Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It’s All About Girls

Tonight I’m going to Vegas. It is our ten year anniversary. No, not for me and Ken. For me and my friend, Erika. We’ve been friends for much longer than that – since grad school, which is about 18 years – but it is our tenth anniversary of going to Vegas.

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In 2002, we took our first trip to Vegas. It was love at first sight. I love my life, but I also love a good escape from reality and Vegas is just that. There is something about not having any rules, obligations or time schedules that puts me in a very good mood. I also do enjoy having a large cocktail at 10:00 a.m., because that is the culture of the town and…when in Rome, right?

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We usually stay only two nights, because for both of us it’s tough to get away for more than that. But, being our anniversary, we opted for three nights. Our version of a trip to Vegas has nothing to do with seeing shows, going to nightclubs and eating at fancy restaurants. Our version is something like this:

6:00 a.m. Get up and run (Erika sleeps in). No shit. I really do this.

7:00 a.m. Coffee and lots of it. Find something to eat. Shower. Bikini.

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Lay at pool. This is a full time job and the perfect chance to play cards, people watch (I love the European pool at the Wynn – lots of boobies hanging out to comment on– but not mine).

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I have no clue why the guy beside us is touching himself.

5:00 p.m. – Find something to eat. I always bring Ritz and squeeze cheese to have in the hotel room. Dr. Oz recommends this. Shower, fall asleep, watch “Pretty Woman” or some movie that’s on all the time.

7:00 p.m. – Get gussied up. Hotel surf to find some $15 or $25 blackjack tables.

8:00 p.m – ?? – What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas (I made that up).

We girls know how important our female friendships are. They see us through bad relationships, poor choices, marriages, childbirth, parenting, and significant losses. Our girlfriends are the ones who help us pick up the pieces when we think we are just not going to make it through another day. Our true friends celebrate our successes like they were their own. And, a real friend always has your back. Always.

Today I picked up a book at the library by one of my favorite authors, Anna Quindlen.

 Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

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What I found on the jacket of the front cover could not be more appropriate for this subject of friendship:

“Ask any woman how she makes it through the day, and she may mention her calendar, her to-do lists, her babysitter. But if you push her on how she really makes it through her day, she will mention her girlfriends.”

When Ken and I (living in sin at the time, don’t tell my mom) loaded up our two cars and drove west from Virginia to settle in Colorado almost 20 years ago, I did not have one stinking friend out here. Except for Ken.  Don’t get me wrong – Ken is probably my best friend in the world. But, we all know a girl needs girls.

I was so depressed. I moped around. I loved Colorado and I loved Ken, but I was desperately lonely for girls. Making friends can be harder as you get older. It is tough to not only meet people, but to take it to the next level of friendship. It took time, but I slowly made friends, and life slowly got easier.

What I’ve learned over the years is that when it comes to almost anything in life, it is the quality, not the quantity the counts. No amount of acquaintances on Facebook equals one, true friend. This quality vs. quantity law applies to blog posts, fine wine, running and toilet paper (maybe – although sometimes quantity is important when wiping). This law certainly and absolutely applies to friendships. You do not need tons of them, but you need a few real quality ones. That’s all it takes.

Not to say that making friends is a project, but if you want some tips for how to set yourself up to potentially get to know and connect with new friends, check out this great article.

See you in Vegas!

Are you someone who has many friends, or just a few really good ones? I have quite a few friends, but only a handful of really good ones. Probably 5 or 6.

How have your girlfriends made your life better? Too many ways to name, but I know without them I’d be in a mental hospital, in jail or dead.

SUAR

37 comments:

  1. Couldn't agree more about the need for true friends and I feel so grateful to have my own. But my real question is... what the what is that guy doing in the background of your poolside photo?!?!

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    1. OMG so funny!! I did not even notice that!! Must add a caption.

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    2. Haha! I had to scroll back up and look!!!

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    3. It was the first thing I saw!! (not sure what that says about me, but....)

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    4. Oops I just read this comment after I posted mine. See you didn't notice at first either, lol!

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    5. "It was the first thing I saw!!"

      Yep, me too. Know that you're not alone...

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    6. I think we all know that he got caught doing something he should not have been doing, and he's protecting his junk from the woman next to him, who's ready to go loraina bobbit on him.

