I was contemplating the nature of friendship, lately, and thought I'd share some thoughts. Now, let me preface this by saying I don't make friends easily. Don't get me wrong; I'm very friendly, and have plenty of friendly acquaintances, but in terms of me and other women bonding and forming a girl posse and such, it happens about as fast as stalagmites grow upward. Which is to say, not that fast. And yet, I have a girl posse of mostly writer friends who can make me smile on the worst PMS day of my life by knowing just the right thing to say to talk me down off the ledge. They know me, are more than familiar with my weirdness, know I can be calm most of the time until I go off like a AK-47 on the last person to get on my nerves (and occasionally, it is them, and they forgive me anyway), and they love and accept me for who I am. Even better, they help me maintain perspective on my problems and foibles, by pointing out that as bad as a situation might feel at the moment, it doesn't mean we can't laugh about it.
They "get" me. Every woman needs someone who "gets" them, and I have friends who know how to make sympathetic noises at the right time. "That jerk!" they'll growl when someone does me wrong, or "What were they thinking? You deserve better than that!" they'll explode in solidarity when I get mistreated by someone in authority over my life. One of my girlfriends is a font of enthusiasm, even offering the occasional White Girl Rap to cheer us all up. Another is the one who thinks everything I do is absolutely fabulous, no matter what. Yet another is the one I share my private heartaches with, and another is the one to whom I go for advice, and who is always, always right. And of course, they are all fabulous encouragers, lifters up—sort of like virtual bras for the soul. Okay, as weird as that image may be, I mean it from the heart of my bottom.
The most amazing thing about these women is that, for the most part, our friendship exists solely because of the internet. We stay in touch every day, shooting e-mails back and forth or communicating in our Yahoo group loops to the point where it almost feels like they aren't (most of them) halfway across the country in another time zone. As I said, most of them are writers, and writers write. Even for the ones who live nearby, most of us would rather send an e-mail than pick up the phone or do coffee together. And, when I do get the chance to see them, we pick right up where we left off, no interruptions. They've been there for me on the highest days, when I'm on top of the mountain, and the lowest days on the canyon floor--and everything in between.
So, ladies, thanks for all you do. You know who you are, and if you ever need help moving the body—I'll be there.