We had a Girls’ Night yesterday, I and my oldest dearest friend. I looked forward to it all week. I abandoned my family for the evening to drink white wine and eat junk food, watch a chick flick, dye my hair (yes, it’s true, Pomegranate is not my natural colour) and talk about… well… things only girlfriends can talk about. We gave ourselves pedicures. My toenails are painted, my relationships are all straightened out, and my faith in estrogen therapy (the psychological variety) is restored.
There is no remedy for sagging spirits (not that mine were sagging, at least not this week) like the unbiased and nonjudgmental ear of a true friend. You can say things to a friend you would not say to your spouse or even your mother. And you in return for your disclosure, you get straight from the hip, no holds barred, opinions and advice.
You can take criticism from a girlfriend. You can take it when she tells you that yes, your ass does look big in that skirt, without feeling the need to pout, punish, or retaliate. You always get unconditional sympathy from a true friend, even when maybe you don’t deserve it, but you just need it. You can also count on a friend to lend you the perfect necklace for the outfit that doesn’t make your ass look big. Heck, she’s usually good for the enire outfit, when there’s nothing in your own closet.
The best kind of friend is the kind where you don’t necessarily feel the need to converse every day, but even if it’s been a while, you pick up where you left off as if you last chatted an hour ago. That’s why the phone calls are always so long, because there’s always something to say. I know there have been stretches where we didn’t talk much, but I never remember why and it doesn’t seem to have amounted to much at the next two hour phone call.
A good friend tends to be more constant than anything. I have now known this particular friend more than half my life. We met in high school, when I was struggling to fit in by purposely not fitting in, and she was struggling with her desire to have seven children – she is permanently childless now, by choice. We knew each other before partners, before careers, before (my) children. We have vats of mutual memories, some fun, some embarassing, most provoking peals of laughter that no one else shares. We became the people we are, together. Through thick and thin, good boyfriends and losers, joys and heartbreaks, countless moves, several careers, and a few different cities, her number has always been on my speed dial. What does that tell you?
So, today, my feet are soft, and my heart is full. Thank goodness for Girls’ Night, and thank goodness for my friend. I raise my glass to her and to many more Girls’ Nights. Next time, though, she gets to pick the movie. I’ll bring the wine.