Sunday, June 5, 2011


Out of all of your experiences:  the ones that have made you laugh your ass off, cry your heart out, scream at the top of your lungs, dance, sing and jump on the bed - are there any quite like the ones you have had with your girlfriends?

I don't think so . . . and I don't think I could ever live without the girls in my life either.  I don't know if they know that, but I do.  I tried for a while too.  We all have.  You know when you are young and stupid (or maybe even not so young, but still stupid) and you meet that guy who makes you think you don't need friends anymore?  Ya, you know what I mean.  Thank God we all snap out of it eventually, and hopefully before our greatest friends are long gone, 'cause I will tell you what - girls will love you and fight for you and yell at you and forgive you and build you up and hold your hand and keep promises and give you the time of your life - like nobody else will.

Well, OK,  if you are lucky enough to find an amazing husband or partner like I did and if you have parents, siblings, cousins . . . who you love deeply then yes, you will get that from them too.  Family though - that is an entirely different post.  This is about girlfriends, just girlfriends - the ones who, unlike your family, choose you!  Its about girlfriends, the ones who stay - even without a legal agreement or vows or money - they stay.  Some for just a very long time, as long as you need them, and others -  forever!

My first girlfriend, aside from my sister, I found on the school bus at 5 years old.  We both had on dresses and knee socks and we sat together on that bus almost every school day for 13 years and shared bumpy rides and smooth ones and she actually isn't in my life anymore and that makes me sad, but she was in my life for close to 30 years and that is amazing.  Those first friends - they teach you what it means and what it doesn't mean to be a friend and that can't ever be replaced.

Elementary school girlfriends are supposed to be hard to find because they are all too busy being mean to each other, but not mine.  I found them in the back of the room at the cloak closet, on the playground and in the hallways and most of them were with me still in high school and some are even now.  We saw each other through so many firsts: first boyfriends, first dances, first drinks, first cars and we said our first real goodbyes to these girls too - as we headed off to college and other places and made promises that we'd never lose touch and for those first summers (more firsts!) we didn't, but then eventually we did.  The thing about girls though - they find their ways back to each other, the best ones anyway, even if it takes years.  We saw one another grow up and we'll see one another grow old because we're from the same town.  Our families are still there and old buildings and roads and spots where we made our first memories together and now all of our sentences begin with "Remember when . . . " There is a bond in that and that's why these girls can't ever be replaced.

College girlfriends are scared when they meet but you can't tell because they are always drunk (lmao). . . and so begins the friendships formed over kegs, fake IDs, shared bathrooms, eating at 2am, falling asleep in class, and the list goes on.  If you are like me - lucky enough to find yourself trying to mock sorority life and then suddenly realizing its everything you didn't know you were looking for - you will spend a night with these girls even 15 years later (last night, hence this post today) and feel just as tied to them as you ever were.  On the car ride home, between chugs of water in an effort to hydrate, all I could think was what if I'd never met these girls?  How different my life would be and not for the better.  College girlfriends know you in a way others don't because they lived with you, saw you in every possible circumstance and not many of those were pretty.  Plus, lets face it, while we do not condone underage excessive drinking, there is undoubtedly something about the friendships created and maintained over lots of partying, something about those stories that bond you for life.  The true test though - if, when the partying is over you still want to be together, you've really found something.  I did, and that's why these girls can't ever be replaced.

The girls you find at work - when you are finally out in the real world trying to make a life for yourself and where, if everyone stays put (and in my profession they often do), you are possibly going to be together every day for about 30 years - are girls you might not notice at first.  Eventually though, many will emerge as friends, some as good friends and others among your best.  These are women who see you every day trying to do and be all that you can and supporting you in how hard it often is, then celebrating with you when you get it right.  They understand the stresses and the joys because theirs are the same.  Invariably too, because now you are really into it - this thing called life - you are going to notice when something isn't right and somebody isn't OK and you're going to stop working long enough to take care of each other and that's when it really happens - that thing called friendship.  There it is again, only this time in such an unlikely place as work.  One day, you might even find yourself in tears behind your desk suddenly unable to do your job and these women, if you are lucky, will flank you and pull you in and lift you up and be there while you heal, trying to find ways to lighten the load until you can carry it again . . . and right there is why these girls can't ever be replaced.

Are there more?  Maybe.  Right now though, because of my GD college girlfriends who kept me up until 3:00 on the morning, I just can't be bothered!

Sometimes having girlfriends is a real headache.

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