For the better part of my life, most of my friends have been male. And for those years, I assumed I wasn’t missing anything by surrounding myself with guys; male friendships were all that I needed. After all, in elementary/high school, boys were just so much easier to get along with. Having a mom that is such an excellent female role model, I thought that I didn’t need any other women in my life. But as I grow up, that ceases to be the case.
Throughout my first year of university, all my friends were guys. What few girls did run in my circle of friends, were usually someone’s girlfriend, and they didn’t usually appreciate my presence. One by one, I lost these male friends. The girlfriend complains one too many times about hanging out with Jacquie, and they align their priorities to suit the relationship. One too many drinks, and somebody lets their unreciprocated feelings slip out. One too many times crashing at each other’s houses leads to mistaken impressions of a relationship, and those type of one-way feelings are what kills a friendship between the sexes.
I, of course, still do have a couple of close male friendships. Most notably, Dewbacca and Ryan. Dwayne and I have successfully navigated the bumpy waters of both roommatehood and platonic friendship for more than five years now, and I am very thankful for that. Ryan, too, will be around forever, since I never have to worry about the complications due to sexual tension. This isn’t about them, though.
Over the past couple of years, I have grown close to some great women in my life, some for the first time, some family, some coworkers and others a rekindled friendship from years ago. All are proving to me that friendship with intelligent, amazing and like-minded women is an important part of life.
Growing up with only brothers, I found it difficult to interact and identify with other girls; that’s not to say that now I am all, “OMG shoes and makeup!!” by any stretch of the imagination. Rather, it seems that now I have found those few women who are similar enough to me that they understand how I think and function, and don’t take offense to my ways or annoy me with excessive chatter about useless bullshit. But—and this is very important--they are still different enough that I feel like I learn from them, and that they bring something very valuable to my life table. They are strong, intelligent, entertaining and independent women and they have truly changed what I perceive as “real” friendship. Where before I saw someone to party or crack jokes with, I now see someone to share my secrets, thoughts and deepest fears with. (My greatest fear, by the way, is the house catching fire with the cats inside while we are both at work.) Conversations like, “Can you oppose abortion rights and still call yourself a feminist?” (this is actually a conversation I would like to have, somebody feel free to start it) or “What the hell is up with Whitney Port ignoring all of Kelly Cutrone’s awesome advice?” Evidently, a very broad spectrum of possible topics exist between women.
The depth of female friendship is amazing to me, and they are not as fragile as I have been led to believe by the few problematic friendships I experienced in school. Speaking your mind is easy, great women are great listeners, and the number of available topics is epic: books, clothes, periods, relationships, mother in laws, cats, the Hills, philosophy, art, science, health, cooking, etc.
So I guess my real point is to thank these ladies for being in my life. You know who you are and I really value your friendship, whether it be mostly based on internet correspondence, lunches, phone calls, text messages or days spent together at work. You are all equally important to me and you are loved. Plus, it’s great that you all exist now, because I will actually have people to be bridesmaids at my wedding! That seriously worried me before, to be honest.
The photoshop is one of the worst I’ve ever done, but I would like to see anyone match Jamie’s skin tone to Scary Spice. It was here that I gave up.
Love you, ladies!