One of the utterly endearing features of the internet is that it allows any person with a common interest to find other people who share that interest, no matter how rare it may be in their geographical area. Whether your fascination is steampunk or snowboarding, guns used in WWII on one particular front or the thread count of a civil war regiment's uniforms, there are people out there who share your passion.
So, of all the specialized forums on the internet, there is the site Ladies Love Taildraggers. They collect women who love conventional gear aircraft, encourage student pilots, and occasionally hold fly-ins. One was not that far from me, so Calmer Half booked a hotel, and off we went.
We were hardly alone - over fifty planes registered, and well over another fifty dropped in to see what was going on over the course of the weekend. And I was truly tripped out. I'm used to being "the girl", as were most of the women there. When there's well over thirty "the girl"s in the hangar at any given moment, we are torn between talking to each other in body language and styles that are understandable by men, and outbreaks of utter femininity.
It truly was a ladies' weekend out, where the women involved did indeed act like ladies, with plenty of grace and charm (and surprisingly little nail polish.) Even the poker run failed to be catty or competitive; we were all very agreeable that the fastest planes should depart first, so there'd be no danger of overtaking in the air... and at the second stop, they should hold a few tables at the restaurant near the airport for the slower planes.
(The supercub gaggle actually fly pretty fast - but they can't help themselves; every mowed-in grass strip, every fun bend of a passing river, every water tower and old barn with something painted on the side, person working their field or fishing on the banks calls for a detour. As for the open-cockpit biplane - well, if you wanted to go in a straight line quickly with the greasy side down all the time, you wouldn't have a Starduster.)
I'd like to give a shout-out to the companies who donated door prizes: David Clark donated a trademark avacado-green and tank-tough headset, Davis Aviation donated a bunch of Swag, Dakota Cub threw in t-shirts, Icom offered up some flight bags, Aircraft Spruce gave away goodies and gift certificates, and somebody, I wish I remembered who, had cases of oil and other useful products. Even the hosting airport manager, who rocked, gave away free gas.
(I really, really wish I could remember the petroleum distributor. Because I already own and love a set of David Clarks, as tough as my titanium wedding band, use an Icom radio, and order from Aircraft Spruce. If I could remember their darned name, they'd have a customer for supporting the flying. Phooey. Eventually I'll run across them again, go "It's You!" and happily buy a case of oil while they bemusedly figure that their marketing eventually worked on the extremely long tail.)
As we walked up and down the rows of aircraft (some camping, some staying in hotels in town), we saw a pilot had her Taylorcraft for sale. It perched there a lightly and proudly as a hawk on a fencepost, a beautifully restored 65-hp Post-WWII model, in red and cream and leather seats... absolutely, heartbreaking gorgeous, and for less than a new Kia. My husband looked at me, and I at him, and even though it doesn't make financial sense right now, we both knew the checkbook was burning like plasma in our pockets, whispering "A his and hers plane family..." in our ears.
We managed to walk away with checkbook and sanity intact. Mostly. Ignore the reading of EAA's Sport Aviation and increased debate on building an RV vs. a Hatz Bantam (or buying another Taylorcraft) around here. That's just the sort of lasting mental scarring to be expected when I drag my husband off with a ladies' weekend out.