There’s a star cluster called the Pleiades — also known as the Seven Sisters — that has always intrigued me. Could be because family is so integral to who I am. And sisterhood. And the night sky… If you’ve read any of my other blogs, you understand these things.

Anyway, this past weekend was one of mythical proportions. It was filled with love, laughter, outlandish games, vodka sodas, wine tastings, bawdy tales, and seven women of similar genetics and vastly different personalities, whom I herein christen The Seven Sisters (Sadly, we were missing an eighth among us. If she’d been there, we would’ve rewritten legend.) Now we may not all be sisters, but we are all a sisterhood, and we are definitely family.

And I whole-heartedly believe in the restorative power of family; and for me, that means our sisterhood. Not because I am a man-hater. Far from it. But it’s because we are a family of women: strong, capable, salty, sanguine women.

You see, for a very long while, girls were the only gestational products in our ironically-named Peters clan. I grew up with a matriarchal grandmother, dozens of aunts and girl cousins, even loads of female pets. The guys (not counting the ones who married in) came along much later. Every male in the second (and even third) generation was born the baby of the family, so I (and my sisters and cousins) was raised in an estrogen-fueled ecosystem. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We are a dame gang — and damn glad of it, I might add. We are the bomb dot compadres of family. All our lives, we’ve laughed hysterically till we cried, and we’ve cried hysterically till we laughed. We know each other inside and out. The good, the bad, and the bawdy – especially the bawdy.

So this earthy Pleiades flew in from our respective spots in the universe and descended on Dallas using a birthday as an excuse for a mini reunion. We partied it up in grand style. We drank champagne; ate cake (three kinds); lounged by the pool; sucked helium out of latex balloons; crowded into cars like keystone cops; hunkered down in an office and yelled surprise; got hushed in a spa whirlpool for laughing too hard; snuck into wedding venues to ogle expensive floral arrangements; played crazy games involving vulgar phrases on our tongues, plastic speculums in our mouths, and ball sacks dangling between our ankles. We lost necklaces and pants and occasionally our tempers in the chaos. But mostly we laughed. Long and hard – fine characteristics for Peters.

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Now we women can be catty. We can be snippy and selfish and hangry – Lord, can we get hangry! But we can also be supportive and nurturing and full of love and gratitude. This weekend, we seven sisters were all the afore-mentioned things. But mostly, we were supportive. We, nurtured, we loved… and we laughed. Boy, did we laugh.

And boy, did we need it. Laughter cuts through the hardness of life — the anger, resentment, jealousy, exhaustion, drudgery and darkness — all those heavy things we carry around with us that seem to collect like soot and dim our destiny. Next thing you know we’re coated and coalescing in a grimy mess of negative space.

But in our family laughter is never far away, always ready to rattle our ribcages and rinse our souls. It is the best and cheapest cleanser out there. And our dame gang is really good at it — especially the bawdy kind. We may be women, but we balk at being ladies.

It seems that this weekend our deepest belly laughs came in the form of dietary distress:

We laughed about a certain dairy and gluten allergy among us, that left all of us in an up close and personal haze of malodorous funk.

Then we jumped to the story of how a certain beloved someone in our crew once threw up in our hometown historic district – amongst the verbenas and verandahs — after consuming twelve too many White Russians. (I gest. It was only nine.)

Then the conversation took a darkish, (dungish, if you will) turn and brought us to that time when one-who-shall-remain-nameless left a trail of poo up a driveway and down an entryway like violently digested breadcrumbs in a Hansel and Gretel horror tale.

And then, right in keeping with our theme, I managed to wander into a restroom where I discovered, in the swankiest of five-star locales, a toilet splashed in frankly impossible places with diarrhea. It was a veritable Jackson Pollock marble and fecal matterpiece. We laughed about it till tears ran down our legs.

Yes, this weekend we shared some crazy shit (ahem), but we also shared some sacred secrets, too. Things near and dear to our hearts and our souls: priorities and pursuits; insecurities and angsts, triumphs and trials.

We were there for one another. We supported, counseled, distracted, and drank. (Some of us more than others.) And along the way we saw each other’s dark and blotchy and bitchy and brave sides. And we saw that they look pretty much like our own.

This weekend we shared it all. And we will continue to share it all. The good, the bad and the ugly. Because we are women, and we are family.

We are The Seven Sisters and that’s just kind of what we do.

P.S. We also discovered along the way that we’re all genetically modified fools for ugly hot guys – men who are not classically handsome, but good God almighty, are they sexy. Humphrey Bogart is the eternal king of Ugly Hot Guys, but several of us have placed Benedict Cumberbatch at a place of honor at his round table.