It’s been a week since That’s What She Said, Presented by Christie Clinic 2016 took our bow. When I’ve met you on the street, in the grocery, in the school pick up line,
at the liquor store, you have been so generous to share your experiences. You’ve shared how impactful these women’s stories were for you to hear. You’ve shared your “me, too” or “aha” moments. You’ve shared pictures of the groups you went with- your posse, your sisters, your co-workers, and I was especially moved to hear about the homeless woman you invited. YOU are amazing.
I have avoided and stuttered and shuffled through these interactions. Partly because I am just a shy/outgoing person. But also because I don’t know how to put the experience into words. I don’t want to blurt out a “That’s what SHE said” joke when I really want to ugly cry and give you an awkwardly long hug while I tell you how special, brave, and funny these women are.
I want to tell you how special it was to have my sisters, my mom, my stepmom, my cousin and my aunt in the audience. I want to tell you how much it meant to me to see my own posse in the crowd. I want to tell you that YOU made standing on stage easier and a little less terrifying by your laughter and nodding and clapping. I want to tell you that I came home and looked at my own sleeping daughters and hoped they would grow up to be as badass as the women I had spent my night with.
I want to tell you that I asked a lot of these women. I asked them to put a snapshot of their lives on paper and I asked them to not rip my fingernails out when I took a red pen to their words. I asked them to give up hours of their time. I asked them to hang out on my dog hair covered couch and drink cheap wine. I asked them to be vulnerable in front of their loved ones as well as complete strangers. They gave everything I asked and so much more.
During one rehearsal, someone stumbled on a line and froze. Several other speakers fed her the next line. Not only did they know their own stories inside and out, they came to know each other’s stories inside and out. They became fierce and loyal and fast friends.
Thank you for sharing your stories and your photographs!
At every show, there is a moment. There is always that moment when I take a look at each speaker watching, laughing, crying, chair dancing, and/or nodding along to whomever is braving the microphone. It is a mental snapshot that I will always carry with me as a prayer of gratitude.
“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”
*I keep looking at the pictures to prove to myself that it really happened. Once again, I counted on the talented photographers Darrell Hoemann and Della Perrone to capture the magic. (Amanda Baker videos soon to follow)