11: Girls Rule

11: Girls Rule

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just Us Girls

Girls Rule

Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men.

~Joseph Conrad

I said no. No way. I didn’t want to join. Why would I? It was a car club, for heaven sakes. And I had no interest in cars. As long as I could put the key in the ignition and the car would take me where I wanted to go, I was fine. I didn’t want to know any more. My husband and my son, on the other hand, love cars. Corvettes, to be exact. They know how everything works and what every part is called. They read articles about Corvettes and they talk about cars all of the time. They had heard about a Corvette Club in our area and they wanted to join. That’s fine… but leave me out of it. I had no interest.

My husband and our son did join the local club and went to meetings. They had a great time. I did not join or go with them. Why should I? But my husband could be very persuasive. He told me that he had met some very nice people and he asked that I come to one meeting with him just to check it out. We all know that marriage is about compromise, so I agreed to go. Besides, it meant I didn’t have to cook dinner that night.

The room was full of people — both men and women. I was prepared to be bored, but much to my surprise, these people were not talking about cars. They were talking about the arrangements for going wine tasting in two weeks. Now, that got my attention. Yes, we would be taking our cars. But we’d be using those cars to get to the winery and go wine tasting. We signed up to go. And we had such a fun time.

The next thing they talked about was a brunch run to a wonderful restaurant right at the beach. When the sign-up sheet came around I grabbed the pen out of my husband’s hand and signed our names in big bold letters. Wow, this car club thing was much better than I had anticipated! It was a very social club and we didn’t spend much time talking about cars at all.

Time went on and we did more and more things with the Corvette Club. I became quite active in the club, even taking a board position, and became very close to a small group of women within the club. We did lots of things together outside of club events and had a wonderful time. We gave each other nicknames — I was Blue Barb. My friend was Red Barb. Not really difficult to understand… our names are Barbara and she has a red car. You can now figure out how I got my name. The nicknames of the other girls were just as silly.

Red Barb called me one day. The club was having elections and all of the board positions were open and needed to be filled. She asked if I would run for president. Me? President? Of a car club? Really? She had to be kidding… but she was serious. I thought about it and decided that it wasn’t such a bad idea after all. But I needed my girlfriends around me. I started with Red Barb. If she would be my vice president then I would agree to be president. I contacted my other close Corvette Club friends and “persuaded” them to each run for a board position. I told them we would have fun together. We were a complete slate of officers filling every board position. We ran. And we were all elected! We were now the board of the Corvette Club.

The day my board and I were installed as officers of the club went down in Corvette Club history. Not only was a woman now in charge of the club, but each and every board position was filled by a woman. At the installation meeting, my daughter-in-law brought jeweled crowns to present to me and to all of my new board members. We wore them proudly as we glittered in the sun!

The changes we brought about were not at all subtle. After all, we were an all-female board in charge of a car club. My first official duty was to make a motion that we change the focus of the Corvette Club away from cars and make it into a Shopping Club. Some of the longtime members were not amused. Old fuddy-duddies! We didn’t really make that change official, but we had fun pretending that we were serious. We pulled way back on the number of car shows and car museums we went to and started going to many more wineries, to nice restaurants, and even to high tea presented at a nearby hotel. We dressed up for some of our runs too — something a male president would never have stood for. The things we did became more girly, but one thing remained the same. We always drove in our Corvettes wherever we went — and wow, did they look beautiful. So did we!

My girlfriends and I worked hard together and worked well together. Our friendships grew and became stronger. And I went from not wanting anything to do with the club to becoming president. Who could have predicted that? I held the office of president for three years. And all of my girlfriends kept their positions too. We had such fun working together. We planned many activities — day runs for wine tasting, brunch, or dinner, museum trips to keep the guys happy, even overnight runs that have taken us completely across the United States and back. We have seen a lot of this amazing and diverse country. And the car club I had no interest in brought me a great group of girlfriends. Plus, everyone must have liked having a woman president in a male-dominated hobby because when it came time to elect a new board, the next president was a woman too!

~Barbara LoMonaco

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