Monday, July 21, 2008

Girl Power

The evening of my crappy day at work, I decided to treat myself to dinner and a movie. A popcorn dinner, that is. I went to see Sex In The City. I needed some girly time.

There was about a dozen people in the theater, and the estrogen was overwhelming. I had my tiny bag of popcorn, my legs were comfortably propped on the seat in front of me and the lights dimmed. I was ready to put behind the problems of the day and be absorbed in the lives of Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha. I missed those girls.

I loved watching SATC on HBO. It was the only reason that I actually subscribed to it. When SATC aired its final episode, HBO was canceled. But what I loved about the show was the relationships between them. They were so open, so honest. They shared the good and the bad. With one phone call, they could join forces and solve any crisis or heartbreak with a cosmopolitan, Manolos or brunch. They had a friendship that I envied.

SuciasI have friends and cousins who I am close to. We share personal stories, confide deepest secrets, laugh over embarrassing moments, or just wonder what kind of lives we will lead. But what seems strange to me is that there isn't one person who I share all aspects of those topics. I don't have one best friend, but a network of friends who get different bits and pieces of who I am.

I wonder why is that? Is it me? Do I chose to spread myself out so as not to get so deep with one person? Maybe. I can go weeks or months without speaking to some of my friends and not think twice about it because when we do get back in contact it's as if no time had ever past. To me that's special. Like the friendship is strong enough to not have to coddle or babysit it along the way.

Giddy drunk girlsI spend a lot of time by myself and for the most part, I enjoy it. I can do what I want, when I want, without having to ask for permission or arranging schedules. But when I want company, its hard trying to find the right girlfriend to invite. One's either too cranky, or too pregnant, too Mommy, or too married, or just too far away.

Then there are some friends who I dearly miss, but whose life have taken such a different path from mine that there is hardly anything left to talk about.

As Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte all mended to Carrie's broken heart, I wondered who of my friends would be there for me in my time of crisis? How have I made myself available to them?

So now I'm curious. What are your friendships like? Do you have that one best friend? Do you have a network of girlfriends who can tell you that yes, those pants really do make your ass look fat? Or do you flitter around like a butterfly to random groups of people who knew you at different points of your life?

Leave me a comment.


  1. I'm sorta glad to know I'm not the only one who feels this way. I've written about this in different ways, and struggled to figure out what to do.

    I think we're roughly the same age, right? I know the few girl friends or male BFFs I've had have taken a different path. Some have married and have kids, others have moved away.

    Also, the internet has changed a lot of my relationships. Before, I would have lost touch with some of my friends and now I can keep in regular contact with some of them, like my friend Ken, who's a married father of two that lives in Brazil. It's surprising how often he keeps in touch. Other relationships hang on by a thread because only once in a while do we email or IM when we really should be making plans to see each other face-to-face. Of course so many have just faded away.

    Throughout my life, my BFFs have been guys with a sprinkling of girls in there once in a while. But now, I don't have a BFF. Local friends I see sparingly. I long for that to be different.

    A friend of mine, mother of two, said that the days of BFFs are over - for now. This phase of our lives when friends get married and/or have kids changes the focus to family. She thinks BFFs rises again when women are older. Cold comfort.

  2. Thinking more about this, what I miss really is physical human contact. And this isn't really sexual.

    I miss sitting next to my friends all squished on a couch watching a movie. I miss the hugs that come with greetings and good-byes. I miss the laughs over topics of nonsense as we sit in the hallways in the sorority house. I miss our commonality of us all being college idiots, but also the differences among us that made us unique.

    It's a different dynamic in my friendships now. Those college/high school friends who helped me understand who I was live different lives and it's hard to get back into that special moment again. Friends that I've made as adults don't have the background of my silliness as a kid and therefore lacking in knowing the full me. And those rare friends who have bridged the gap between both times in my life aren't part of my every day communications.

    I'm not terribly upset about it, but it does get lonely. My dog is a real cuddlebug, but that doesn't really cut, does it?

