Solidarity Sister 2

I have officially been accepted into a super secret elite women’s association. Well, it’s not super secret so much as it’s basically unknown by most of the world, but it is super cool.

Jason was accepted into the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America organization, which is the longest surviving fine artist association in the United States. With his association comes the added perk that I get accepted into the “better half club” known as the “CA CA Sisterhood” (pronounced caca, like cow dung).

Once a year the Cowboy Artists get together for a trail ride out on a cattle ranch to play cowboy together. They ride, rope, wrangle, eat beans, sleep in teepees, and go without showers for four days while we women stay in hotel suites in town to eat, shop and be merry.

This is big for me because I’ve always been more one-of-the-guys than sorority girl. Growing up, I found it much simpler to run with the neighborhood wolf pack than try to figure out and keep up with the mysterious and moody nuances of female clicks.

My preference to hang with guys came after too many experiences such as this:

Girl friend: “Hey Kari, do you want to go to a movie with us tonight?”
Kari: “Nah, my week was crazy and I’m beat, so I’m just going to go home and crash. Thanks anyway.”
Girl friend: “Well, okay then. Whatever.”
The following Monday, I get major cold shoulder from the girls.
Kari: “Are you mad at me or something?”
Girl friend: “Duh, yea. What did you really do on Friday night? Who did you ditch us for?”
Kari: “I really went home to bed. I ditched you for my pillow.”
Girl friend: “Yea right. Fine, don’t tell us. See if we ever invite you again.”

When I started hanging out with guys, I had experiences such as this:

Guy friend: “Yo Kari, do you want to go to a movie with us tonight?”
Kari: “Nah, my week was crazy and I’m beat, so I’m just going to go home and crash. Thanks anyway.”
Guy friend: “That’s cool. Catch you later.”
The following Monday, I feel like I should explain.
Kari: “Hey, sorry I ditched Friday. It sounded fun, I was just so tired. Did you guys have fun?”
Guy friend: “Huh? What was Friday?”

I knew I’d found my kind.

You see, my dad grew up among a slew of brothers, so when he grew up and had a slew of daughters, he was definitely thrown for a loop. Rather than learn a whole new set of rules, he decided to “go with what he already knowed” and raise his girls like boys. This is why I often malfunction in female circles outside of kinship, and even struggle there sometimes.

For far too long I thought when girls asked, “What do you think?” they really wanted to know what I thought.

There is good reason why I live on five acres out in the middle of nowhere now.

But since Jason made it into CA, I’ve been invited to join a sisterhood beyond the one I’m connected to by DNA, and this past week was my debut into this association. We arrived in Texas for the annual trail ride excited and nervous.

Jason was scared for me. For him. For us.

Before he dropped me off at the hotel in Amarillo he gave me a pep talk. “Kari, now this is our first showing in this prestigious group and it’s very important to my career and, therefore, your shoe fetish. I’m not going to be there with you to act as a buffer, so you’re going to have to self monitor your words and behavior, which is really hard for you, but I know you can do it, I think. Just think of these women as sweet, soft marshmallows and you’re a flaming torch that can either gently roast them or burn them to a crisp. Good luck, sweetie, and have fun, but not really.” He tipped his hat and rode off into the sunset.

He needn’t have worried so much.

I minded my p’s and q’s and had a blast. The ladies were fabulous. They welcomed me with open arms and didn’t even steal my bra to put in a cup of water in the freezer while I was asleep. These women come from all walks of life and are salt of the earth. They are interesting and inspiring and the common thread we share as artists’ wives instantly bonded us. We talked, shopped, ate, hiked and laughed.

The only initiation I had to do was model the new clothes I bought at an informal hotel room fashion show on the last night. As I worked a dress I bought to wear to at an upcoming art show in June I asked the ladies, “What do you think?”

They answered, “We hope you get too fat between now and then to wear it.”

True sisters, indeed.

2 thoughts on “Solidarity Sister

  1. Reply Cheri Parr Pearson May 22,2012 4:09 pm


    So glad to hear you are coping and even enjoying the sisterhood. I also was raised with boys and find working with them much easier that in an office full of women. It is always nice to have both though. Glad to see your career and lifestyle and suiting you so well. Still need to buy your book, but feel I may need to simply drive to Utah for a signed copy. I feel a Mother-Daughter roadtrip in the works.

    ~ Cheri – 4th grade buddies 🙂

  2. Reply Suzie Cox May 24,2012 12:48 pm

    I have to tell you that we really enjoyed getting to know you. I’m glad to know that we didn’t give you too hard of a time. By and large, we are pretty good eggs.

    Your GIRL friend,

    p.s. – I’m going to file away that frozen bra thing for the next victim!

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