I’ve just finished reading “Cows” by Dawn O’Porter.
While very well-written and thought-provoking, I struggled with it. I just couldn’t buy into the main premise. Women aren’t that down on each other in my experience. Granted I don’t live in London and I don’t work in an office environment, but I am pretty media-savvy. The kind of ruthless judgement described in the novel just rang a bit hollow with me.
Two things happened this weekend to prove me right.
The first was Slice in the City.
Now, I love Instagram. I appreciate many of you prefer Twitter or Facebook or, you know, phone calls – but I get SO MUCH out of my insta community. It’s as close as this 11 years-married chick gets to speed dating. Thanks in large part to the advice of Danni @chachipowerproject, I have deliberately designed myself an inspiring and healthy feed. I follow dancers and artists, mums and independents, businesswomen and inventors and experts in all sorts of niche areas.
Slice in the City was where we all met in real life.
Csn you imagine a more interesting crowd to spend your Saturday afternoon with?
When Nic stood up to do her welcome speech (she goes by the name of @weeslice and is the powerhouse who brought us all to the Apex that sunny day) she pointed out about 70% of the 80 or so people there had come alone. And yet, no one was standing by themselves.
i know I approached a woman looking a bit lonely to say hi – and loads of others must have done the same.
I was invited to join a book club (“Oh we don’t actually read books, you ok with that?”) and a brunch club (“I need to escape my kids at least once a month”). I finally found an eyebrow expert who kindly agreed to make my brow sisters into twins and got massive hugs from people I’d never met but felt I knew.
In short, I spent three hours with 80 women and felt nothing but positivity.
The next thing that happened was utterly terrifying.
My 7 yo went missing.
I’ll tell you the short version, in that he was found within the hour and he was fine.
I had to phone the police and I put a message on our local Facebook group. I don’t want to go into it, except to say I was overwhelmed by the reaction of my community.
Everyone was out looking and the support was really quite humbling. When he was found I got so many messages full of love. “You must have been beside yourself” – “We’re so relieved” – “Go and pour yourself a large drink”. I was mortified to have caused such a kerfuffle – but all I was getting was compassion. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.
So while I accept that “Cows” is just a novel, and Instagram is often toxic and neighbours can be problematic – I want to stand up for the good guys.
There are fabulous, genuine diamonds all around us if we just open our hearts to them.
They could make your afternoon – or save your child’s life.