Sunday, February 20, 2011

Girlfriends

While in Ohio, I had the rare opportunity to reconnect with two of my grandest friends.

We met back in 1994, decked out in red polyester smocks in the shoe department of Meijer.

Sarah and Mollie were already best friends, then I waltzed in. (Story of my life.)

I remember considering that Mollie might be too perky for me. (She was wearing a high ponytail and I rushed to judgment. What can I say?)

Sarah seemed oddly familiar and we soon remembered that we had taken Drivers' Ed together. I thought she was flirty with the boys and that she may have been Mennonite or Apostolic or something (I could have sworn she wore long skirts!)

She thought I was snobby.

Guess what?

Mollie wasn't too perky. As it turns out, one of her most endearing qualities is her snarky, dry sense of humor.

Sarah was not a flirt. (No more than the rest of us.) And she wasn't Mennonite or Apostolic (not that it would have mattered) and I don't think I've ever seen her in a long skirt to this day. (They both had some really big, wild hair, back then, (I was SO jealous!) but that's a whole 'nother story...)

And I wasn't a snob. I was my typical, shy-until-I-know-you self.

But this is what girls do, right? We size people up. It's second nature.

Over the years, Sarah and Mollie have remained plastered to my heart. We're all spread out now - we don't see one another nearly often enough. We have husbands and children. The whole nine yards.

We go months without talking, years without a face-to-face, but I can't remember a single moment in my life where I have felt unloved or unsupported by them. There's no competition, no judging. (Oh, it shouldn't be so rare...) These girls are huge-hearted and hearty-of-laugh. They tell me the truth and listen close. They cover me up after I've bared my soul. They make me feel normal, and I'll take all the normal I can get.

We look at the world with the same tilt of our heads. And sometimes, we stand there looking like twins, but what we actually see is quite different.

When we were young, we would stay up late talking about boys, sleep on the floor, eat lots of junk food and go shopping...and stock the shoe department at Meijer. We thought we knew for sure where our life was taking us, back then. We anticipated no big surprises.


Now, we snatch up two hours in a McDonald's play area and believe that we have found the very top of the world.

Because we have.

Life has surprised each of us, over and over, in ways that warm us up and in ways that make us cry. Of course, back then, we didn't know the half of it.

I remember some of you saying that you don't have close girlfriends, and you wish you did. I think about that from time-to-time, because I have known that lonely feeling. I still feel it, sometimes. Here's what I want to say to you: Go find one. Refuse to size her up and pray that she takes the same view. Be willing to be surprised. Take a risk. Ask someone new out on a date. Welcome the new girl into your circle.

Because we're all just out here, looking for mostly the very same things. I'm thinking we could kill two birds with one stone if we'd all just take that leap and team up.

Girl-Powerishly Yours,
FPFG