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The original social network
Oak Bay resident Julie Piazza was getting a little jealous of her husband.
When she went for walks in her neighbourhood with kids and husband in tow, they would walk past other young families and the husbands would acknowledge each other and be all chummy, leaving the wives uncomfortably standing there, wondering why they didn’t have the same connection.
The answer for this? Beer.
There has been a monthly Oak Bay men’s pub night gathering for years, while the women stayed at home with the kids. So Piazza started a women’s version in October – a monthly ladies’ wine night.
“A neighbour of mine made a joke that the men have been doing pub night for 20 years and nothing gets in the way of that,” Piazza said. “It was time for the ladies to have something.”
Ladies’ wine night is held on the fourth Wednesday at about 8:45 p.m. every month at Vis a Vis on Oak Bay Avenue. The group started with five and has grown to 20, as each person is asked to bring one new person to each gathering. A walking bus meets at 8:30 p.m. at the fire hydrant between Musgrave and Cadboro Bay and women join the group as they make the 15-minute walk to the wine bar.
Laura Earnshaw is Piazza’s neighbour, who moved to Oak Bay last year with her Victoria-raised husband.
Originally from Bristol, England, she said the wine night has expanded her social circle. Most of the people she knew before she met through her husband.
“It’s something I look forward to,” Earnshaw said. “Everybody gets to know each other, there’s wine flowing, it’s all good.”
Earnshaw has met women of all ages, in different phases of their life and career. She said the conversation varies and the gathering allows women to network and make new friends.
“We talk about everything,” Earnshaw said. “Family, husbands, work; a lot of times we talk about how much we love Oak Bay. It’s cheesy, but it’s true, we love Oak Bay.”
The gatherings also allow women to build a support network, Piazza said. At one wine night, a mother was taking about the expense of having to buy her fast-growing baby new pajamas and someone else mentioned that they had some they didn’t need.
“In the morning, there was a box (of baby clothes) at her door step,” Piazza said. “It’s these little things that makes things better. Neighbours helping each other out.”
The next ladies’ wine night is Feb. 26. For more information or to attend, email firstname.lastname@example.org.