It is truly a blessing to be able to share your life, your dreams, thoughts and feelings with a man, to be understood and loved, comforted, and cherished.
Sometimes what a woman really needs, though, is to be understood by another woman. Only other women know what it’s like to shop for a swimsuit after an overindulgent winter, to crave chocolate like it’s going out of style, or to be cat-called in the parking lot of an Albertson’s.
The years bring us lots of other women. Some we know for a short time, some we have forever after meeting them once. Some are acquaintances, some are family, and others might as well be.
These are important women. They are the women we laugh with, we cry with, and the women we drink wine with. These are the women we share our sometimes hard-to-come-by spare time with. They are the women who, after years pass, we still can’t wait to catch up with, even when we’ve been remiss about staying in touch. With mine, I have shared many an after-work martini, many a rock concert, and many a long dinner after a failed afternoon of shopping for a new outfit. We can relate to each other about work, relationships, our creative interests, and our families. They’re the ladies who hold your hand when you lose a loved one. They’re the ones who tell you to follow your dreams, and help you find your way out of a bad situation. These are the bad-asses who hunt down your ex-boyfriend with a vengeance because they have a thing or two to tell him.
I’ve found over time that the ladies I choose to spend time with consistently possess many of the same qualities. While we may come from different places, have different occupations, different personalities and marital statuses, there are many things that draw us together, and qualities we share.
They know when to tell me things could be worse, and when to break into a big loud chorus of “This is bullshit!!” with me.
They know when I’m being serious and when I’m using deadpan.
They don’t flirt with my man. They’ve never tried to get the attention of anyone I expressed interest in.
They know where I am the most sensitive, and they don’t dig at me there. Other stuff is fair game.
They love and care for their husbands and families. We can commiserate together, and then go home and be the wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters we have chosen over and over to be.
They are hard workers, and they are all passionate about something.
They are opinionated as hell.
They don’t complain about their lot in life, at least not with any regularity.
They love to learn, though not always in the most “traditional” ways.
They are interesting.
They are honest.
They have strong minds and tender hearts.
They are smart and articulate.
They do things with intention and meaning.
They own their actions.
They recognize their own role in their current circumstances.
They’re not afraid to call it like they see it during those times when bluntness is necessary.
They support my relationships with my husband, my family and other friends, and won’t jeopardize them or anything else that is important to me.
I’ve fallen out of touch with many girl friends over the years, sometimes because of rifts or fallouts, and sometimes due mainly to circumstances and separate interests. For the latter, in spite of any physical or perceived emotional distance, I still have a true affection, though they may not be aware of it. The ones who remain on my radar and my speed dial are a beautiful mix of these qualities, and so much more.
So, to my girl friends, you know who you are. Thank you for everything you are, have been, and will be, and thank you for bringing it all into my life. Thank you for keeping me there, in spite of the miles, or the years, or whatever may separate us, now or later. You are appreciated. You are valued. You are loved.
(Rest assured, your quilt is coming.)