Tell me about your lady friends
This weekend I attended a wedding with BFB. Old timers may recall this character from my extremely limited cast. It’s true that her B is now FOUR, but…re-branding is confusing. I wanted to write a little epilogue about this relationship because I recently read a post about the destructive effects of infertility on lady friendships. This person is still right in the thick of it, whereas I have a several-years-after-the-experience perspective. I was going to talk about the fact that we had fun and and yet simultaneously I was irritated by every story she told about her boring child, and was thinking the whole time, You need to get that dress altered because I can seriously see YOUR ENTIRE BRA and it is not a good look. Basically, a lot has changed and yet nothing has changed. I was struggling to find some coherent thoughts, though. And then I realized: Part of my struggle with this friendship has always been figuring out how normal I am.
In some of my previous posts about BFB, people have left comments with a I don’t understand why you continue with this friendship when it seems so negative flavor. And I get that. I mean, when people complain about things that they are the boss of having in their lives (e.g., I hate facebook! Solution: Don’t be on facebook.) sometimes I struggle to comprehend. But in spite of sharing some of those life is too short for this bullshit reactions, these comments can make me feel bad. They suggest that most other women have rich, joyous lives filled with warm, uncomplicated, mutually supportive female friendships. Just like on TV. And I don’t. For me, it’s a choice between this one friend here in Mediocre City, or no local friends at all. Superficial work friends, but not real friends.
But there are also the Oh yeah, I’ve got one of those comments. And then I talk to other people, like my brother. He’s a really straightforward, no-nonsense guy and seems reasonable. But he’s got a complex relationship with his best friend that shares some features with my situation. Maybe it’s not just a personal failure on my part.
Maybe there are two kinds of people–those who have complicated friendships and those who don’t. That sounds like a value judgement, where complicated equals real in some way, and uncomplicated equals lame. I don’t mean that at all. It’s just that I don’t think I can understand people who have meaningful, intimate, but wholly positive friendships. And I can see why people who DO have that in their lives wouldn’t understand maintaining relationships that have dimensions of yuckiness, like competition and envy and resentment and un-healable hurts.
So what’s your deal? What are your close relationships with other women like? Lots and lots of lady friends, just like on TV? Do you spend all your time having drinks with them and not being secretly pissed at them? No friends at all because you’re too busy? A few close friends? Are all your friends local? Are your best relationships with people you never see? Have you achieved intimacy without complication? Is it because you’re just a really good person? Or is it because these other women are?
Tell me about your lady friends.