Not many women probably say that they received a muumuu for their thirtieth birthday.
But I can.
Tonight, my roommate and I were lured to a friend's house under the pretense that said friend wanted to invite her Reverend friends over and discuss how one can help further the call of female ministers.
Ugh. A really busy week, but okay. I agreed to go to this a long time ago. So, we were off.
When we arrived, two other friends (non-reverends) were getting out of their car. This should have perhaps tipped me off. It didn't. I mean, don't most experts in Congolese government want to discuss women in ministry?
"Can I take your purse?" our host said. "No thanks, we're just heading off to have dinner anyway, I'll just keep it."
She took all the other purses to the back room.
Once inside, we waited for the third reverend to show up and when she did, I expected that we would be off. Instead we all just sat looking at our host who was exchanging glances with two other women in the room. "Should we tell them?" she asked.
The four of us not involved in the eye exchange (the three reverends and the Congo expert) exchanged glances of our own.
As it turned out, the four of us were not invited over to discuss the future of women in ministry (or to play dominoes as African Queen was told), rather we were invited by our "sisters" to celebrate belatedly, our thirtieth birthdays. Yep, All four of us had turned 30 within a month of each other and the sisters thought that rather than let us wallow in misery, they would invite us into the sisterhood of the over-thirty and offer their wisdom to us, and yes, initiate us into their club.
No wonder they took away the purses. They held our car keys and thus our means of escape. And as our hosts scurried into the back room to get ready for whatever they were up to, we realized I still had mine. "Hide it. We might need it!"
Now, I can't tell you all the workings of the Sisterhood, they're secret you know, but suffice it to say, we four initiates received "robes," wisdom, and even a plaque. We sang songs, were advised on crow's feet and encouraged to do something monumental and challenging in honor of this year, like say, run a marathon... riiiiiight.
But, truth be told, our friends made the thirties look really good. And for all the guffawing, we had some serious moments too: failure comes in this decade, unfulfilled expectations, health issues... It was a very tender, insightful time.
And afterwards, we all stood in a circle with arms crossed (right over left) holding on to each other's pinkies and heard that great poem by Jones (i think) about growing old and wearing purple. I love that poem.
And then we went to Luby's.
In the muumuus.
At least we wouldn't run into anyone we knew at Luby's. That was for sure.
But we still got plenty of looks. And two little kids who were leaving as we were coming, turned around and went out a different door. Geez. Did we look that bad?
Yes. Yes we did. Muumuu should be spelled Moo-Moo because most of us looked like fat cows. (I say most because one of us was granted a muumuu that was actually okay save for the wings underneith the armpits and one actually owned a muumuu and it was cute on her too).
Needless to say, I will not be posting pictures.
But thank god for surprise parties and friends and turning thirty.
This will be the best decade yet...