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  2. I have a few really good friends and I like it that way.

    Your itinerary for Vegas is a lot like mine.

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  3. I do agree, but I don't really have any good girl friends, except my daughter. She's great, but she four. I need to work on this. I tend to be very happy with my hubby as my bestie, but I di envy women who have strong, lasting female relationships.
    But finding someone who is my age, with a complimentary disposition AND in my pace group might take some doing. I'll work on it though.

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    1. It is so hard to make friends as an adult! We moved to VA from MN (where it took me years to make two great friends) over 4 years ago and I still haven't met someone that I really connect with. Quite frankly at this point I've ditched age and activity requirements for friends and would just like someone who "gets me," you know?

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  4. Awww, this is great you're heading to Vegas with a great girlfriend. I don't have the close friendships I wish I had (we talked about this, right?)...know lots of people but no one really, really close. I miss that, but I'm pretty reserved and I'm sure people find that annoying. My daughter suffers from the same ... and we've talked about that, too. It's just easier for some than others...introverted people just struggle more I guess.

    Have a blast. Watch out for guys touching themselves nearby. Creepy! Don't get a sunburn. Drink lots of foo-foo drinks. That's all the advice I have for ya!

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  5. Totally agree with you. Having true friendships with other women can make or break you. In fact I think I read somewhere that if you don't have close women friends, your other relationships aren't as good either. It's one of the key factors in whether or not you'll end up in an abusive relationship.

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  6. I've always got your back! Xoxo

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    1. Oh I know you do. You are one amazing and loyal friend.

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  7. When I lived in Chicago I didn't have any good girlfriends. It was so sad! Since moving to San Diego, I have made the best friends I've ever had in my entire life!! I love my girlfriends and think I might die without them. Have fun in Vegas!!

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  8. Happy Anniversary!

    This is a great post, so thank you. I’m also really glad to hear that you eventually made new friends in Colorado, b/c for me that’s been the hardest thing about moving away from some core female friendships. Finding new friends with that deep of a connection feels like dating all over again, and it is exhausting, and I’m not actually sure how much effort to even put into it, or if I’ve met the right people to delve that deep…

    But I digress. I am lucky. I have close girlfriends. A group of 4 of us met while at summer camp as teenagers, and we have gotten together every summer since(we are all 35-37). Half have children. I’m the only unmarried one at this point. But every summer, no matter what, we have our girls weekend. They have gotten more philosophical and less karaoke as time goes on, but we look forward to it all year long. They are my lifeline, and we don’t know what we would do without each other. With each other, we can be ourselves, the good, the silly, the ugly…everything.

    I have a few other really close girlfriends, but again, they are all women I’ve known for a long time, at least 12 years. I think you can have friends for all sort of reasons, but the close female friends I have are like sisters. I’d rather never have another friend than lose any of them. I have a partner that I’ve had for almost 10 years and he is wonderful, but like you, it’s just not the same without my ladies!

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  9. You have the best side jokes. I cannot stop laughing about you mentioning the guy in the picture touching himself. Never would I have noticed it and now my stomach hurts. What is he doing?!?!?

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  10. Yes. Yes. And yes!!!
    Close girl friendships are more difficult to make as you get older (glad to know it's not just me) but are truly needed for a fulfilling and satisfying life.
    Remember, in Vegas with girlfriends you must dally in shenanigans and have many high jinks. I won't tell. Promise.

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  11. Love this post. One of my best friends and I have made plans to hit Vegas for our 30th bdays. Gets her away from the kids, me away from the dog children and time to talk without above mentioned interupting. Can't wait. I think we should copy you and make it a yearly thing.:)

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  12. That guy seems to really enjoy himself in the picture by the pool LOL!

    A Vegas anniversary - genius.

    I am very good at being a great friend and have quite a few I could never live without. Some - we may not talk often - but when we do its like we never skipped a beat and can call them ANYTIME when there is a crisis. Nothing in the world could mean more!!

