My first mother-in-law (I have had a few) wrote an 8 page letter to me in 1990. She used the old computer paper that was wide and had green and white stripes. In the letter she made sure I knew EXACTLY why she hated me. In one especially erroneous nugget of the letter she stated that I must have quiet, mealy-mouthed friends if I had any at all, because I am ….well, she called me the ‘b’ word. When I read this part of the letter, I became enlightened as to how little she knew the real me. Quiet, shy friends who would let me walk all over them and let me dominate the relationship as well as all conversations? Oh, my clueless first mother-in-law, if you knew my friends you sure wouldn’t have written that!
My longest friendship is 40 years old. Some others come in at 37 years. I have one friendship that is almost a year old, and I think a new one is forming; it is in tropical storm stage, not a full blown hurricane/friendship yet! We have to see how it holds up over cooler waters. When women become friends we sort of proclaim the friendship to each other in a ceremonial way. It could be over a cup of coffee, or at dinner, or when laughing as we sip margaritas, but it happens something like this; we look over at this woman who has shared about the same amount of private information as we have, there are lots of commonalities- likes, dislikes, and philosophies. We soften our look at this other woman and make the friend commitment. “I just love you! You are my friend!” There it has been said, a new friend has been coronated.
Along with coronation comes all the stuff we expect from our friends. Most of us want girlfriends who make us laugh- period. They need to be there in times of fun, sorrow, anything that has to do with kids or pets, and HUSBANDS/SIGNIFICANT OTHERS. It is common knowledge that a woman’s best friend has the secret info on her spouse. New trusties get the scoop in time, and if they reach that best friend status, which, by the way, in adult girlville we can have more than one of those- they will know it all.
How do we find each other? That is the cool part- I have a friend, Melee, who called and asked me to go swiming with her. We had kids around the same age, and Melee was so nice! She was funny, and we both went to the same church and worked the AWANA program. She home schooled her kids, I think you have to be nuts to do that, so that was another plus about this industrious woman. We shared a lot of laughs over the years, no different than the laughs we shared our first summer as friends in the pool. She told me I was the kind of person who never meets a stranger. I love her for saying that- but she and I were suppose to be friends, in my world we were never strangers! See, I love her and she was coronated my friend about 19 years ago. Melee found me. I am grateful for that. I had my head down in being a mommy, college student, and a part-time teller. I needed her to say Hi, will you be my friend?
I did that last year at the beginning of the school year. I met this woman who just seemed so weird, I had to get to know her! She sounded like a southern elementary school motivational speaker. Sweet, a little loud and …sweet. We met during our first faculty gathering of the year, then I ran into her at Starbucks- miles from our school, but on the way to the university. We had some things in common; our love of teaching, higher education, the green movement and animals. I was thinking…could this be my new best friend? We exchanged numbers. I called but she never returned it. One day she told me she had tickets to the Ellen Degenerous show and asked if I would go with her- then never brought it up again. No friendship formed. We never had enough power to name the storm! That is okay- she was not meant to be in my circle or my life- I do wish I could have seen Ellen though.
Studies show that women who regularly meet with their girlfriends live longer. It is funny how much we need each other- if you think back to junior high, or what I call, Bitch Boot Camp, it is amazing any of us ever trust another ‘girl’ again! But it is a part of our cycle- and now we are all old generals, who I believe, could really rule the world.
Tomorrow I will continue All About My Girlfriends! Section Two!