Why You Should Never Give Up On The Female Friendship

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A dear friend of mine recently informed me she was moving. Away. From me. The nerve! I kid, I kid, but there is no doubt the news hit me square in the feels, as this particular friend has done so much for me. She’s been there through thick and thin, and is someone I know I can rely on any and every second of the day. Any of you out there who has someone like this knows how good it feels to have someone have your back. She’s also the sanity to my insanity, which is something I desperately need. Did I mention she lives about a mile away? For now. Cue the ugly cry.

The more I’ve mulled this over, the more I’ve thought about the evolution of my female friendships and how, at one point, I almost gave up on them altogether. While I’ve had plenty of ups when it comes to my girlfriends, the downs have been difficult for me to process, particularly in my teen years. In sixth grade, two of my most favorite friends in the world moved out of the school I was attending. After they left, I was bullied by another group of girls, and would cry myself to sleep at night. My parents decided to pull me out of Catholic school and put me in public school. For the most part, this was an amazing year for me. I even ran for class president and won, only to find out my parents were moving us to a suburb of Chicago from our home in Buffalo the following year. I don’t want to be dramatic, but this is a pretty crappy time for a kid to move and, as most girls know, the movie Mean Girls wasn’t all that much of an exaggeration.

My first day of eighth grade, I showed up to class, late from being lost, sweaty from running, and wearing big, baggy clothes that were SO not the style in this town. I was treated so horribly the first month or two of school, I would eat lunch by my locker in the hallway. Eventually, though, I made some of my very best friends at that school – friends with whom I’m still in touch with today. And part of me will always be proud at how I handled those first few months, as I kept my chin up and never gave up on the idea that I would have friends.

Through the years, I’ve been hurt by girls, and I’m certain I’ve hurt a few, too. Female friendships are a complicated animal, and one has to tread ever so lightly. I guess it was right after graduate school that I decided I no longer wanted the hurt that went along with it. I was almost exclusively friends with guys through those next few years, and it was wonderfully uncomplicated. I was even invited on guys’ nights out and, if you read my blog, you know I have the potty mouth to hang. Actually, now that I think about it, that might be where I got this potty mouth, but I digress. It’s not that my guy friends didn’t care deeply about me, as I know they did. But it was just different. Phone conversations were two minutes or less, and only contained the meat of the matter – when, where, and who was bringing the Jack Daniel’s. Of course, my mother liked to tease me about this time in my life, saying that it was likely why I was meeting any potential suitors. Alas, I didn’t really care. It was a fun, carefree time, and I don’t regret a thing.

Things have changed as I’ve gotten older. I’ve gotten more sentimental about … well, everything. I know now that nothing lasts forever (sorry, Pony Boy). I’ve reconnected with old friends, and forged some amazing new ones. I’ve opened myself up to hurt again. Meeting people like the person I’m referring to in this post has taught me that it’s so worth it. It’s especially important to have female friends after having kids, as there are very few guys out there who want to hear about your droopy nipples, desire for vaginal reconstruction, and your baby’s poop habits. Even if women swear to each other at the onset of a girls’ night out that we won’t talk about our kids, we always do. EVERY. DAMN. TIME.

I still adore my guy friends to the core, and some of my besties are still dudes, but I’m so glad that I never gave up on the female friendship. Time heals the wounds and you learn that some friends are on a different level than others. Female friendships, on the whole, are a deep, soulful thing because we know what the other is going through on so many levels. We see things that we might not even see in ourselves. And while we might get flack for it sometimes, we women are emotional creatures with an incredible capacity for compassion. The world could use a lot more of that. Sometimes that means we get hurt, and we hurt others. But you realize you can talk things through and emerge all the stronger on the other side.

Of course, not all friendships are the same, and that’s a-okay. Some friends are the girls that you party hearty with, and they’re awesome. Some girls are the ones you watch Parenthood with while drinking straight out of the wine bottle and ugly crying. And they’re awesome. Some girls are the wise ones – the ones you call when you just don’t know what to do. And they’re awesome. And some girls are the ones you call when you’re feeling so down, you don’t even want to get out of your jammies and face the day. And they’re awesome. And then there are the girls who are all these things to you, and you’re not sure what you’d do without them. And those are the BEST. Whether they’re right next to you or a flight away, this person is always in your heart.

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.
“Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”

-A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh


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Comments

  1. Dana says:

    This comes at the perfect time for me as I recently moved and feel very in between friends. But even before the move, many of my female friends drifted away, or fell off my map. Having kids precipitated this of course, but now I’m feeling the loss, like s hole into life. Thanks for the reminder that female friends are worth fighting for.
    -Dana

    • lbb_marnie says:

      The year I turned 40 was a big year of reconnecting for me. It was a lot of work, to be honest, making the time to reconnect with friends all over the place, but it was the best year I’ve had in a while. Go for it!

  2. Kerri says:

    Great one Marnie!

  3. Jennifer says:

    Ok, you made me shed some tears! That was a great post. Your good friends will always be there for you, even if they don’t talk everyday (or every month, etc) :) Love you and all the craziness you bring to this world.

    P.S. We were just jealous of your baggy pants.

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