I was in St. Louis this weekend for the wedding of my dear friend, Mary. She is one of the five founding members of the PMC, or Praying Mantis Club (pictured left, though Mary is absent because she's greeting her wedding guests). It's a group of girls that would get together every month, once upon a time when we all lived in Kansas City, and try a new adventure each time we gathered. Our only common thread at the beginning? Me.
It was a tentative gathering at first, as we tried to figure out our role in this group as only women do. We picked apples in Weston. We ate at new restaurants. We tried yoga in a room heated to over 100 degrees and, even though Rhonda passed out, the rest of us held our poses perfectly. We drank too much wine. We laughed really loud in public places. No ones asked us to leave, but they probably should have. We did pottery. We perfected our self-defense moves. We even made predictions on where we would end up in five or 10 years.
In the fun of it all, we gave ourselves a name, Praying Mantis Club. This came from our merriment (dark and sinister as it may be) at the role of the male praying mantis in the sex act. In order to even have sex, the female must first bite off his head and then he dies. For sex. Only a male of any species would die for sex, but only a female would bite off his head and then proceed to get it on with a headless male. Relationships are complex. We all agree on that.
All of us made it this weekend to Mary's wedding. It was a reunion of the sweetest, and even bitter sweetest, kind. I really miss my friends. These are unique women that grow stronger every year, but unfortunately it's without me being near. I'm not there for every story, or heartache, or miracle. I'm the faraway friend. Because I love these friends so much, I've even managed to block myself off from some new friendships where I live now. That may be the saddest part of the equation, I think.
Friendship is an amazing and complex thing. It's hard to understand why some groups work and others just fizzle away. Thank you, PMC, for all the memories and love. I was reminded how much I love you this weekend. It's time to move on. I know you'll understand.