“Your female friendships will keep you sane. You will be tempted to spend all your time sucking up to/sleeping with/worshipping/trying to please men. But your women friends will pick you up after you have a break-up or gain weight or lose your job or go through a dry spell with your husband or have a miscarriage or start the menopause. Without them, you might possibly go mad, or accept more compromise than you should, or take a hard line you shouldn’t, or forget that you are a clever, magical being with a boundless capacity for love.”
– Tahmima Anam – Things Your Mama Never Told You (for fear you would demand a sex change), extract from Fifty Shades of Feminism
I read this and thought of all the truly awesome women in my life. I pretty much hit the jackpot with my people. My friends are wonderful, and I don’t know how I’d have done the last three years without them.
They’ve been there, supported, encouraged, comforted, inspired and lifted my sometimes tired spirits. Each of them, in their own way, has taught me something special.
You know you have some great people when…
They take time out of their crazy schedules – or use their precious days off – to come and see you and your excitable child.
They drive for over an hour to your house, just to come and say hello and have that much-needed catch up.
They come straight after work when you know they’re exhausted from dealing with naughty children.
They make the effort of arranging group meals, year after year, contacting everyone and booking restaurants. (They also never tire of that childhood photo.)
They never fail to miss a Birthday.
They contribute considerably to your daughter’s wonderful wardrobe.
They bring back Vogue magazines and stationary from Tokyo because they just know you too well.
If you’re very lucky, they’ll send you a Valentines Day card every year, because you simply don’t break tradition (plus it’s fun sending one, we’ve done it since we were sixteen and single.)
They bake sugar-free banana bread for your birthday because they know you’re attempting your fifth detox.
They drag their boyfriend to your daughter’s 2nd birthday gathering, give the most lovely presents then accompany you to the playground – when let’s face it there are far more exciting/productive ways to spend your Sunday.
They send the most unique and wonderful presents to your door on your birthday then take you to quirky restaurants in Soho.
Some will introduce you not only to a childhood friend they know you’ll get on with, but also to the local theatre, then encourage you to audition.
Some will bring so much joy to you and your toddler’s Monday afternoons, you wish you could have met sooner.
Some will paint you a portrait of your little girl, give the most wonderful, life-affirming responses to your interview questions and forever be a sweetheart to be around.
Some will work so hard for their dreams, that you barely see them, but when they do come over you’re so impressed by the cashmere jumper they made themselves you don’t even care that you barely see them because you know they’re living their purpose, and you’re just so proud to be their friend.
Some start theatre companies, from scratch, and ignite the room with a captivating energy just talking about it.
Some you’ll have joint birthday parties with and years later still laugh together like you’re fifteen again.
Some turn up at your house dressed as a Dalmation – face paint n all – because it’s your baby’s first birthday party and Mummy chose Children’s characters as a theme.
They will remind you of how far you’ve come, and repeat over and over what kind of woman and mother you are, leaving you feeling lighter, brighter, and, well, empowered.
Some will give you a complimentary reflexology session and make you laugh every time you see them with their stories and general overall hilariousness.
Some will play with your daughter for hours, with so much energy and attentiveness that your child later states that she is “her favourite”.
Some bring home-made Apple Pie when they come to visit and buy you such an appropriate birthday present, your drama teacher asks “Where did she get it?!”.
Some will compliment you so thoughtfully on your blog that you feel like your message is actually coming across.
Some will put together the sweetest little box of gifts for your baby shower.
Some welcome you and your toddler into their place of work knowing full well a £1000 painting may just get poked and prodded.
Some will offer to give you a lift to theirs whenever they organise a night out, introduce you to all their friends and embrace your slutty dancing.
Some will come and stay the night once a year, have the world’s best catch-up – topped with movies and ice-cream- then send a beautifully written card a week later to say thank you.
Some will call on Facetime every week because, well, you can’t drive over from Houston Texas in an hour.
Some hold play-dates with mince pies and juicy gossip that turns a Mother’s day right around.
Some -all – I simply adore.
I adore them for their thoughtfulness, their kind words and listening ears.
I admire them for their strength, their drive and their determination to follow their dreams.
I love them for their weirdness, the crazy times and quirky habits.
So this one was for my friendships; may they be long, loving and a little bit special, much like this blog post.