That is… something that I have been looking forward to all year… finished… gone in a blink, a heartbeat… evaporated into thin air… All the days of waiting replaced by, what seemed like seconds, of laughing, of chatting… chatting long and chatting short… of joking… of wonderful, wonderful companionship. Yes, I am talking about time spent with girlfriends. Girlfriend time is one of a kind… it is unique, special, involved and evolved… I believe that as women, we are privileged to have girlfriends… girlfriends that we giggle with, shop with, cry with… look good and look bad with… discuss all and everything with… girlfriends that let us be us… and girlfriends that have no other agenda than friendship… Not all girlfriends are like this… there are girlfriends and then there are girlfriends… you understand what I mean… I am thinking about the genuine girlfriend, those few, very special people that enhance our lives and light up our world.
A relationship with a girlfriend is one of a kind… it is not the same as the one we have with our partners, our daughters, our sons… or even our mothers and fathers. I have known my husband since I was twenty… and what he doesn’t know about me isn’t worth knowing… he is my best friend, my partner in life and one of the greatest guys on earth… and yet he is no ‘girlfriend’. That is the beauty of being human, we have an infinite capacity to form relationships and to love… in so many various ways… Girlfriends don’t fill in the missing gaps they raise life to a new level… Girlfriends are as essential as the air we breath and yet they are a precious gift.
My last ten days in Paris and Provence have been spent with a girlfriend, Sande. We met via blogging… we started our blogs around the same time… back when the community of bloggers was smaller and we were able to get to know each other through posts, comments and emails… blogging was uncomplicated and connections were made more easily… simply because the audiences were smaller. We braved our first trip to Paris two years ago… two women from different worlds, who knew very little about each other yet who had the confidence to say, ‘let’s meet in Paris’… it worked and a real friendship began… Over the last two years we have remained connected thanks to email, Skype and the blogs… but nothing is the same as spending real time together.
This year Sande invited me to meet her in Paris, to stay with her for five days and by return I invited her to my home in Provence… Can I just tell you, we had the best time… the very best time.. The backdrop of Paris, as beautiful as she is, paled into significance because the real fun was being together. Girlfriend time.. girlfriend chat… The cosy Parisian bolt hole became our, ‘home’ away from home and a place that we never wanted to leave… we were like college roommates… flatmates… yet in reality we are married women, mothers and loaded with responsibilities… For these past days, we have been girlfriends. Girlfriends that giggled, that shopped, that inspired one another… girlfriends that listened. After Paris, Provence was quiet and calm… an oasis after the frenetic activity of the city… I wanted to show off my Provence… drive, visit, tour and explain as much as I could… yet our time was spent at home… We were girlfriends with too much to say and too little time… my show and tell will have to wait for another day.
Girlfriends talk over the same subjects until they are thrashed and pummelled into place… whether it be politics or the right shade of lipstick…there is no ‘pretend’ interest or glazing of eyes… a girlfriend is genuinely interested and can do the mileage because she cares and because she too, is interested in those things. Girlfriends can spend hours browsing in stores… helping make decisions… offering constructive criticism… and girlfriends know when it’s time to stay quiet and leave well enough alone… Girlfriends can watch the same movies, over and over… knowing the punchlines… the familiarity of the outcomes, entirely happy to be in each other’s company… Girlfriends… just ‘get’ us… And by ‘girlfriend’ I mean the true friend not the acquaintances or the women who pretend to be ‘girlfriends’ but really have an entirely different motive altogether.
Girlfriends… never underestimate them, take them for granted or neglect them… because without our girlfriends our lives would be so much duller… our lives would be drab… Girlfriends add that sparkle, that joie de vivre to an already interesting journey.
Aren’t we lucky to have girlfriends? xv