Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down. Oprah Winfrey
I have been thinking a lot lately about friendships. About the different kind of friendships. About how many friends are really just acquaintances. About what constitutes a true friend. About how different female friendships are verses male friendships and friendships between the sexes.
First let me say that Dirt Man is truly my best friend. That said, he just doesn’t compare to a female friend. I mean, bless his heart, he tries. He really does. Not too long ago I was feeling really blah and said that I was in serious need of defrumping. He wanted to know what defrumping meant. Now, no woman would ever have to ask that question. I explained. He sympathized with me and then said he just didn’t get the whole feeling frumpy/needing to defrump concept. Duh, of course, he didn’t, he’s a man! He will always be my number one, but sometimes, I need to be with my girlfriends who really get me.
And while I may trust him with my life and my heart, he has absolutely no understanding of my crying for no reason. Every woman knows that women need a good no -particular- reason cry every now and then. It cleanses the soul. Can you imagine how less grouchy men could be if they did that? God knows I need my man, just not when I’m feeling overly emotional because then I feel the need to explain. Which I can’t, and then I just feel plain stupid. So, that’s it…I need other women to make me feel intelligent!!!!!!!
Which takes me to why women need other women. We’ve worn each others shoes. Men may accept what we tell them, but women understand what we say. And they listen.
A friend knows and accepts where you’ve been, understands where you are right now, and can see where you’re heading. And she’s an excellent GPS unit to monitor you and pull you back in if she thinks you’re turning in the wrong direction. She’ll keep you from getting lost.
We have what we call friends from work, school, the neighborhood, our church, community organizations, sporting events, relatives, and even the spouses of our significant other’s friends. But those are just people we know. We might hang out with them, shop, gossip, or do other things with them. The real friend is the one that when you get mad and storm out of a meeting, she is one step behind you whether she agrees with you or not. She is the one that when you are acting irrational will calmly listen, even empathize, and she might even tell you to put your big girl panties on, but she won’t judge you. She’s the one you can call at three in the morning, and if you’re hurt, she’s ready to kick some @$$ in your honor.
Casual acquaintances still deal in pettiness…the comparisons and the envy. Friends get past that. They accept you, zits and all. They don’t care that you lied to your mother when you told her you couldn’t take her for an appointment because you had an important deadline at work. They know you needed a break from the family drama. And they still care about you. They’re fine when you need a break from them, too. They know you’ll come back.
I have lots of women that I do things with, and those have changed through the years. I have only a few people that I call my best friends, and they have stayed fairly constant.
Women generally hold no emotional barriers. We cry to, with, for, and about one another. And we’re not ashamed of our tears. We may even shout or say ugly words. But we bounce back with love, love that is a silent truth. We have no need to be logical, analytical, or in control of ourselves. We share intimacies because we are accessible, supportive, honest, and direct with one another. Sometimes, we are so raw it hurts, but we’re forgiving. We are alike, and we are needy. We gain wisdom from each other’s experiences.
Our longing for emotional closeness is not a sign of weakness but strength as we are able to be vulnerable in sharing ourselves. In freeing ourselves, we are finding our identities. That power is the significance of female friendships.