to-life ass kicker.
Two weeks ago, Jenn pulled into my driveway in her mother's Cadillac (which was an unbelievably ironic sight to behold) and hand delivered an invitation to her Blessing Way.
I was like, "What's this?"
And she was all, "An invitation to my Blessing Way."
I nodded, and pretended to know exactly what in the freaking hell she was talking about. If she had said something like, "It's an iPhone app that tells dirty jokes in a Canadian accent," or "It's a coupon for red, white, and blue Oreos," I would have been right on board. But it wasn't either of those things. It was an invitation to a Blessing Way.
Now I should back up and mention that Jenn's approximately nine-and-a-half months pregnant right now. So I opened the invitation and read something to the affect of:
I let it all sink in and I was like, "Girl? Don't you want some Pampers?"
But she didn't. So I stole some flowers from my neighbor's bush, I found a bead in the shape of fish (and one that looked just like a uterus), I put some soap samples in a little burlap bag, and I was all amped up for the Blessing Way.
Oh, and before I forget...I recently bought some skinny jeans from the clearance rack at Target. Yes, they make my butt look ginormous, yes, I require help to get them on and off, and yes, they're 170% spandex--but they were $6.97 and make me feel thirteen again, so I couldn't say no.
I won't mince words here--I adore the skinny jeans. They're obnoxious and inappropriate, but just like the show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, I can't help myself--I keep going back. Jared on the other hand? Jared absolutely, 100% detests the skinny jeans. He firmly believes I should wear them with a t-shirt that says, "I'm Gonna Get a Raging Yeast Infection!"
But Jared wasn't invited to the Blessing Way, now was he? So guess what I wore? It was all girls, who were more than in touch with their lady parts. So what if they could make out every detail of my vajango through the spandex? These ladies love vaginas!
So I did it, I rocked the skinny jeans. And my ballet flats--obviously.
I arrived at the Blessing Way about thirty minutes late, and when I walked into the living room everyone was already seated in a circle, sharing the details of their maternal heritage and their birth stories--positive things only. Bare feet, natural fibers, and broomstick skirts were a'flowing. Skinny jeans? They were not.
I tiptoed across the room and did my best to assume an om-like cross-legged position on the floor.
Yeah, no dice.
I was able to cross my feet at the ankles, bend my knees approximately 72 degrees, and quickly come to grips with the fact that skinny jeans and yoga poses have absolutely nothing in common. Not a thing.
At that point, my options were as follows:
Call me crazy, but none of these options were particularly compelling. So I stood, and I smiled, and I simultaneously called upon The Universe, Mother Nature, and Jesus to manifest a chair for me and my skinny jeans.
And that very moment, like a Super Hero in upcycled clothing, Jenn's husband appeared with an office chair and a smile.
The rest of the night was completely fantastic. It was filled with singing, Tibetan prayer flag making, food, henna tattooing, and finally, the hostess tied us all together with a red bamboo string--of course. Obviously, there wasn't a Pamper in sight.
I love it here in Maine, and I sincerely hope I'm invited to a million-and-a-half more Blessing Ways before I die. Now don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be caught dead in a broomstick skirt, but I can chant with the best of 'em.