Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.

— Winston Churchill

Girl’s Night Reminds Me Why Women Need Women

Saturday night I joined seven other women for a girl’s night out…no children or men allowed. We began the evening at an Italian restaurant, threw a chick flick in the middle, and concluded with a Starbucks run.

I was a newbie to the group. The majority met each other when looking cool consisted of leg warmers and shoulder pads, and when parents were wondering if Def Leppard’s Pour Some Sugar on Me would create a new rebellion of promiscuity.

While driving to the restaurant, I wondered if it’s really possible to comfortably entwine with a group of women who share so much history, or if I’d be the obvious square. These women were each other’s brides maids; they know whose husbands snore the loudest, who reached for the stars and who settled for less. They’ve been whiteness to each other’s lives.

The woman who invited me to join the girl’s-only fun is a dear friend, and I was flattered that she’d included me in an evening with her inner circle. My own long-time friends dating back to high school number three, and ironically they never befriended each other. My interactions with them are one-on-one, and they like it that way. This would be the first occasion since college I would spend time with a group of women consisting solely of fellow Gen Xers, and I was curious.

There were two things that surprised me. As a transient society, how had all these women managed to stay in Metro Atlanta? And, I was surprised by the group’s diversity. No, I don’t mean the politically correct version of diversity. These women are all Caucasian suburbanites, but they sport differences that would most likely discourage friendships had they met today rather than during a time when they’d not yet defined themselves.

They are different in as many ways as they could possibly be similar. The voluptuous blond with not a hair out of place. The curly-haired mom unadorned by cosmetics or jewels. The more-affluent professional and the tousled, self-proclaimed underprivileged. They are married and unmarried, stay-at-home-moms and without children, conservatives and Hillary supporters.

The evening’s conversations didn’t provide a glimpse into their possible parallels and what had kept them connected for so many years. Nobody explored topics of substance, but their ease with each other was palpable and there couldn’t have been a three minute span between bouts of laughter, mine included.

My square-peg concerns were quickly alleviated by the group’s inclusive attitude. Each took time to explain a punch line when the lead-up left me with the dim-witted expression of a novice who hadn’t shared in their years of past events.

“This is what women do for each other,” I thought during the drive home. We come together to laugh, to forget life’s craziness…the job, the men, the kids, etc. It doesn’t matter if we’ve taken different paths; if we have different experiences, cultures, socioeconomics or politics. I thought of my own best friend who’s life is so different than mine. If we met today rather than when we were 13, we’d pass each other by and assume we had nothing in common. What a loss that would be.

Girlfriends provide fresh air. The laughter and seemingly senseless chatter reinvigorates the female psyche so we can go back to our lives and breath again. Women’s friendships are not based on competition or skills, they are based on emotion, sharing and unadulterated acceptance. We rely on each other. We support each other. We need each other.



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