Sunday, December 21, 2008

Essentially Estrogen (you have been warned)

I rounded off my reunion week with friends - Thursday night with one bosom buddy and Friday-Saturday with three college roomies.

And I have come to a very important conclusion.

Girls rock.

Heather posted not long ago about the necessity of girl time. I made a comment along the following lines:

While I was engaged my aunt threw me a "Farmer's Wife" bridal shower (since My Man grew up on a sheep farm and all. Didn't know THAT didja?!) The guests contributed to a Farmer's Almanac, full of advice for the blushing bride. (Some of which advice DID make me blush. A symptom of "too much information" disease.)

But one piece of advice caught my attention at its seeming inappropriateness.

"Once married, get yourself some girlfriends."

At that point in life I was imagining my future free time cuddling up before a fire, watching movies, playing games, cooking and eating delicious gourmet meals, discussing our eternal love and ... other activities. Girlfriends didn't really fit into that mental image. After all, we all know that roommates are good for nothing once they get a rock on their finger. You often forget they LIVE there. My sweet groom was all I could ever imagine needing.

But the wisdom of that simple advice soon became apparent.

My husband is my best friend, my partner and companion in every possible connotation of the word. But he just doesn't get the problems associated with a MaxiPad that's flipped over. Or the EXACT TONE that THAT LADY used with us at the supermarket checkout line. Or being in mourning over post-nursing boobs that look like "tube socks with a quarter in the bottom." (Thanks, Heidi!)

Women need each other. We each have a void that can only be filled with friends.

There are so many types of girlfriends. The lighthearted, funny friend that can always cheer us up and remind us not to take life too seriously. The spiritual, gospel-oriented friend with whom you can discuss deep doctrinal issues. The fellow mommy-friend that snorts along with you while swapping "you'll never believe what my kid did TODAY" stories.

I just spent a few days with friends that fill all those different me-voids. It is something I have desperately missed.

I am in love with living in Brazil, and the friends I have made there will always be a part of me. They have been there for me in a very real milestone in my life - I have literally grown up in that beloved country. I have become an adult. And yet we cannot relate with each other on so many levels. They can sympathize with my trials - they can't empathize.

So my estrogen time this week was precious to me.

I found it funny, though, how our conversations have changed. Ten years ago we discussed boys, school, our parents, and our many hopes and dreams. Now we talked of mortgages, our kids' schools, husbands and how our hopes and dreams have been fulfilled - or not. We have suffered our share of tragedies. Infertility, miscarriages, severe depression, wayward loved ones. We cried together, supporting each other by just being.

I think that's what it comes down to. Women need other women to just be. Sometimes it is the silent conversations - eloquent discussions of tears and hugs - that truly mean the most.

Girls, I love you. Always have, always will.


Kristina P. said...

This is so true. I have come to discover that I need girlfriends in my life. My husband has no friends, and he always tells me he doesn't need any. And I think he means it and is content. Not me. I love him, and love spending time with him, but I need time with the girls too.

Glad you are having such a nice time!

Lara said...

My husband is like Kristina's...I guess guys just don't need male bonding the way we need female bonding? But he is very supportive of my girls' nights and whatnot. Thankfully!

Jan said...

Can you feel the love tonight? Yes I can.

That was so great. I do agree with you on this so much. I have so many aquaintances, but very little close friends. Sometimes I think that is why I enjoy blogging so much. I wish I had closer friendships to hang out with.

I understand about the hubby thing too. But he needs his friend time as well. I see that. We just let each other live life as we need too. And that makes us crazy for each other.

Glad you have the friends you need.

Jen said...

There really is nothing like a girlfriend. Husbands (bless them) just don't get being a girl.

Vanessa said...

If I don't get a lunch date every so often w/my friends, I might just die.

Brooke said...

I'm with you. I absolutely need girlfriend time. I think that's why I like blogging so much. There are so many women out there that are just so much like me, or have similar experiences. It feels like I have so many girlfriends. But, there is nothing like getting together with friends and gabbing about girl stuff.

Heather of the EO said...

Amen! I love this post. I think it's part of the reason I love blogging so much. The community of women who just get each other because...well, because we're women!

Harmony said...

I love you too! And I'm honored to be part of your post.

charrette said...

I am a firm believer in this. And it took me way too long to learn. Girl time with understanding friends is like a yellow oxygen mask for your soul.

heidizinha said...

our sleepover was probably my favorite part of the holidays. don't tell my husband.

i can't wait until march!