Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Devil and Girlfriends

My long-awaited afternoon with the girls finally arrived! We did, indeed, go see "The Devil Wears Prada". Very funny - especially if you are a) female, and b) have had a boss like that. And wonder of wonders, we were all "a" and all but one of us were "b". We enjoyed it immensely! Since this day was in my exhausted-moving-mother-employee honor, we all wore leis and I got a green plastic tiara with matching earrings. My earlobes were too fat for the earrings, but I put on the tiara. It felt like it was going to ping off my head backwards, so I turned it upside down and wore the tiara part down over my forehead. A "Warrior Princess" sort of look. I wore it all through the movie and as we left the theatre, I took it off. Gasps of surprise/horror from the two gals walking out the same door as I was - my forehead had turned green!

We went for Mexican food and margaritas after the film and everyone beat me there (I was parked in Never-never land so it took me a while to get to it). I walked in with my green forehead, visited my table to collect my gasps and giggles before heading for the bathroom to wash it off. Having come from a Meryl Streep movie, I had Meryl on the brain when I finally got a glimpse of myself in the mirror - think "Death Becomes Her" and the peeling spray paint she was wearing at Bruce Willis' funeral. That was me. Most of it came off (there's still a faint green line in my topmost forehead furrow). I figure a shower and a washcloth should take care of the rest (or makeup...).

And now for the best part... sitting around the table talking. Guys don't really understand the importance of girlfriends. I don't think women do either... until their lives are so caught up in the male of the species that they begin to forget who they are without men. Until they are forced to escape to a movie or out to dinner with a friend, women don't really miss it. But the process of letting your hair down in the presence of other women, spilling your guts over the frustration of children or keeping homes (or moving them), of towels on the floor or the quirks of our men is oddly one of the most relaxing things a woman can do. And once that's out of the way, it's on to work, people we know in common, and ideas. Even when we talk about nothing of substance, I somehow come away from these gatherings more relaxed and feeling like my life is more satisfying and my mind is expanding. The number of people and the individuals who show up varies. Today it was me, Kim (married with a 9 year old son), Jennifer (younger mom, married with a 9 month old son), Suzanne (not married but becoming a very good friend-and she loves my kid), and Suzanne's mom (retired teacher, still married to Suzanne's Dad), With the exception of Suzanne's mom, we all work together and work together well, though we don't necessarily socialize in the usual sort of way. But the Movies and Margaritas Club brings us together in the way that girlfriends need to connect. And that's VERY special.


Janet said...

I think guys have good friends just like girls do, but for girls it's just different. Of course guy friendships rarely seem to enter petty territory, so maybe they are on to something...:)

Apricoco said...

You are so right! I have recently been developing a new set of girlfriends (a lot of the wives of my husband's friends) and now that I am back in with "girlfriends" I realize what I have been missing. A woman gave me a peice of advice before I got married: Get some girlfriends. I didn't understand the importance until recently, but now I know they are priceless. I can talk to my girlfriends about stuff that I can't (or shouldn't) discuss with my mother and they don't judge. As a newlywed I now understand the need for that support system. And our conversations don't have to be deep, just having them there is enough.

Sayre said...

Just having them there is enough... I agree! I went for 11 years without girlfriends. I had a "best" friend, but mostly I was the friend and she was the talker, the needer of help. When I needed help, she was too busy. Always apologetic, but never helpful. I stopped asking for help and figured out stuff on my own. Now that I've stopped smoking, we don't have that in common either - in fact I feel nauseous around her mostly. So when I stopped hanging out with her, I was VERY lonely for girlfriends. And I didn't really know how to get some.

So you see, even though I've been around for quite a long time now, all this girlfriend stuff is pretty new to me. And I love it!

They are all handy, as we all work together, but everyone seems to bring a new face in from time to time. I invited my cousin to join us this last time (but she couldn't make it). Suzanne brought her mom. The last time, Kim brought her mom (Moms are a-okay with us). My mom was also invited but she had a prior engagement too. Flexi-friends. Good to have.

Alice in Wonderbread said...

Girlfriends are priceless. Especially the ones who are able to not fall into the love-hate relationship which plagues so many women due to our passive agressive tendencies (and the inability to say 'Fuck You!' and still remain friends).

I think this is why a lot of my friends are guys. When I say Fuck off, or they say the same, I know it's only about the thing at hand. I know they still love me as a friend. And when I scream (or punch) them, they know it's because they said they'd like to do an Olympic gymnast or some such nonsense, not because I've been holding up years of resentment for the sake of being 'nice'.

And onto the good part of girlfriends, apricoco nailed it. When you find the nonjudgemental ones, hang onto them because you can tell them things and get advice on things that family members like mommies and sisters just wouldn't be able to handle because of the nature our the relationship.

I would love a circle of girlfriends. I work with nearly all guys, and the girls are 10 plus years older and are moving onto different places than me and basically act as mentors not friends. I sure would love to have a girls' night out.

Alice in Wonderbread said...

oh and p.s.Janet?

I love watching the guys in our friend circle. They may talk about deep issues, but to them, farts are still fucking hilarious. They are just as petty when it comes to perpetual topics.

I suspect when you talk of petty girl things, you are also thinking of the things which really are petty (like getting mad at a particular statement) and get in the way of the relationship growth itself? Or, is it the superficial topic thing?

I struggle with the superficial topic thing. Because even if, say, speaking of ways to get coffee out of linen or some such thing, it's still something which bears on our reality.

I suspect you're thinking along the same lines as me- upset that when it comes to girl friends you sometimes supress true feelings and reactions because you are afraid to hurt someone's feelings.