One day after school on the drive to ballet, I asked my ten year old daughter who she played with and she matter-of-factly replied, “No one.” My heart actually skipped a beat. I was surprised to hear that. I was concerned so I pushed the topic further and asked, “Well is it because you wanted to play something and no one else wanted to play the same thing?” She answered yes. Naturally, I gave the “you have to compromise and sometimes you have to conform” speech knowing full well that I will have to undo that same speech when she gets older. Saying instead, “Just because all of your friends are doing it doesn’t mean you have to.” My heart was a little broken thinking about my daughter as a loner, having no friends. When I was ten, I was the opposite of being a loner. I had besties and groups of friends from all sorts of activities so I was feeling pity for my daughter. Before we reached ballet she said, “Mama, I watch the girls in the fourth grade. One day they are fine and the next day no one is talking to each other. I’m fine. I don’t need a best friend. It’s ok to be alone sometimes.” My daughter seemed so grown up. I was proud that she wasn’t worried about being alone. What a teachable moment!
As I was gearing up to write about National Girlfriend Day, which falls on August 1st every year, I started to analyze my relationships with my own girlfriends. I came to the conclusion that even though I meet up with different groups of gal pals for GNOs or go on walks around the lake with a select few, I am pretty much winging it thru life without a designated BFF at the very moment. Thanks to my daughter, I’m not really worried about it! That’s how life goes. There will be times when our girlfriends are our top priorities and there will be times when life gets in the way. Fortunately, a true girlfriend is there to pick up where we left off, to begin new life chapters, to reminisce about the old days, to tell you that you have spinach stuck in your teeth and that your spray tan makes you look like an orangutan.
It’s a little overwhelming to set aside one day to acknowledge all the different levels, categories and layers of girlfriends. I mean check out my girlfriend list:
* I have positive girlfriends - they are upbeat and look at life thru rose-colored glasses - I’m usually floating about 2 inches off the ground after we hang out because they lift me up.
* I have serious girlfriends - we meet up for coffee/tea because together we can solve the worlds’ problems in a coffee shop.
* I have foodie girlfriends - we use the Doodle site to find dates to meet and eat.
* I have multi-tasker girlfriends - we practice yoga, work out or walk around the lake AND catch up on our latest.
* I have very few confidant girlfriends and many that keep it social.
* I have “the same boat” girlfriends - their kids are the same age and participate in the same activities as mine therefore, we are all in the same boat.
* I have certain girlfriends whom I pray with and some I pray for.
* I have enlightening girlfriends that share their wisdom on parenting, health, fashion and home decor - the latter two topics are my weakest links.
* I have girlfriends whose husbands are in the same industry as mine therefore we share a common thread of not having a normal family life.
* I have the “must-have” girlfriends from elementary, middle and high school because they helped shaped who I am today.
* And last but not least, I have girlfriends that are actually family members because who else would know me better?
Fun Fact #1: I do not have any girlfriends that I shop with because I’m a horrible shopper!
Fun Fact #2: And almost all of the above girlfriends have had an alcoholic beverage with me at some point.
Winner, winner chicken dinner if a friend falls into more than one category in your life. As you can see, one thoughtful pinch cannot not fit all on Girlfriend Day. Have you ever received a tear-jerker girlfriend post? The kind of post that you have to cut/paste and include the name of the sender so that she knows you love her back? I have and I always feel like a jerk because all I ever do is “Like it”. There are some wonderful girlfriend posts floating around in Facebook world but now that I already have my list handy, it will be a cinch to send a thoughtful note wishing each of them a Happy Girlfriend Day based on how unique they are to me.
One day my daughter will have a list of girlfriends that she can confide in, have fun with, grow up with, support and love like I have over the years. It’s almost impossible not to have a girlfriend. They don’t have to be besties but girlfriends are such a necessary part of life. Even if we only had one true girlfriend, that is all we need to face the day, everyday.