Saturday, May 14, 2011

Girlfriends are a Girl's Best Friend

Mail.  Real, live, stamped, slightly crushed - mail.  YES!

Tucked inside scores of bills, catalogs and the junk... SCORE!  A thick, buttery soft envelope, the color of mocha.  It was from Julie.  And I knew my day was about to improve.

I'm still the same girl that bounds to the mailbox in anticipation - although my steps today were slow, heavy ones.  I adore snail mail, always have... and Julie knows it.  I willed my children not to discover my absence for just 2 more minutes, and tore into the delicious envelope.   My simmering tears, in search of their muse, sprang up.   Inside the card was a faded newspaper clipping, carefully cut and showcased against floral stationary.

Because that's just how Julie rolls.

I smiled at the faded picture.  It was one of Erma Bombeck's columns.  Do you remember, At Wit's End?  She's my hero - and Julie knows that, too.

She knows it because Julie's a true-blue friend, the kind that knows your Starbucks order and your labor stories by heart.  She listens; she pays attention, she springs into action at precisely the right moments.  Like the time I was summoned from Preschool to pick up my wee one with a head full of lice.

I was freaked out, of course... a scarlet "L" emblazened on my mommy rap sheet.
It had been a brutal morning, complete with a walk of shame to the pharmacy, a box of RID and a sheepish preschooler in tow.  When she heard my plight, Julie dropped off lunch, a bottle of chardonnay, and a card (of course!) at my doorstep.

She ditched everything she had going at that moment because she knew my "baby" would be hungry after her sweet little lice-infested scalp had been scoured with an iron comb.  She knew I'd need a drink by the time 5 p.m. rolled around - OK, maybe 4 p.m. - and mostly, she knew I needed to laugh.  Good friends call and empathize.  Girlfriends bring wine and insist you don't interrupt nit-picking to answer the door.

Back to the card.  Let's just say it's been a tough week.  Of course Julie knew that, and so she took the time from her own crazy life and scored some vintage Erma Bombeck for me.  Who does that?   Girlfriends do that.  And a lot more.  You probably already know that.  And if you don't; better find some.  Because you're going to need them.

Especially if you're married.  But don't get me started!

I have  feeling Erma had scores of girlfriends.  Did you know that she was a wife and mother for more than 30 years before she hit the typewriter keys and recorded her legendary musings?  Erma was way ahead of her time, snickering at domestic servitude and bucking the system... refusing to succumb to the pressures of the "girl watchers" and acknowledging the bittersweet side of motherhood.  She rocked then, and she still inspires me now.  Because for all our progress, things haven't changed all that much for mothers.  Even pioneer mothers couldn't go to the outhouse without small hands knocking on the door.

And today, just when I needed it most, Julie channeled the Queen Mother herself and delivered me some serious TLC.  And you want a girlfriend like her when you've had one of those weeks.  Better, you want to be a girlfriend like Julie to a friend who's had one of those weeks.  (You know, like when the lice brigades infiltrate the Preschool.  Or when your husband... well, like I said.  Nevermind.)

So thank you, Julie, again.  And cheers to you, Erma... I hope your afterlife has been a bowl of cherries.   Because you lifted a lot of girlfriends out of the pits.


  1. Hope this coming week will be so much better! Thanks for a great read.

  2. Hi Diane . . .

    I am sending this to all of my girls . . . the girls who stood by me through the last three tough years. They are the girls that I now support in their trials.

    One evening, my 14 year old daughter and I had a heart to heart about relationships . . . it is my fondest hope that she find a wonderful partner someday to share her life with, but as you noted . . . DO NOT GIVE UP YOUR GIRLS! Girlfriends are like precious stones . . . no price tag to their value.

    Great read.

    P.S. We still need to do the coffee thang! Or wine . . . if you please. :- )

  3. Marcia,
    I agree; I am always telling my daughter she will rely on her girlfriends at every stage of her life. She loves mine, and I hope she remembers me taking time for my own "playdates." And yes... coffee is very much in order! What works for you?

  4. Thank you, Jenni. You are a soul-sista on many levels and I so appreciate that you always take time to read my stuff and comment! :)

  5. Wow, you said it just right. Girlfriends are the best. There are so many things I wouldn't do without them. Thank you girls, you all make my life better and I hope I do the same for you!

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  7. i love those girls! what would this life be without them? surely not one i'd like to traverse. keep up the great posts!