I just had the Best. Weekend. Ever. I hosted my annual Spinsterlicious Girlfriends Weekend at my house in Long Island. Thirteen of my favorite friends came from near (NYC), far (San Francisco), and in between (Washington, DC) to hang out for the weekend, eat great food, drink good drinks, bond, laugh, share stories, and just have a grand old time. It was inspiring and just plain old fun.
If you’re feeling like you want a little relaxation, some inspiration, and a lot of fun without spending a whole lot of money, consider a weekend getaway with a few (or a lot) of friends. We were a group of spinsters, single mothers, married women with children, and divorcees…but we were all Spinsterlicious that weekend! Here’s how I did it:
- Make a list of women you know and like. Consider a range of ages and lifestages. Having a good mixture keeps it interesting. My guests ranged in age from 35 – 65. As I made my list of invitees, I made sure to include a range of personalities…then I went back over the list and crossed off the drama queens. There’s no room for manufactured drama at my Girlfriends Weekend, so a few women I like but have a tendency to ‘stir things up’ didn’t make the cut.
- Where’s everybody going to sleep? I only have four beds. Everyone understood ahead of time that they’d be sharing a bed or sleeping on their own air mattress. It worked out fine.
- Consider the women’s relationships to each other. Naturally, I knew everyone, but I didn’t know everyone equally. Some were old friends who I’ve known for 20 years, some new friends I’ve only recently gotten to know, and one I’ve known all my life (my sister). It can be uncomfortable coming into a group of seemingly tightknit women who all know each other but don’t know you, so I made sure that everyone knew at least one other person, in addition to me. One new friend admitted later that she had some trepidation about spending a whole weekend with that many women, most of whom she didn’t know, so she had a Plan B. She borrowed the key to a friend’s house who lived nearby; if we had turned out to be a ‘bunch of b*&^%’, she was going to ditch us for the sanctity of her friend’s house! Ha! Not only did she not need that key, I had a hard time getting her to leave when the event was over! (Just kidding, D!)
- What to do about food? That’s an easy one. One word. Pot-luck. Everybody brought a dish or brought the ingredients for a dish and cooked it there. It was a pleasant surprise to see how well a roomful of women easily cooked together and made the house smell wonderful.
- Plan some activities, but don’t make anything a ‘must-do’. The weekend should be free-flowing and without a schedule. The group split up to do what appealed to them: some went to yard sales, a few to the mall, most of us took a walk on the beach, and some stayed home in their pjs. I even showed Benilde how to put on false eyelashes.
- Have one ‘main activity’. Ours was the clothes swap. We all brought clothes, shoes, handbags, accessories, housewares that are in great shape but that we no longer use and swapped it for somebody else’s stuff. I felt like I’d gone shopping but didn’t have to spend a dime. So much fun!
- Don’t overplan. Have an idea of how you want the weekend to flow, but be flexible. Friday night, we never got around to preparing dinner so, despite having a refrigerator full of food, we ordered pizza. And we never made it to Wine Country. We’ll get there next time. And it’s not like we needed more to drink.
- Relax. Have fun. Despite all the stuff we did, the best times were probably when we were all sitting around just talking and laughing. There were even a few tears, as women felt comfortable and safe enough to talk about some of the challenges life has brought them. Everybody came away feeling lighter, renewed, and fulfilled.
I recommend this. If you can’t manage 13 women you’d want to include, invite fewer…but do give it a try. It was truly wonderful. But don’t just take my word for it, here’s what they had to say: