I’m trying to pump out this blog before one of my new favorite shows comes on. Maybe you’ve heard of GCB (Good Christian Bitches)? It’s a slightly mainstream delectable comedy on ABC about a recently widowed babe (fka the high-school “mean girl”) who has no choice but to move back in with her overbearing mama and ends up grabbing the first job she can get, as a waitress at a joint akin to Hooters. In her years away from Texas, she’s seen the light Amen, Halleluyah and has become a nicer, more committed person (maybe because she became a mama herself). But tell that to the group of holier-than-thou ladies-who-lunch whose plastic surgeries did nothing to rid them of their old emotional scar tissue that remains from being bullied and branded hovelinas back in the day by our lead character.
So I have to ask. How many mean girls have we known (or been)? How many do we see bullying our kids today? It’s a hard issue to face. The purpose of this blog isn’t to cover bullying but in this case to talk about the significance of our girlfriend relationships. I will say it’s of particular disappointment to me to see how young girls, in this case, classmates of my daughter’s treat each other like crap. Why is it that instead of starting out nurturing and supportive, kind and caring, young girls sometimes start out bitchy, mean, horrible, condescending and adversarial? The timeliness of the subject matter isn’t lost to me.
This weekend I helped my daughter work on a new song about why girls are sometimes so cruel. I was moved watching my 11 year old pour her heart out in her original uptempo number (and I’m sure future hit) with a style that’s a cross between Taylor Swift and Joni Mitchell. Of course, like any good mother, I videotaped her on my iPhone. One day she may need the excerpt for The Voice or Idol or maybe her Oscar or Grammy retrospective. But in this moment what I was watching through the lens was a reflection of my former self. Thankfully I’ve outgrown being hurt by bullies taunts directed at myself and others, but I really value and understand how meaningful and powerful our girlfriend relationships can be. These relationships matter as deeply to me as an adult as they do to my 5th grader.
And why wouldn’t they?
Who of us doesn’t want to connect to such a strong, meaningful bond between girlfriends/women?
Many of us were taught that the strongest ties that bind exist between family members. As I’ve grown up, and away, from my childhood roots, it’s the friendships I have with women that really connect me to who I am, and to where I want to be. You could say it’s family by choice, not birth (though I love them too). The support, connection, love and mentoring I receive from my girlfriends has never been more important than they are now.
I imagine myself tethered to a bungee cord propelling headfirst into the dizzying waters of my day to day chaos and deeper, into the dreams that lie beneath the murky surface. The hands that are grasping the end of that cord – keeping me connected to my sanity and serenity – belong to my girlfriends.
I am so grateful for their strength and their commitment, not just to their own harried and hectic lives, but to mine. On the flip side of that coin, I have some really dear friends, who have all but disappeared. I know they care about me, but they aren’t there in the same way – or in much of any way. They never make it to any of my speaking engagements, Divas-do-Lunch events, my annual Goddess party, birthday parties or even a simple girls-night-out. Yes, I know we’re all busy, and I still hold love in my heart for them, but are they really present for themselves, never mind for their friends?
Let’s face facts, we don’t have time for much in our lives, but when people find reasons to not show up it becomes clear to me, we MUST take time for each other. Just as I want my friends in my life, I offer myself in return and that’s a promise worth honoring.
I don’t think I’m asking for too much. Nowadays girlfriends can be found as readily as your next click, if you’re open to it. This is the allure of social media. It makes connection simpler. Sure, FB feels like a win when we reach out and connect with someone in our past (or heck, my sisters, who are across the country and only a phone call away but you’d never know it from how frequently we hit and miss each other). But I have come to really honor the new relationships, the deep bonds being created almost as quickly as every new twitter account. I find it astonishing that some of my greatest supports are in the form of faces, names, experiences that I’ve come to know and appreciate in cyberspace. That doesn’t make them less valuable. In fact, I want to give a shout out to a few of those inspiring and empowering women I am honored to call my tweeps. There are some, like health advocate Eve @wbcravings, Conscious Shopper @MaiaLagerstedt and fellow NYWICI member/inspirational author Daylle Deanna Schwartz (@Daylle) whom I know in person and others, like Sherry, @CheckMeDaily, Lori @StressFreeKids and writer/author @Melissa_Foster, whom I’ve come to know and admire from only a tweet away. Why are they so valuable to me?
Friendships, relationship with others hold the biggest and best mirrors to relationship with ourselves. If I am present for them in physical or virtual ways I am shining a bright light back onto the woman I am and the work I seek to do in the world.
So how do you feel about your girlfriends? Have you lost touch with someone or not been as open to embracing new sisters into your inner sanctum? Girlfriends are a beautiful reflection that we need to see the best part of ourselves.
Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for me to appreciate just how non-hateful I am by watching my polar opposite. I am talking about my favorite hate girl Kristin Chenowith and her Texas tigresses on GCB. For next week’s episode, maybe I’ll post on FB (DivaMamaShiraAdler) or run a twitterchat (@1DivaMama) while watching the episode with my favorite girlfriends. Anyone want to join me?
ps The picture I am using at the top of this post belongs to the website of another new girlfriend and colleague, Laura Weisbart Campbell (owner of The D Spot) who is joining me as guest speaker for Tuesday’s Divas-do-Lunch event. We have room if you want to attend and are in the Westchester County/NYC area. Click here for more information.