Having just returned, exhausted and aching, from a girl's weekend on the east coast, I feel I must take a moment to consider the female friendship. Not just as it applies to my life, but in general.
You see, I have never really been one of those people who had a large circle of friends. Up until recently, I couldn't have even come up with enough female friends, least of all who all know each other, to make a girl's weekend even happen. I don't know why that is. A little shyness and low self-esteem, maybe, or perhaps there just aren't that many women out there who can be my friend. It takes a special understanding of my dry, sarcastic and generally cynical outlook on life, and most women aren't like that. At least, I never thought so. Or maybe it's just that I didn't try hard enough. I don't know. Everyone talks about how hard it is to make friends now that we are older; I have always felt that way. Making friends was never easy for me. Not in childhood, not in high school, not ever.
So having a group of women who evolved over time from people I simply had one thing in common with, to a close-knit group of friends I can fly across the country to spend a weekend with in close quarters is kind of a minor miracle in my life. I could say that I needed that weekend away as a break from my kids, and that would most definitely be true; but far more than that, I needed it to be a part of something like that. We all have a need to belong, but I always shoved aside the feelings of needing to belong to some sort of female group, thinking it didn't matter. But I have come to see that it really does matter.
It's more than sharing makeup and group pedicures, shopping for shoes and sipping wine. It's a connection with people who share the fundamental experience of what it is to be a woman. Although we are all very different, we are all in some ways very much the same. And not just because we are all mothers. I like to think that had we found something else to bring us together, we might have connected just as well, but who can say?
I do have female friends, who are and have been vastly important to me. But I have never been a part of something quite so magical and different before as a large group of women who can laugh together, share our secrets, and accept each other so openly for all of our differences and flaws. The more I think about it, the more I think it's not just a miracle in my life, but a miracle in general.
So, much love to my girls; I can't wait to see you again. Thanks for everything.