The Truth About Girlfriends
Young and newly married, I relaxed under a pecan tree on a hot Texas summer day, drinking iced tea and getting to know my new sister-in-law. Not much older than I, but already the mother of three, she seemed to be experienced and wise.
“Get yourself some girlfriends,” she advised, clinking the ice cubes 8n her glass. “You are going to need girlfriends. Go places with them, do things with them.”
What a funny piece of advise, I thought. Hadn’t I just gotten married? Hadn’t I just joined the couple-world? I was a married woman, for goodness sake, not a young girl who needed girlfriends…. But I listened to this new sister-in-law. I got myself some girlfriends.
As the years tumbled by, one after another, gradually I came to understand that she knew what she was talking about. I remembered that she had said the word “girlfriends” with emphasis. As I went along, I discovered the subtle difference between friends and girlfriends. You go to work with friends, got o dinner with friends, go to church with friends , belong to clubs with friends, send greeting cards to friends.
You need friends in your life, all girlfriends were once only friends. But a girlfriend is different. A girlfriend is not “just like a sister.” Sisters have a distinct bond, sometimes good, sometimes bad. Sisters flow from family attachment: girlfriends choose each other. A sister can also be a girlfriend.
As a thank you to my sister-in-law and to the other girlfriends in my life, I offer this praise of girlfriends. Here is what I know about girlfriends:
- Girlfriends don’t compete.
- Girlfriends bring casseroles and scrub your bathroom when you are sick.
- Girlfriends keep your children and your secrets.
- Girlfriends give advise when you ask for it. Sometimes you take it.
- Girlfriends don’t always tell you that you are always right.
- Girlfriends might send you a birthday card, but they night not, doesn’t matter in the least.
- Girlfriends laugh with you and you don’t need jokes to start the laughter.
- Girlfriends don’t gossip about you behind your back.
- Girlfriends pull you out of jams.
- Girlfriends don’t keep a calendar that lets them know who hosted the last party.
- Girlfriends will give a party for your son or daughter when they get married or have a baby, in whichever order that comes.
- Girlfriends listen when you lose a job.
- Girlfriends listen when your children break your heart.
- Girlfriends listen when your parents’ mind and bodies fail.
My girlfriends bless my life. There came a time when my girlfriends saved my life, emotionally and spiritually. When we get dreadful news, they call, and then they call everybody else they know to pray for you and your family.
Once we were all young, with no idea of the incredible joys or the incredible sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we would need each other. I want to tell younger women and older women who haven’t figured it out yet, to take my sister-in-law’s advise. Get yourself some girlfriends. You are going to need them some day, some time.
Thanks for being my friend!
“Friendship is a long, sweet prayer made up of kind acts that reach heavenward.” Heather Harpham Kopp
Friends are like flowers That brighten you day,
With fragrance and beauty To share on life’s way.
So treat them like flowers From the Gardener above,
Weed them with mercy and water with love.
“Friendship is … a present you give yourself.” Robert Louis Stevenson
“The better part of one’s life consists of … friendships.” Abraham Lincoln
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
BE A GIRLFRIEND, NOT JUST A FRIEND!