Who to Call? Another Girlfriend Tribute

On Sunday, after some public griping on the blog about my single woes, I went out and had a perfectly lovely day: I took Bon Bon to a new dog park where we met a lovely dog-owning woman–a local journalist and musician who told me about some new local spots. I caught up over the phone with an old girlfriend and talked about her potential skype sex. I took a rare trip to Trader Joe’s for some peach salsa and other things-I-don’t-need. And then to a low-key house party/rock show where I saw the first 40 oz. bottle of malt liquor I think I’ve spotted since high school.

And in the midst of it all this loveliness, I must confess, I thought of yet another recurring single-girl grievance: the dilemma of, “who to call?” As in, I just had the loveliest afternoon, and who do I have to tell about it? (I mean, no offense to my mother, but I can only call her so many times in a given week without starting to feel completely pathetic.)

First, I thought: “That’s why I have a blog!” Second, I thought: “I can only exploit my readers’ sympathies so much in one weekend” and “Actually that’s not why I have a blog, it’s why I would have a diary if I was somebody who didn’t feel ridiculous whenever I kept one.” In other words, I imagine that most of you who read this–with the possible exception, perhaps, of my mother–do not do so out of strange fascination with the quotidian details of weekend adventures related to grocery shopping. Correct me if I’m wrong.

I got home, shrugged it off, contemplated what it might mean to simply enjoy the experience of happiness for a moment, and then checked my email.

Miracle of miracles, there was–for once–actually something there that fulfilled my hankering exactly. It was a note from my NY best friend S, the one I went to London with. The third of our high school troika, R, recently was traveling on the opposite side of the world for several months, and while she was gone all of us exchanged frequent three-way emails. We wrote about things both profound and mundane: emotion-drenched thoughts on life and love mixed in with pithy reports on our daily goings-on.

Since high school, the friendships between us have vacillated: R and S went to the same college, but ended up in different friend groups. I, meanwhile, went a couple thousand miles away and took a few years to figure out what it meant to keep up with people outside my biking radius.

In other words, we haven’t always been the best at being in touch. But thirteen years (yikers!) since we first became friends, I feel as close with those girls now as I ever have.

There was a moment during that stretch when we were all emailing when I paused to recognize a certain internal contentment whose source I couldn’t immediately locate: I soon realized exactly what it was. There’s a profound (I am loathe to use the word spiritual, ever, but this is one place where I am tempted) satisfaction in connecting regularly and meaningfully with loved ones. In having people with whom you can share just about anything.

Okay, duh.

My point, though, finally, is that what I realized when I saw that email from S–an email calling for a revival, despite R’s recent return stateside, of our triangular exchange–is that they care. They are the ones I can call for no reason besides the fact that I made a nice new friend at the dog park or bought some good produce or met a semi-cute guy at a party.

It was an important reminder: I might not have a partner to share my daily thoughts with these days, but I will always have those girls–girls who, if conventional wisdom, science, and collective as well as personal experience all prove correct, will likely be better listeners than any man I may meet.



Filed under Womanhood

6 responses to “Who to Call? Another Girlfriend Tribute

  1. Anne

    I have to say that even when you’re married, it still feels incredibly satisfying to maintain those types of long-term, wonderful, girl-friendships. I am still very close to my four girls from high school (which was 10 years ago) and despite having a happy marriage — there is nothing I enjoy more than our semi-annual weekend reunions.

    Do you find its difficult to make meaningful connections with women after you’ve “grown-up?” I sometimes feel like now I only make “professional” friendships with women – not in the sense that we work together, but more because it makes good business sense for us to hang out — we know the same people, are in the same field, etc. I don’t think I could ever make friends like my girls from high school, and I don’t know if its because no one compares to them (which is, of course, true), or just because it is more difficult to cultivate those types of friendships without sharing all the awkwardness of “growing up.”


    • I think it’s absolutely more difficult to build strong female friendships later in life. I also think, though, that it’s easier when you’re single. I’ve made some close friends who are in relationships lately, but in general the women I know who are paired off have a harder time meeting new people–probably because they have a less pressing need for folks to hang out with!
      I think there is certainly something special about the people you grew up with, who don’t just know your family but are virtually part of your family etc. That said, I’ve been lucky to make some pretty valuable and strong connections with people I’ve met post-college. But only, I guess, through living in different places where the only way to find family was to create one! 🙂

  2. Clarence

    Shades of “Sex and the City”……..

  3. nice post! Reminds me of my 2 bests. Real good friends are a dime a dozen and no man can really play that role!

  4. Heidi

    I moved a lot growing up so I missed those long lasting connections. But I feel blessed to have met a group of girls over the last 6-7 years that I consider my closest, dearest friends. I could not survive without these wonderful women in my life and Dana is right, no man can ever fill that role.

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