I have spent a lot of time in overwhelmingly testosterone filled environments: I have no sisters, just two brothers; I was in the Army; my house now with my 4 sons, 1 male dog and, of course, my husband. This is all fine with me because I would never describe myself as “girly.” While I like pretty clothes and hair and makeup, I’m equally happy to wear sweats and not
wash do my hair and be otherwise un-stereotypically girly. I’ve had a lot of male friends in my life and, in addition to being my awesome husband, I would consider Sergeant Handsome to be my best friend.
All that being said, I don’t think there’s any substitute for girlfriends. Luckily for me, I have also found myself in many estrogen-filled environments as well. My parents sent me to both an all-girls camp and an all-girls high school. Working at camp now, as an adult, means that I work in an almost entirely female environment. Plus, I’m part of this wonderfully diverse sorority called “motherhood.” It’s hard to say if my parents could sense that I would someday need a strong network of girlfriends to offset the number of people in my house that pee standing up or if they just thought I’d cause less trouble surrounded by girls… but whatever the reason, I’m thankful. Camp and high school both gave me girlfriends that I will have for life.
Yes, my high school friends and I are still friends. And not just in a “we had a good time catching up at the reunion” kind of way (though we did). I mean that we make up the bulk of the guests, and usually the loudest ones, at one another’s weddings. We’re godmothers to each others children. Roommates. Screeners of potential boyfriends. Dinner dates. Airport rides. We have regular video chat dates since we no longer all live in the same place (thank god for the invention of the Google+ hangout, where we can ALL be on the video chat at the same time). And we email each other.
We email each other way too much.
This thread? Just the most recent of the group emails we are constantly sending one another. In the fifteen minutes after taking that screenshot I had already gotten three more emails in the same thread. In the 24 hours since then, there have been 28 emails added to the thread. We announce pregnancies, talk relationships, plan get-togethers, update our addresses, shoot the breeze, reach out for support in tough times, and (currently) discuss our high school religion curriculum. No subject is left unturned.
I’m so lucky to have such an amazing group of friends. They are an amazing group of vibrant women that are among the most intelligent, funniest, and kindest people I know. There are stay-at-home moms, lawyers, doctors, engineers, teachers. Wives, girlfriends, mothers, single-ladies, aunts, friends.
My friends and coworkers from camp take up a pretty similar place in my life. I went to the movies a few weeks ago and when I turned by phone back on at the end of Silver Linings Playbook, I had 41 text messages.
Sergeant Handsome is always asking, “who are you talking to?” as I type away. I’m not sure why he still asks. It’s always one of these two groups of girlfriends.
The many dudes in my life, that occupy my day-to-day and most of my heart, are wonderful and I adore them. But there is no substitute for the fellowship of good girlfriends. Across miles and time, they are part of who I am.
Do you have girlfriends bringing color to your life? Around the corner? Around the globe? I love hearing about you.