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Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Elusive Female Friendship

Ladies, I want you to look around and do a whip-count of your female friends (that sounds waaay too clinical, so let's call them LFs for "Lady Friends").

From that group of LF's, I want you to think about the following ten questions:
  1. Which of these LFs would I ask to babysit my child?
  2. Which LF could I trust to tell about my relationship/marital troubles?
  3. Which LF do I trust least with my husband?
  4. Which LF would help me move houses?
  5. Which LF would I ask to go to church with me?
  6. Which LF could I call at 3:00AM if my car broke down?
  7. Which LF could I cry with?
  8. Which LF would cry for me?
  9. Which LF would pray for me?
  10. Which LF would I pray for?
If you have someone in mind for numbers 5-10 on this list, then you've got at least one really good friend. And if you have someone in mind for number 3, well, then I suggest you drop her because that's just foolish to call someone you can't trust your friend! But, back to my point, and the fact that a lot of us are walking around here without a true LF.

Back in high school, college, and grad school, you could make friends without really trying. There were long stretches of available time outside of the lecture halls, and even trips to the library became boisterous colloquies. My girlfriends and I weathered the storms of life - crappy boyfriends, tough classes, my growing shoe habit, and the perils of an empty wallet after a night dancing at one of the clubs in Fenway.

And then, one day, we graduated, and then we scattered, and then it was 16 years later. We are wives, and mommies, and managers, and Sunday school teachers now. Our lives are full to bursting with meetings, more meetings, date nights (if we can find the time and find the babysitter). We are lists - priority lists, to-do lists, grocery lists, Christmas lists. We live our lives on a treadmill, cramming the hours, minutes, seconds, and frames of seconds, with a choreographed chaos.

But you can't just add "make friends" to your list of things to do. You can't just decide to become BFFs with the mother of your son's soccer teammate or pull a "Single White Female" on the other soprano in your church's choir, all in an attempt to bring the friendship that's been missing in your life back to you. Finding that true female friend is like trying to find that other elusive thing that we women talk about with a sense of anxiety and deep frustration - that's right, the perfect purse, but that's a WHOLE other conversation!

I'm just saying!!

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