Lunch with Ladies of the Law and New Year’s Shenanigans

It’s officially New Year’s Eve in China – about 8:30 pm. I’ve settled in with a bottle of overpriced red wine from Australia, and I won’t make it to midnight. I’m in a musing frame of mind.

I’m not a traditional person. I don’t have many rituals that I manage to keep for years. I have rituals that serve a purpose, and then when no longer needed, they go away. That’s their function, in my opinion. So the turning of the year isn’t that special to me. I don’t take stock or make resolutions. And if I wanted to, I don’t think I could anyways. I’m comfortably uncomfortable in my unstable life, and the comfortable part of that discomfort means that I haven’t been all that motivated to make big changes in my life. Under all that, I really just don’t know what I want anymore. The few things I know I do want/need are not achievable anyhow.

So what do you do when you’re low-key, unmotivated, feeling a bit lazy, and kinda strangely okay with all that? Well, you organize a huge group of young ladies with whom to go out for lunch and act crazy.

I mentioned in earlier posts that a) most of my students are male, b) I do occasionally go out with the most motivated and least offensive of those, c) I try to nurture female students if they want help, and d) a couple of young, first-year, undergrad law students crashed one of my Masters English classes this year. I’m happy to say, there are a lot of women in the law program, and it is with a group of 8 of them that I went out with today. No testosterone!

It happens so seldom these days. There used to be so many more opportunities to go out with groups of women when I lived in the West. When I was part of the working world then, I would always organize ladies lunches – and called them that too because it we all thought it was funny. And I miss those days so much. Gynergy. I’d like to say, if you could bottle the stuff… but it is definitely something that shouldn’t be sold and to even utter those words is to soil it with typical male non-thinking and greed and devaluation. Gynergy is priceless and should be free to all WOMEN. Not men, women. They get the stuff for free now, and women have to pay to keep the tiniest bit of their own.

So anyhow, to once again get a bunch of nutty girls together, even if they are all less than half my age, was a good thing. Yep, there are generational and culture differences. As soon as we sat down in the restaurant, half of them whipped out their cell phones to log into the free wifi. That is ubiquitous here and among the young world-wide. But there was plenty of talk about life, school, reading, plans, the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday. And then, it was photo time.

When young people tell me they have a hundred thousand photos on some social networking account, I used to disbelieve them. I remember the very first camera I got when I was 12. It was precious, and you had to really consider when you decided to take a photo. You only had one chance and then later you paid to have the roll of film developed. It was a crap shoot, and an expensive one. Cell phones have changed the world in so many ways (most of them not good ways). Photo-taking is constant and definitely not as valued as it once was. If I go out with a group of students, hundreds of photos are taken. When you add a foreigner to the mix, multiply the number of photos by a gazillion. Today, I was the only one without my camera out. That is not always the case, but I can usually have a few of the cooler shots sent to me. Today, things got pretty crazy, and with 8 people taking shots, I can’t even imagine how many photos there are. I wish I could include at least a group shot and a couple of the more charming concoctions, but you know, men ruin absolutely everything about a woman’s online existence, so I’ll remain faceless and anonymous. *Sigh*

Today was so great for everyone, that I’ve invited the crowd over to my place on Sunday for a dumpling-making party.

Dumplings are an important staple snack in China, and a very common thing to get together and do with family and friends. They are easy to make, and a hell of a lot of fun to prepare (especially if you are just learning how to make them). You can buy the little circles of dough (translated from Chinese as ‘dumpling skins’) fresh from the local farmers’ market if you don’t want to make your own. And you can make whatever filling you want. I’m meeting the students beforehand to go to market. This is part of the fun, for me, at least.

I also have a few games planned (which they might not have experienced in China) for after everyone has eaten too much.

I can’t imagine a better way to kick off the new year: cooking, eating, playing fun games, and sharing gynergy – oh, and of course, there will be a butt load of photo taking.



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Posted on December 31, 2015, in Feminism and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Lunch with Ladies of the Law and New Year’s Shenanigans.

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