Not that women here hadn't always met each other socially, gone out to bars and restaurants and lived it up, had bachelorette parties, of course they had. Teenage girls have sleep-overs, their Moms take off for weekends in Punta del Este sans husbands. But those get-togethers are not deliberately designed as a counterpoint to Boys' Night Out. That was my contribution, my Gloria Steinem-inspired political statement. (Although let me say right up front that my husband is not a Boys'-Night-Out-er, he doesn't play poker, guzzle beer while watching either American football or Brazilian futebol, or participate in any way in any night out with any boys. So my Girls' Night Out was not exactly started as a political statement to get back at him. No, it was started because it was fun.)
Cristina and I have a real commitment to our Girls' Night Out, and there are reasons why it has endured as long as it has. We are disciplined about keeping our weekly date, barring emergencies, illness or travel. We are disciplined about alternating languages, one week Portuguese to upgrade my level, one week English to keep Cristina up to snuff. And we are very disciplined about respecting our self-imposed time limit of two hours. No doubt in my mind but that this disciplined approach is what has shaped an otherwise casual get-together into an Institution that has come to be known, and even envied, around town.