Tonight, watching a rerun of "Sex and the City". I am struck by the accurate way it portrays female friendship. As the four women sit around a breakfast table at a posh Manhattan restaurant, they talk about life, their loves and the lack thereof. Earlier tonight, I had sat at TGI Friday's and engaged in a similar deep conversation with two girlfriends of mine. Life was mirroring art although my girl talk was a less hip suburban version of Carrie's experience.
When women get together we talk. We really talk.
And, there is a difference on this issue between men and women. Men (at least straight men) do not bond with their friends the way women do. Men do activities together like watching sports and going to bars, but if you ask what they talked about the answer is usually something superficial about a car or the newest weapon on Black Ops.
I have always pitied women who give up their friends when they get into a relationship. We have all known these women although they probably don't know themselves. They are the women who go to a bar with friends for a girls night and hook up within five minutes and stay with the same guy all night. That kind of girl has always annoyed me to no end. If it is a girls night out, the point is to hang out the with girls and the guys are irrelevant. Fortunately, I do not have girls like this for close friends.
I have two best friends. I have known my best friend Tracy since I was sixteen. I admired her from afar in high school. She was a cool punk rock chick and I was a nerd with glasses. When we got a class together we hit it off instantly. She was the yin to my yang and still is. I talk to her every day and we talk about everything. And, I mean everything.
Melinda is my "other" best friend. We call each other cousins. She is like part of my family and although we sometimes lose touch and get caught up in the chaos of ordinary life, it doesn't matter. When we see each other, it is like we are kids again. We have known each other since we were in elementary school and grew up blocks away from one another in Ontario. Her mom watched us most afternoons after school. My twin sister Jackie and I would ride our bikes for hours with Melinda. When I think back to my childhood, Melinda is always right there beside me. In my mind's eye, Melinda and I are usually sitting behind the liquor store smoking a cigarette.
That is what friendship is about after all. It is about having adventures with someone. Being the Lucy to someone's Ethyl. Or about being Carrie's Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte.