After a busy morning of baking, cleaning and setting the table a gaggle of girlfriends arrived to my afternoon tea. With the sun streaming in though the windows, breaking on my prisms and throwing rainbows around the room, the great Ray Charles crooning from the stereo and a table laden down with homemade goodies the setting was perfect and the afternoon set to be delight filled.
As the lovely ladies trickled in I served tea, coffee and pink champagne. We sat and chatted, talked about everything and nothing, laughed, joked, giggled and gasped as stories unfolded and secrets were revealed. Outside the shadows grew longer and the sun slowly sank in the sky, inside the plates emptied a little as our stomachs filled up on sugary goodness and delightful chocolatey tastes. So I lit the fire and swapped Ray for Etta James and we indulged some more.
As I sat back and listened a question flitted through my mind: Why is it that women seem to enjoy girly chit-chat so much? As I pondered this thought it occurred to me that maybe it’s because women seem to enjoy the the telling of the story just as much as the outcome. By painting a picture, setting the scene, we can relate the emotions we experienced and others can understand why we reacted and acted the way we did. So while men tend to prefer a “cut-to-the-chase” kind of talk, women build relationships on the spontaneous flow of a conversation. Idle chit-chat serves as a warm up, a testing of emotions before we launch into deeper feelings and thoughts. By learning what others think and feel about “non-essentials” we get a clearer picture of who they are and how they may react on more important issues. It makes women feel safe to bare a bit more of their inner thoughts when they have built up a safety net of chit-chat and girly talk.
When the afternoon gave way to evening and my guests slowly rose to leave in drips and drabs, my heart felt full of gratitude and joy at knowing these wonderful women and being able to delight in their company. And as the warmth of their hugs lingered around me and the bunches of flowers they brought stayed behind I munched on some left over sweetness, while savouring the the memories of the afternoon delights in front of the fire with some red wine and Edith Piaf to keep me company.