I was in a restaurant the other night and as I looked around, I was shocked to see so many couples engrossed, not in each other, but in their phones. How sad it was to watch. What could be nicer than savouring good food over an interesting conversation while soaking up the atmosphere? Instead, they were so oblivious and their body language so indifferent, they could have been anywhere.
On further inspection, the contrast with the tables where two girlfriends were out together could not have been more stark. The conversation flowed, they looked like they were listening intently to each other, completely engaged. I thought about the number of times I have been out with friends when we are usually the last in the restaurant, and yet I still manage to think of something on the way home that I wish I had mentioned. It reminded me once again how incredibly special female friendship is.
With the divorce rate at an all time high. it seems that the odds are against staying with a partner for life (if indeed that is your goal in the first place). Not so with female friends. One of my dearest friends has been in my life since I was 5. Pretty much inseparable up until we were 18, our lives then took very different paths. We live 200 miles apart and see each other twice a year if we are lucky, and yet the friendship is as strong as it ever was, maybe even stronger. With age, comes a recognition of how incredibly special our time together is, and an enormous gratitude that she is part of my life. I wonder if a ‘relationship’ could survive the years and the distance in the same way?
Although female friendship takes many different forms, the best share many of the same characteristics: unswerving support, mutual respect, complete understanding and an uncanny ability to pre-empt what is required in any given situation and deliver on it at exactly the right moment. And then there’s the fun, lots of it. Girlfriends just get it. As such they deserve to be given the highest priority.
Yet, sometimes I read things that seem to me to be utterly ridiculous and a sign of the crazy times we live in. Our moral sense and core values seem to be shifting so fast, and not for the better. An article in the Guardian recently highlighted a discussion on Twitter, advocating taking control of when you choose to ‘allow’ friends to talk through their problems rather than them calling at what might be a bad time. The woman who started the thread apparently even put together a ‘template’ to use to explain this. I was trying to imagine how I might react were I ever to receive something similar from one of my friends – I couldn’t – it is unthinkable!
Sadly, a friend in need of support does not time things to fit neatly into a gap in an electronic diary! Perhaps were the author to spend less time on Twitter, she might have more time to dedicate to nurturing and caring for her friends. It is no surprise that in an era blighted by superficiality, our desire for solid and supportive relationships has never been greater, and yet an understanding of what is needed to form those deep and meaningful friendships appears, for some, to be severely lacking. On that topic, I love this video:
And so, in an age where many things are being called into question, one thing will be always be certain for me: my female friends mean everything. I know that they will be there for me whenever I need them, as I would be for them. There really is nothing more important and those friendships deserve to be celebrated and cherished at every opportunity. This blog is here to do just that: a shout-out to all the wonderful friends out there.
Sisters before misters? Maybe!