Friday, November 15, 2013

Awkward Mom vs. Spiderwebs

I think Awkward Mom secretly wants to be Spiderwoman. Which isn't unreasonable, given that she is basically a multilingual spy who can walk on the ceiling, is super strong, and able to emit "venom blasts" from her hands. Who wouldn't want to be like that? 

A smart author whose name escapes me at the moment once referred to the connections between all women as a spiderweb. I love this description of female friendship. The seemingly delicate and fragile bonds that are actually incredibly strong and powerful. And while I prefer to view our womanly web as a home or net, rather than a trap to lure unsuspecting "flies," perhaps there is some truth in that less savory description as well. I think anyone who has attempted to break a spiderweb knows just how dangerous and sticky a predicament that can be. So too is it with those who would attempt to break the bonds between us fierce females.

The author, who name I really ought to look up on the wonder that is the internet, goes on to talk about the vibrations that run up and down the various strands of the spiderweb, alerting us to the menagerie of experiences and emotions that affect our sisters. Sometimes distress calls, sometimes offers of wine and chocolate, often just "hi, hope you are well;" these vibrations are communication but they are so much more. They are connection in and of themselves, and they are a loving care for each other and for our magical web. These vibrations are all it takes to strengthen and maintain our web home. Just as steel is strengthened in fire, so too are our bonds strengthened through the actual shaking, sometimes quite violently and intensely, of those very bonds. I prefer to see our web as glistening with dew and vibrating with activity, not a sad abandoned one in the basement corner. I suppose it could sometimes resemble that gray, lost one, but we are ultimately better than that and deftly able to create a new, stronger, web.

I imagine we have all used the web for nefarious purposes; gossip, petty squabbles that serve nothing but our truly fragile egos, childish and cliquish games that exclude rather than enfold. Over the years, I am sure we have all been flies trapped within and spiders trapping without; especially in those dark pre-adolescent years. This makes us human and flawed, not the wicked and vindictive sirens that society often paints us as. Those are brushes too broad and too cruel. And cruel we are not; mostly just insecure and convinced no one could possibly love us.

But that's a lie! There is a whole web of sisterhood that loves us. Just send a vibration down a strand, I guarantee you that a vibration will come racing back; with commiserations, offers of food and help, or just a joke to get you through the day. Spiders have such a bad reputation, but doesn't all science maintain that they are a truly helpful and vital part of nature? Don't be afraid of the woman web or think it is something to be brushed out of your ceiling corners. OK, well, yes, dead and drifty ones should be brushed out of the corners. But the living vibrant one that exists in your heart and the hearts of your fellow females; that one is to be treasured and used. Often and everyday.

“We're connected, as women. It's like a spiderweb. If one part of that web vibrates, if there's trouble, we all know it, but most of the time we're just too scared, or selfish, or insecure to help. But if we don't help each other, who will?”

Sarah Addison Allen is right here, except in her use of the words "most of the time." No, Sarah, while we have all been scared and selfish and insecure and will be again, it isn't most of the time and it certainly won't be today. 

This photo of Super Toddler has nothing really to do with Woman Webs, 
except that pink clouds of tulle are kinda webby. 
Oh, and that I predict her particular strand of the web will, 
one day, be extremely strong and vibrant. 


  1. A wonderful take on spiderwebs - and the wonder they are in general.