When you hear the word biffy, if you’re not from the Midwest chances are you might think it refers to a small rodent, like a beaver (‘Look at that furry biffy run up the tree!’)
or that it’s slang for falling on your face (‘I took quite the biffy coming down that ski slope’).
But in the North woods of Minnesota where I first remember encountering one, a biffy refers to a little wooden outhouse with a hole to do your business in, like an earthier port-o-potty.
As a 14 year-old new to biffies, one day at summer camp near the Canadian border, I used one then stood up, turned around, and accidentally glimpsed inside as I lowered the lid.
Horrified at the sight, in true pre-teen fashion I squealed and jumped back a couple feet, only to be confronted with a different type of terror: something accosting the back of my hair.
I kept turning around to figure out what it could be??
Unbeknownst to me, all that circling was like cotton candy swirling onto a paper cone, giving me a hair weave of fly tape.
Yes, sticky as hell fly tape. Huge dead flies and all.
I busted out of there so quick, the remainder of its roll still attached to my head.
(Oh and did I mention this was Day 1 of camp and I didn’t know the other girls in my group? Yep, that’s how you make a first impression.)
Fortunately, a couple of my fellow campers wisely thought to rub copious amounts of peanut butter and butter throughout my thick hair to get it out. And eventually I was fly-tape free.
Best part of all?
They remain among my very closest friends to this day.
You never know how or when you’re going to meet a new friend, new role model or new soul mate.
That’s part of the mystery.
But it’s not going to happen if we don’t put down our screens and make eye contact with each other, and the world in front of us.
(Just don’t make eye contact with the depth of a biffy hole.)
We live in a time where people struggle to feel truly connected.
The entrapments of social media, a lack of work-life balance, and widespread political and environmental unrest has led us to feel lonelier than ever.
We’re also more guarded than ever for fear of being unfriended, cyber-bullied, or ghosted.
This is why I’ll continue to foster a sense of community and bring people together… whether it be a disconnected couple in my therapy office, a group of women at a studio for an evening of straight-talk about relationships and their mind-body health, or a wellness retreat at the ocean, we need to keep gathering, IRL. (in real life, as the kids like to say)
Face to face. Eye to eye.
Sure it can feel a little out of your comfort zone to make that first call to a therapist…
attend that seminar on a topic you’ve never talked about publicly…
or join that international retreat with strangers,
BUT you never know when a future lifelong friend will emerge with the perfect remedy.
Let’s strengthen our connections… like insects to fly-tape, let’s stick together.