Stories of this Canadian girl's adventures exploring Europe...join me!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

mountains, hens...and lots of squirrels

Recently I was invited to spend the weekend with 5 fabulous women, who call themselves, ‘The Hens’. Now, with 6 females, you could expect that coming to a consensus about anything might be difficult…and you might be right.

Arriving on Friday evening, greeted by our hotel room with a bottle of wine and comfy beds, we set out on to main street, relishing the fresh, crisp mountain air. All of our decisions came easy. Everyone was happy and relieved to finally be in Banff, leaving children and husbands to fend for themselves. So, we started with drinks at the Rose & Crown (my favorite Banff haunt) and then moved to Giorgio’s for excellent Italian food, where we shut the place down.

By late that evening, we realized there were an abundance of guys in our hotel. Every time we walked out of our rooms, or left the elevator, or went to the hot tub, or walked into the lobby, we were greeted by men, men, and more men. Some were pretty friendly, offering us drinks and inviting us to party. We declined, but discovered there was a hockey tournament in town, and that sleeping through the night would probably prove to be difficult. Our hunch was right.

Saturday, the husband of one of my closest friends (lets call her ‘the fire hen’) texted her, saying, “you women fighting yet?” She responded by saying that we’re all adults and friends, and are way more mature than that. About 17 minutes later all hell broke loose between fire hen and, let’s call her, sugar hen.

We had spent a fun Saturday afternoon, after brunching at the famous Melissa’s, shopping and coffee-ing through town. The only hiccup had come between tv hen and tall hen, heatedly discussing how short of a skirt is too short. Ridiculous now to think about. But, the air began to get tenser as we tried to figure out where we were going to have supper. I mean, really, there are bigger problems in the world, I know, but we had to eat…and agreeing on a place was not going to be easy.

In every group there are forms of leaders, controllers, followers, opinion-aters, peacemakers, martyrs. Let’s just say that in our group these qualities were all present, some stronger than others.

After heated conversations, tears, and some of us enacting our right to veto a suggestion, we decided on dining at the Maple Leaf Grille (the bison stroganoff is to die for!), and dancing afterwards at the Dancing Sasquatch. The tension between some of the hens had subsided for the moment, like the soft spewings of a volcano soon before it blows.

Sunday morning, no one was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. The partiers had partied through the night, in the hallway, below our window, and in the rooms on either side of ours. Fire hen was unhappy, everyone was. She said to tall hen and tv hen, to make sure to distract her, by pointing out a squirrel or something before she loses it on someone. She was tired, and she knew it might not be a great day.

Well, we all love fire. It brings us warmth and comfort. And, we all love sugar, for the same reasons. But, fire can sometimes get too hot, and sugar can sometimes be too sweet. On this particular morning, after warnings had been sent out that squirrels were running around everywhere, fire melted sugar, and sugar dissolved into a sticky mess.

Neither was right and neither was wrong, but, in my opinion, their personalities just clashed in a moment of exhausted frustration. All is well now, and the hens continue to gather and support each other. I’m honoured to be a part of this particular chicken coop, hens who are all strong and beautiful, kind and lovely, in their own wonderfully different ways. Thank god.
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