  3. You hit it dead on for me: the physical contact, just being around with your friends all day, riding in cars, going to the mall, sleeping over, hanging on the couch. The internet can't touch that.

    But I think you're selling yourself short in terms of adult friends lacking background: I can see how far back your personality and silliness and the stuff that makes you "You" goes. I didn't have to know you forever to see that. All I have to do is interact with you (even online) and I can see it. Your personality is so rich and full that it's bam, right there! It's that strong!

  4. I guess there's no hiding being an idiot ;)

  5. Ok. first of all no jeans make my ass look fat.And yes i am an idiot. Anyway that aside. I think I have and idea what you are talking about. I have a friend whom I recently had a similar conversation about this with basically told me that people move on. His take was basically friendship is about that particular moment in time and wont last forever , nor should it be expected to, there are rare exceptions,However. Now this is something that I have struggled with accepting for a while , but I think it's something that while I get older I am coming around on. I guess people change , and that while I don't want to believe that my friendship could be that trivial to someone whom I considered a friend...I guess that is the way it goes. So to answer your question in a round about way I have a couple of friends whom I consider "best friends", some of whom I probably shouldn't. but then im different in that if I consider you a friend then you are best friend...all else I consider acquaintances who I hang out with ever now and then, and there is nothing wrong with that. Ok thats my story and im sticking to it.

  6. I was just thinking about this, this weekend when I went to see Mamma Mia with my sisters. The mom and the daughter in the movie each have 2 really close friends, and I was jealous of that. Andrew and I don't have a lot of close friends, especially on this coast. It's hard to find people that you really enjoy spending time with, so those are the people you cherish. Same with the people you don't see for ages, and then when you do see them again (like after 10 years!), feel like it's been no time at all (and then hang out all the next day at a BBQ & end up being in almost constant contact over Twitter and blogging!). Those are the people I make an effort to keep in touch with.

    I have never really considered anyone my BFF. I guess you could call my closest friend (besides Andrew!) my best friend from college, whom I actually lost touch with for a number of years. Reconnecting with her this year was fantastic, but it's still not the same as having someone around to call up and have come over and hang out. We have friends in the area that we enjoy having dinner parties with, but never completely reliable, no-matter-what-I'll-be-there friends.

    I am lucky in that I'm close with my sisters, and despite our periodic disagreements, we've always been close. We didn't have a lot of kids around us, so we relied on each other for company. Nowadays it's harder for us all to get together, but we call and email every week or two, and make a point of getting together every few months. You guys are right, there's nothing that will ever replace the physical interaction of having people around - as cuddly and sweet as our pets may be!

    Facebook & the Internet in general have definitely changed my relationships with people, like Viv said. But, despite how much I enjoy being an Internet stalker, I've noticed that I still keep tabs on certain people more than others - those people that I was closer with. By that token, I think sometimes it's good to let a friendship fade. People are constantly growing and changing, and sometimes the relationship just doesn't change the same way, or you just don't have that connection with the person you used to. I don't think we should feel guilty about this. In my mind, I'd rather nurture a few close relationships than not be able to spend much time on a lot of shallow ones. Relationships take a lot to maintain, and I don't like feeling worn thin from people that I don't feel that close with. I admit that I'm not good at keeping up with emails or phonecalls. So those people who don't hold that against you are even more important to spend some time with or send off the odd email or what-have-you. That's why I love the Internet. I don't feel the pressure of having to write a novel to say hello to someone, and send it in the mail. Twitter - 140 characters! Even less pressure! I love it.

    I wish we had more people out here we could hang out with randomly. But I'm happy to know that there are those out there that will make the effort when we're around, and when we make that connection, I'm always wishing that we could spend more time together. I worry that these rising prices of fuel and transportation will further reduce the amount we get to see people, and the radius of our friends. But I don't think the human connection will ever be replaced. The whole idea behind my "cuppa fog" name is hanging out, having a cuppa coffee and just chatting. Nothing beats that.