Been thinking about…Girlfriends.

Today, I want to share the story of two girls.  One is Farrah* a life-long friend of mine.  Her heart is generous.  She’s sweet.  Special in all the ways you want a friend to be.  Thoughtful.  Funny.  Lighthearted.  She lets you be yourself.

The other is Harriet*.  I don’t know Harriet all *too* well but she is polished, older, very well put together.  Polite.  Calculated.  Seems very kind and concerned.  (Operative word: Seems.)

Farrah and Harriet became fast friends.  They traveled together.  They spent many afternoon teas together.  They shopped together.  They attended seminars together.  They were interwoven in one another’s lives the way good friends are.  Sure, they didn’t share history, but they certainly shared the present…and as one would hope, a future.

Harriet sorta kinda disappeared.  Not entirely.  But the way your insides sense someone has.  One day, she wrote an email to Farrah sharing the wondrous news of her engagement.   Hallelujah. Happy, happy, joy, joy…Harriet, in her late 30’s, had scored the one thing she always wished for: a diamond solitaire on her finger.

Farrah, never having been aware of Harriet having a boyfriend, much less a fiancé, responded, as any good friend would do, congratulating her, genuinely, wholeheartedly, but with slight reservation.

Days passed, weeks passed, months passed.  Farrah and Harriet re-connected here and there.  But something was off.  Farrah was pained by the distance and superficial avoidance.  Farrah reached out to her good friend (the Leegal Deeva) who put her resources to the test and in two minutes flat gave the news to Farrah of a) wedding date; b) groom-name; c) groom’s occupation; d) where the happy couple would be living…and e) [AS A BONUS] what China pattern Harriet had registered for.

Needless to say, Farrah was disappointed, disenchanted, sad.  Less than six weeks to a wedding and Farrah had not received any invitations…not to a bridal shower, a bachelorette, and certainly not a wedding.

Sadness ensued.  Insult.  Pain.  Confrontations came.  Harriet’s reasoning for the distance and strain were as follows: “It took you too long to respond to my engagement announcement email”…”I texted you over the summer to wish you a safe trip, you didn’t write back.”  Bee. Ess.

Leegal Deeva dug and dug…discovering that Harriet’s beau had dated a friend of Farrah’s…long, long ago.  No biggie.  But Harriet had pushed Farrah, pushed away the friend (Facebook deletion was involved)…yet, no true explanations were given.  Nothing believable anyway.

And there you have it.  Leegal Deeva wonders…is this how women are? Is this the type of insecurity that seeps deep through our souls that causes us to write off, ignore, push away, and toss good friends who’ve been there for you in your search, who’ve suffered through the yearnings, the romantic pursuits?  Is this how women are? Is this what we do? Do we toss competition to the curb? Really?

I’m certainly not immune to irrational behavior.  At the ripe, old age of 21, I refused to become too closely connected to an innocent, amazing, woman who simply, physically, reminded me of a girl that had dated a guy that I’d liked.  Crazy.  I know.  But, I was 21.  Within a few months, I gave in to that amazing girl who ended up being a good friend for many years!  Reminders were forgotten, ignored, whatever.  Truly.  As for Harriet, at 38? Certainly she could have acted more maturely. Or at least, more reasonably.

Let’s be fair, though.  Harriet has tried.  Exhibit A: a Christmas card was sent to Farrah…signed solely by Harriet, with a return address indicating it came from Harriet’s parents’ home (not Harriet’s marital home).  And later, EXHIBIT B: an email forward and a brief note stating that she remembered Farrah and missed her.  Six months post-wedding.  SIX MONTHS.

In examining this odd behavior, the awkward note, the reaching out…Leegal Deeva can’t help but think that all the much ado about a wedding has died down.  Newlywed life has lost its novelties.  Romance has dwindled and Harriet is reaching out to good, old, solid, loving, kind-hearted Farrah…

Why?  Have you no shame, Harriet?

We get it.  We get that friends grow apart.  People move away.  Reasons turn into inconveniences.   But none of that had happened here.  The drift was attributable to insecurity, a deficit in confidence, a crack in self-esteem, fear…irrational fear(s).

And what does one do to combat this break?  Do you forgive (obviously never forgetting)? Do you try?  Do you respond?  Do you engage, kindly?  Do you put your heart out on the line, knowing quite well, that it could get crushed (in that delicate way only friends can crush it…by dropping it, like you do a hot dish, coming out of the oven…and see the mess as being too much to clean up…and the meal impossible to salvage)?

What does one do? Having seen Farrah struggle with whether to embrace Harriet once again, to trust her, to care…I hurt.  I say, “Don’t give explanations.  Don’t dig too deep.  Be courteous and kind.  But don’t let you guard down.”

