Nothing like a little outing with the ladies

Paula Tessier
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There’s not a woman on the planet who doesn’t need a good therapy session from time to time. Not necessarily a therapy session in the traditional sense, but one just as valuable nonetheless.

I’m talking about a little bit of time with other ladies you admire, but with one critical condition; ladies who won’t judge you for what you will likely say if there’s enough wine or caffeine!

So, last Saturday, just before noon, three fantastic women and I met for brunch. These women are pretty special to me. They are my mother-in-law and two of my sisters-in-law.

I hate that “in law” part, as though we are bound only by papers when, in fact, all three of these ladies have seen me at my best and my not-so-best, yet they still want to include me at the table. That makes them pretty spectacular in my books.

Of course, it was intended to be ladies, enjoying a menu item we’d never attempt at home and enough caffeine to keep the average bear out of hibernation for at least three winters. But we all know that before we can even look at the menu, the venting will begin.

It starts usually with how hard it is to get through the door to get there and the therapy session clock is officially running. Nothing is off limits, so we settle in for a good laugh and good grub.

We were not disappointed.  

As with every situation like this, it is imperative you have a very patient server at your table, and it seems we lucked out. Our guy didn’t flinch when he asked if I wanted something to drink and I very seriously stared him square in the face and told him I wanted a pot of tea as big as him! Not skipping a beat, he said he’d see what he could do.

Each of the women at our table all have children, and for our mother-in-law, it was a double-whammy as her children are our husbands. These little gatherings are instrumental in keeping us sane, easing our guilt, and having a chuckle. Our sanity is given a little boost because you’re out of the house and away from those closest to you (yes, that’s a good thing sometimes).

Guilt is relieved because you can vent with stories about the kids — yes, with some “Mommy Dearest” comparisons — and know you won’t be judged. Mind you, our stories are a little less intense, but it is particularly juicy if one hesitates, ever so slightly, to relay the most recent tale involving offspring.

You know if there’s hesitation, it’s going to be juicy. Plus you want to see if you can top it with a hesitating story of your own. Sadly, because I have the oldest children, all boys at that, there’s not a whole lot that can shock me as I’ve probably paved the Joan Crawford way, but again, a little less intense.

Thankfully, because she knows her boys so well, anything we may have to say (gripe about) with our spouses, our mother-in-law can add to. And stories from their childhood explain a whole lot as genetics seem to play a role in the “driving your mother cracked” factor.

So, yes, we ate, gabbed, laughed, and it was just lovely.

However, one thing we recognized during our brunch: as tables in the restaurant filled, there was a clear trend developing; they were filling with women.

All women, greeting each other with hugs, and checking their watches to see if it was too early to order wine.

So, there you have it. Ladies, the next time you think you just might crack up if you don’t get a break from the demands of life, call up your female friends and head out for eggs benedict (like you’d be whipping that up for the family on a Saturday morning).

And gentlemen, if you like your lady happy and fear her just enough, encourage these outings. They can be just what the doctor ordered.

Email Paula Tessier at

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