laura packardWarning: Might not be suitable for small children, teenage boys and/or men with weak constitutions.

Recent text exchange with one of my best girlfriends:

Me: Can I write about your uterus?

Her: Absolutely! LOL!


Me: Can I attach your name to your uterus? Or should you and your uterus remain anonymous? I can call you Jane Doe and your uterus Crazy Susan? Or I could use a combo like Florence and the Mad Machine?

Her: Whatever you want!! That’s what friends are for.

Now, I certainly don’t want to brag, fluff my $19.99 Old Navy maxi dress or toot my own rusted horn but I’m a pretty decent party planner.

I’ve planned countless princess parties with candied apples and sugared roses, scream-worthy Halloween haunts with edible cadavers, 70’s pub crawls, Christmas Vacation karaoke keggers, scavenger brunch booze cruises, doggie birthday bashes and even an elegant, yet casual, guinea pig wedding in a mere 10 days.

This is probably about the time you are wondering what a party has to do with my friend and her uterus; well that’s because after 32 years of hell hath no fury like a woman on her “flow,” they are finally, and quite happily I might add, parting ways.

And what better way to say thank you for tightly swaddling and housing, though cramped, two beautiful children in comfort, not necessarily style, for a total of 18 lingering months and eight excruciating days….

An intimate gathering of friends for a proper send off, of course.

Now, it’s not just a sad and sentimental fare-the-well to her womb, so to speak. It’s also a rockin’ celebratory “don’t let the back door hit you on your way out,” sayonara sweetheart, so long suffering and if we are honest, not so nice knowing you once a week, every month of every blessed year.

Bye-bye bloating, later blinding, backbreaking cramps. Adieu annoying aches, pains, and overall discomfort.

It’s hammer time.

So how do you throw a party for such a great occasion as this one? Especially seeing, thanks to modern, less-evasive medicine and insurance companies FINALLY realizing it’s a good thing to get out when you are done helping populate the earth, that these particular shindigs are soon to be all the rage?

I thought of a back yard BBQ with ribs and a smoked butt; seemed a bit macabre. I also pondered a Susan Sarandon movie marathon; too sappy.  Thought about cocktails and dancing the night away a night club, but whether you are still lugging around your ½ lb. uterus or not, too exhausting, at least at our age.

So, it looks like it’s going to be a small gathering of good friends with champagne and a bonfire where she can toss all of her unused Playtex boxes into a roaring pit of flames and finally be done with it all while blaring George Michael’s Freedom. Then, we’ll do what we usually do. Sit on the back porch, order pizza, sip on some wine, visit, laugh, chat, probably cry but we’ll always be merry because we have each other. Through thick and thin, surgeries and successes, pain, and loss, trial and tribulations, we will always be friends.

It’s interesting to note that even today some people feel if they lose a part of themselves that makes them “female” it makes them less of a woman. There is always this judgy-ness about what is more female and what is less… and sadly, it comes mainly from other females. If you don’t breastfeed, you’re less of a woman. If you choose a career over child rearing… less of a women. If you have a C-section instead of a natural birth… you’re less of a woman.  But we all know, deep down, boobs and uteruses and ovaries do not a woman make. A woman is a real woman because of her character and depth, not her parts.

My friend Jennifer is a real woman because:

She raised two smart, beautiful kids all on her own with hardly any help and never, ever complains.

She is a real woman because even when suffering she is engaged; an active seeker and nurturer of life and all the good that’s in it.

She is a real woman because she is loyal, a steadfast friend to the end.

She is true and good and just so very lovely.

So, here’s to Jennifer and all the other women out there celebrating letting go, moving on and living large.

See you around the bonfire.