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  13. Amen to that. I just moved with my boyfriend from Chicago to Cincinnati where I know NO ONE. The poor guy has to deal with my moping on a daily basis. It's reassuring to hear that it is possible to make new friends over time though :) I just want the instant gratification! Have a great trip

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  14. Sometimes it's not distance but life that causes us to be with less/no friends. I know that for me, finding friends who fit in with who I am today (and, thank GOD, not who I was 25 years ago) has been a challenge. That being said, I have 3 or 4 very close friends who have matured into people that I still love dearly. Sadly, more than twice that many turned into people I can't stand to be in the same room with.

    It's also a little-talked-about struggle of being a SAHM. It can be extremely isolating (which is why there are so many Mommy bloggers, I think). I still struggle to find my groove with new friends. I am so, so, SO thankful for the ones I still have but I am an extremely social person and would love to have a few (OK, A LOT) more. I'm still working on it...

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  15. Maybe he's just grooving on all those hanging out boobs.

    I have a very small number of very, very good friends. One of them I have known since we were 5 years old....just about a lifetime.

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  16. I recently had to have my dog put down and when my friend heard she drove all the way from the coast at the end of a long working day (over an hour's drive) to give me flowers, food and a hug.

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  17. 3 years ago one of my very best friends and I began a yearly "girls trip" since I moved from TN to CA to FL. So far it's been Miami the past 3. I love my close girl friends and I'd take them any day even with the miles apart over a bunch of acquaintances.

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  18. Such a good tradition! Agreed, girlfriends are a must!

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  19. So true!
    The hardest part about moving from CA to FL was leaving behind a decade worth of friendships... We stay in touch, but it's better when we're in the same place.

    Have fun in Vegas! :)

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  20. I have two besties, one formed at the age of 11, whom I didn't really like at first because before she moved to my town from Connecticut, I was the kid in 5th grade who could always kick the farthest in kick ball games, then she showed up - we actually didn't like each other because of the kickball thing, then we realized if we joined forces, our team would be unbeatable. We've been through everything together. kids, parents, deaths, births, marriages, divorces, you name it, we're in it.
    The other is a dear friend whom I love to pieces, she's my 'life partner' for lack of a better way to put it - we seem to go through life together, from one event, outing, gathering, party, funeral, to another, and we see each other frequently, she helps me with my son and my mother, I help her with her dog and cat, we call each other every day, we have panicked together when the sink sprung a leak, we've cried together at movies, watching while we are together on the phone. She's priceless.
    I have several acquaintences, but only two besties.

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  21. I'm short on close girlfriends but I'm looking at an empty nest in my near future so I'm working on it. Hubby is great but he's not a girl :) My BFF from school turned out to be a dud after graduation (there were signs, I was blind.) and I had put all my eggs into that basket. Big mistake. Live & learn. All my "mommy friends" have scattered across the country and I miss them terribly. Thanks for your post, it gives me something to work towards.

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  22. I'm with you--we NEED close girlfriends. My hubby is my best friend, but it's not like a girlfriend. I've had a hard time making close friendships where I live now, but I'm slowly finding other women that I connect with. Have a blast!

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  23. Happy Vegas-versary!

    My friendship with my two closest girlfriends from high school is now old enough to vote. The year we turned 30, we did a wine-tasting weekend all by ourselves. I think it was the first time since college that we were celebrating together without a wedding (or any other people) involved.

    We're all turning 35 this year. Thank you for giving me the kick in the pants I needed to schedule the trip we promised we'd do for this birthday. It gets harder as our responsibilities grow, but you're right--it's so, SO important.

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  24. I have a few really close girlfriends. My closest friend right now is someone I just met about a year ago. I never thought I'd make such a great new friend at this stage in my life, but I did, and what was it that brought us together...running!

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  25. I have a few good friends. However my good friends have help me through really bad times, distract me when I don't want to think, go on crazy vacations with me, accept me as I am, listen whenever I need to talk, and support me in whatever I do. Most of my close friends I've met while growing up. I have to say it's harder to make close friends when your older, however I've made one recently when I was on a website to find a rock climbing partner.

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  26. Interesting topic. I have a ton of friends (mostly due to the fact that we live in a small town, sadly not my charming personality I'm sure). Coupled with a handful of extremely close girlfriends. We call each other " sister wives". Nothing better!
    I hope that dude washes his hands before getting in the pool.

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  27. I loved reading this piece! Well written! :)

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