My husband is my best friend. He has been for almost 17 years. And I treasure that relationship with him- he’s not just my husband, but a true friend, whom I trust with everything, and who loves me no matter what. I realize how fortunate I am in this, and not everyone has that kind of friendship with their spouse. I am blessed.
But… it’s been so long since I had a close girlfriend, someone who I could hang out with and feel relaxed and easy in my skin. Until now, my two closest girlfriends both live in other states. We keep in touch with phone calls, e-mails and even occasionally get to see on another- but they aren’t a part of my daily life, and as wonderful as my husbands is, sometimes I miss hanging with the girls.
I’m cagey in my friendships with women. I’ve been burned too many times, and I hold out, wary of trusting other women. My past is colorful, and the women I meet at church don’t usually give me impression that would be OK- more likely, it’s probably just a lack of relate-able experiences. So, I keep my cards close to my chest. Sure, there are some people I genuinely like, but in four years, there is no one who has gotten closer than “casual” in our friendship.
Perhaps that’s part of the appeal in blogging- I can be me, and worse that can happen is you won’t read what I write. And as much fun as comments are, not reading isn’t going to hurt nearly as much as bailing on me two weeks after you were my maid of honor at my wedding. Know what I mean?
When I meet someone new, I am waiting for the other shoe to drop, for them to decide I am too coarse, too loud, too curly, too big, too happy, too funky, too artistic, too something, and to take off.
Through blogging, I have met some astounding women, women who are as real to me as my own family, and I have only met a handful in real life. The women who have come into my life though this little blog experiment have changed my perspective on friendships. It’s been gradual– you don’t turn an ocean liner around on a dime, but because this medium is so safe, it has been a fabulous vehicle for meeting people I can love and admire, and even admit to my real life.
So ladies, thank you for being you, for being the stellar example of good, kind women-hood and mama-ness. Thank you for restoring my faith in friendship, and for teaching me by your example that not all people suck. And to the one nearest and dearest- I never let you know how much that card meant to me. It said:
“Shoes are for wearing…” and inside, “… not dropping.”
That’s how I knew I had real friend.