By the time you hit 40licious, you’ve collected a lot of stuff. Furniture; pictures; passport stamps; jewelry; a little STD here and there; an aresenal of weapons (metaphoric and otherwise); warts, moles and scars (also metaphoric and otherwise); perhaps a DWI; some international intrigue; a stalker or two; a shitload of business cards; official stories; a head full of art; a bunch of ideas; a hundred ex-landlords. ** But tonight, what makes me proud and teary, is thinking about the women I’ve collected in my life. Some of them, like Karen and Rachel, I’ve known since our skulls were still mushy. Others became instant best friends, like the Natalie I met in yoga, or the Natalie I met at my garage sale.
Yes, tonight I saw SATC. For me, the movie wasn’t about the shoes, or the clothes, or the weddings, or the snappy gay and black sidekicks. Or the actresses. It wasn’t even really that funny, oe that surprising. The star of the show was the friendship between these women. Because when the credits rolled, I knew that all the other stuff was fairy tale — the Manolos, the labels, the fabulous apartments. The thing that rang so true for me is how good and how strong and how amazing the women in my life are, and how we get each other through everything. We always have. We always will. Most of the time we put unrealistic expectations on men. When they don’t follow the script, it’s a problem. Then when they follow the script and do all that emotional girl porn stuff (“you are so beautiful in the morning,” “I like a woman with a little weight on her,” “I’ll replace your electrical panel”), that’s problematic in other ways. Our women friends don’t need a script. They show up with leftovers when you’ve had a miscarriage, and slip away with a sudden phone call when the hottie you’ve been eying all night comes over to talk. We expect so much from our girlfriends, and we get so much more back. And even when they flake, it just kind of goes in an account and it’s no big deal.
For the girls, the ones that have faded away (where did you go after you met that creepy old guy right before graduation, Donna Leone?); the fresh, new, shiny ones (Annie Wharton you are my creative idol). The ones who have been there since Kool and the Gang were on Top 40 (Karen, Rachel, Lisa, Joanna, Stephanie, Hewan):
Thank you for everything you’ve ever done or said to make me better. To make me laugh. To teach me something. To warn me and then to help pick up the pieces when I didn’t listen. Thank you, Karen, Rachel, Lisa, Siobhan, Elizabeth, Maggie, Stephanie, Joanna, June, Hewan, Julia, Jill, Sine, Lara, Colleen, Kathlyn, Andrea, Kimberly, Kim, Donna, Annie, Linda, Lyla, Amy, Natalie, Natalie, Martha, Denise/Jessica, Mashi, Melissa, Melissa, Liz, Tara, Mia, Carolyn, Teresa, Dottie, Alison, Amanda, Holly, Annie, Annie, Christine, Christine, Charlie, Leslie, Lorna, Angela, Barbara, Kate, Lauren, Lois, Patricia, Connie, Jeanne, Inge, Deborah, Jeanne, Gali, Angie, Julianne, Juliette, Kristal, Krystle, Moniqua, Corinne, Linda, Millie, Robin, Ruth, Sheryl, Tiger Lily, Susy, Sue Ann, Tonya, Tamara, Tawnia, Trina, Valerie, Leslie, Kristin, Lorna, Yvette/Efra.
I love you so much, and I am probably not as outwardly grateful for you as I should be. I am who I am because of you. Being friends with you is the one thing I can say I did absolutely right.
** This particular 40licious has not accumulated all of these. They are just examples.