Do You Have A Posse?

We can forget about the importance of those early entourages as career, relationships, more degrees, more career, more relationship lead us like a mouse hunting for cheese through the maze of adulthood.

Feb 22, 2012 at 6:00pm | Leave a comment

So I finally got around to reading Kate Bolick's epic piece in the Atlantic from a few months back, "All the Single Ladies." 

In it, Bolick, who's now slated to turn her 12,000-word opus into a scripted TV series with Sony and "Drop Dead Diva" creator Josh Berman, basically lays out all the socio economic logic behind the growing number of American women with master's degrees but without the elusive MRS. 

And although any woman with at least one out of five senses has heard, felt, tasted, read or talked about the phenomenon of the single woman before, Bolick played a new tune in that sad song when she alludes to the nostalgia of "women's only" hotels like New York's Barbizon.
I persuaded my childhood friend Willamain to take over the newly available apartment in my building in Brooklyn Heights. We’ve known each other since we were 5, and I thought it would be a great comfort to us both to spend our single lives just a little less atomized. It’s worked. These days, I think of us as a mini-neo-single-sex residential hotel of two.  
She goes on to ask if we (meaning the growing single female collective), "could create something bigger, and more intentional?"

It sounds sort of commune-y with maybe at dash of "Sex and the City" thrown in to make it seem cool. And speaking of cool, in the anthology "Black Cool" (which I contributed to) Esther Armah writes, "...the collective, the posse, the ability to sit with one another's spirit in the dark, ain't just cool, it's crucial."

So is this new single? Regularly coupling, or tripling and quadrupling, it up as it were with the women we've collected like shells at the beach over our lifetime?

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Funny, all of these clues pointing to the collective came to me just days after spending two days in the mountains of Pennsylvania at my new friend Jodie Patterson's country house. My first instinct here was to put "friend" in quotes because the first time I met Jodie, a lioness in working-mom-of-four-clothing, was in her driveway. But after just two days sitting in her kitchen and soaking up her personality I most definitely consider her a friend.

The idea came a while back when Jodie, owner of the beauty brand Georgia, expressed interest in have a "women's retreat" to my good friend Johnica who she knows in real life. Johnica suggested I tag along and I asked my boyfriend what he thought. 

"I mean how do you know these women?" he asked, doing that protective thing good men do sometimes. 

"They're all grown ups! I'll be fine." And I was. 

This is what Jodie wrote about the less than 48 hours the five of us spent together:
Personally, we were a mash-up of the American stories we’ve all heard, loved and witnessed. Professionally, we seemed to be a unified force – on a mission to actualize our dreams, ‘pull it all together’, and then live life as our very own master. As soon as we began talking about work we found a common ground so clear that the age differences and circumstantial nuances were of no matter.  

We saw life as a journey, full of experiences and beauty.  We saw ways to collaborate and support each other’s entrepreneurial grind.  We respected each other’s genius in our individual fields. And ultimately, strategized to help each other get one step closer to our end goal.

Our days were filled with talk, wine, cooking and movies. Someone pulled out her Moleskine and took notes.  Most, simply absorbed.  We threatened to hike. We looked at the pool and talked about the sauna.  We did shoot hoops! But the sun drenched couches, mountain views and warm fireplace, were more than enough.
What else can I really say about it? Besides happythankyoumoreplease?
 
We all have posses. From Kindergarten to college everyone learns that there's a power in groups. There's a safe space (much like the one we've created at xoJane) where folks can just "sit with one another's spirit" and be nourished by that closeness. What can happen though, is that we forget about the importance of those early entourages as career, relationships, more degrees, more career, more relationship lead us like a mouse hunting for cheese through the maze of adulthood.

Because the girls that had my back 20 years ago now have butts to wipe almost 3,000 miles in the other direction of where I'm headed. They are awesome and their journey is sacred and ancient, it's just not mine -- yet. But following my own GPS with the road signs pointing to the pit stops that Kate Bolick, Esther Armah and Jodie all mention, I think I can get there. Wherever there is.

So here's to the posse, the girls, the group, the community and the collective. I want to hear about the all female Illuminati working behind the scenes in ya'll's lives. Do you have one? Do you want one? Also how does one go about creating an entourage without being creepy? Does, "Hey, wanna play" still do the trick?