Is that a way to live? Among friends? Do you lift that friend out of your friendship circle and place her deliberately in your box of acquaintances?

And why? Why are women so weak and insecure? Why do we fleet and float with the tide of men coming in and out of our lives? Are we that fragile? Is our confidence that weak?

It’s tough being a girl, sometimes.  It’s even harder being a girl-friend.  And needless to say…good girlfriends are hard to come by.

*Names were changed to protect the identity of those involved.

5 things I’m grateful for. An exercise for when you’re feeling grumpy.

I was having a case of the grumpies.  My BFF  asked me to list 5 things I am grateful for.  All I could come up with was:

  1. Health
  2. Good Friends
  3. Gorgeous Eyelashes
  4. Nice Skin
  5. Speaking without an accent

I don’t know why it was such a stretch…but that’s all I could come up with.  I mean it.  The first three came easily.  But I had to try for the last two.  I seem ungrateful.  But I was feeling down, grumpy…and so, those were the five I came up with.

Let’s analyze, shall we?

The first is priceless…the only thing that often matters.  When you don’t have your health, you have nothing.  And so…it is the most important thing and it is never underrated.  But when you have your health…gosh, all the other problems seem daunting, still.  I will see a blessing in the NOT having the lack of it (double negative).  Thank God for good health.

The second is common (perhaps) yet rare to come by (I realize that was a pathetic oxymoron).  But I have a few people that I can always reach out to nurture my heart, mind, soul…they love me, unconditionally, and I am grateful that they don’t leave me lonely on this journey of “life”.  Truly.   Sure, there are tons of friends (1051 Facebook friends…just noticed.)  It makes me feel dirty.  It does.  The 1051.  But so many of them are on limited profile and so it doesn’t seem as awful.  Regardless, I have 4 or 5 (including my Mom) who I can reach out to via text, email, phone call, g-chat and get advice, love, a response, interest, and solid conversation.  I love these friends of mine.  Without them, my life would be EMPTY.  I’d be lonely.  Sad.  Sinking in despair.

Eyelashes…the bigger the better.  The fuller the prettier.  My Mom has straight lashes, not too long.  I have long lashes, they are curly.  I use 4 different kinds of mascara.  But it’s not about the mascara. It’s about the technique.  I love it.  I love eyelashes.  I love blinking.  I love what they do to my face.  I love how the femininize my face (I realize that’s not a word…but I’m coining it).  They are the thing that take me from looking ambiguous (post-shower, post-wake up) to looking like a girl.  I don’t do bold lipstick.  Eyeliner is not a common thing I use.  I avoid blush.  But mascara…it’s my go-to, if I had to pick one item of makeup, it would be my mascara…savior of all things vain.

Nice skin.  It’s dewy.  It’s generally blemish free.  For someone in her fourth decade of life, I have almost no wrinkles.  I try to maintain the laugh lines and crows feet but they are not too visible.  Generally, I have a baby face.  When people guess my age, they are off by a solid 8 years.  I like it.  I do.  Who wouldn’t?  I spent the first 20 years of my life being mistaken for an adult.  And now I am perpetually 22 years old.  No complaints.  Yet…I’m going to be honest…I don’t have perfect skin.  I can see my pores.  I have visible capillaries (sun damage—I promise I wear sunscreen EVERY day—except rainy days, I see it as an opportunity for my skin to “breathe”).  It’s not porcelain smooth.  I look at pictures online and think, “Wow, I wish I had that skin.”  But I don’t photoshop.  Never have.  And when I catch the occasional ruddy faced celeb, struttin’ the streets sans makeup, I feel superior to her because I look better, naturally…effortlessly.

The last one…I have no idea how I even came up with this! But…it’s…Speaking without an accent.  Boy am I judgmental, huh? I love languages.  I try to speak each one as much like a native as I possibly can.  I’m happy I grew up with Americans and that I was taught by native English speakers…to speak English.  Elitism at its best.  But I’m grateful, I am…that I speak clearly, confidently, eloquently, without hesitation.  It’s certainly true, that if I lived somewhere else, I’d be suffering through the language.  But thankfully, I live in America, and my English comes in handy.

So, that’s that for my list of five things I’m grateful for.  They are snooty items of gratefulness.  They are somewhat vain.  But they are what they are.  I could, of course, make a list of all the things I lack and all the things I possess…put it out there, take inventory.  But all she asked was for me to list 5 things…and I did feel a twinge better after I had.  What are the five things you are grateful for?


©2012, Leegal Deeva.  All rights reserved.