Saturday, July 01, 2006

A friend for every season

YOU'LL FORGIVE me for sounding exceptionally smug this week when I say that I really have been blessed with some of the nicest friends on the planet.

My birthday has been and gone and I now, as a woman in my 30s, reserve the right to be exceptionally self indulgent and quite publicly say a huge thank you to everyone who made my transition from a young thing to an official grown up lady so smooth and enjoyable.
I think we women rely on our friends much more than our male counterparts. There is a many a crisis I could not have survived without my friends around me. Himself has a role to play, of course he does, but he doesn't understand my need for chocolate, wine and a good cry or giggle in the same way as 'the girls'.
Now usually us women have a group of friends from every era of our lives and never the twain shall meet. You know, you have the school friends, the uni friends, the work friends and the mammy friends. Then, of course, you have the family friends, those who are bound to get on with due to blood ties but who you do actually quite like when you think about it.
Each of them knows a different you. Your school friends know the gawky, silly you who wanted to be Teri Hatcher in 'Lois and Clarke' and who cried herself silly for a whole day when Bros broke up.
Your uni friends know how you were madly in love with the class mate who didn't ever look at you twice. They may even have driven you past the object of your affection's house as you did your best 'Fatal Attraction' impression.
Your 'mammy' friends can sympathise about the sleepless nights and could recount your labour story to you as if were their own. They even know the appropriate moments to cross their legs and grimace while telling the tale.
Your work friends know the you that is both at times the consummate professional, but who at other times is prone to a snottery big cry in the toilets when you have a bad day. They know what bun you take with your morning cup of tea and when to leave you alone as deadline approaches and steam rises from your keyboard.

Do you do voodoo?
As for family, well they know everything about you. Nothing escapes them and when everything goes horribly wrong with your non-related friends you know there is at least one person who will be nice to you and help you make the voodoo doll.
As a general rule, you don't want them to mix. Your work colleagues could do without knowing that you used to make up dance routines to Bananarama songs in your family friends' living room.
Likewise your Mammy friends, who think you are exceptionally grounded and responsible, do not need to know how your uni friend also brought you to the shop where your unrequited love's mother worked just so you could check out the prospective mother in law.
For my birthday, however, they all got together and, better than that, they all got along wonderfully with each other.
I was spoiled rotten. My sister booked me and my VBF (very best friend) into the City Hotel for the night. My school friend brought enough pink champagne to sink a small ship. My work friend showed up with a voucher for a fancy pampering session at a local hairdressers. My VBF (who is also a mammy friend) travelled over from Scotland just for the occasion and jointly they paid for a trip around town in a fancy stretch Mercedes limo, where all my friends had put together a collection of my favourite songs for us to sing to.
Each song, just like each friend in the Limo, represented a different stage of my life, but funnily enough each friend sang along loudly to every song and we roared with laughter together as we shared our individual memories.
As we sat together in Pitchers for our meal, I looked around and couldn't help but feel emotion choke me. It's a wonderful experience to realise people care for you and genuinely want to spend time in your company. Each of them gave me a thoughtful gift, from some gorgeous jewellery to a bound copy of my novel (perhaps the only time I will ever see it in print).
More than that, these girlies, many of whom had never met and only knew about each other through me, had been scheming, plotting and saving for weeks before the big day to make it special for me. They had formed their own friendships through email and phone calls.
Ever since that night each of them have contacted me to tell me how lovely the rest of them were. They have vowed to keep in contact and we all plan to meet up again next year when my sister gets married (exactly one year today- woohoo!).
Self indulgence aside (before this gets too tedious), I think this is a perfect example of just how supportive, open and welcoming women can be. Friendships can be the most nurturing and inspiring relationships in our lives and as far as I'm concerned every woman should have her own set of 'the girls' to call her own.
So to 'the girls' I'm proud to call my friends, Lisa, Vicki, Erin, and Nora- thank you all from the very bottom of my heart and remember, a friendship is for life- not just for a 30th birthday.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...