Monday, December 18, 2006

Why Girlfriends Can Save Your Sanity...

I went to a movie with a girlfriend on Saturday. I picked her up and we saw The Holiday with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet. It was a silly, sappy romantic comedy but we both loved it. We laughed together through the whole thing and while I cried at the end, she laughed at me and that got me to laughing at myself. She said her husband would have hated it and I know my ex would have certainly hated it too. But it was just what the doctor ordered.

Getting my house, my family, my mind and my heart ready for Christmas is really hard work. There is all the physical labor (lugging out the dusty boxes from the garage and decorating the house), plus all the emotional labor (the arguing with family members and remembering those loved ones who have passed on). The emotional labor is the hardest to recover from.

But I spoke with a girlfriend in Georgia on Friday and even though we're both getting divorced and sometimes feel like we're living on the edge of a huge abyss and we're about to fall off, we both had lots to share and laugh about.

The laughter is what binds us all together. When someone makes us forget our troubles, even if it's just for a minute or two, that's enough to get us through the next rough patch.

I've had many girlfriends in my life who have carried me through. I got a card from one the other day and even though I haven't set eyes in her in over 10 years, she is still my summer sister and will always be. I looked at her picture and I was immediately transported back to Camp Henry Kaufman in upstate New York; I could even smell the musty smell that we never could get out of our clothes. She's now a wife and mother and lives about 2000 miles away. I wonder if we'll ever see each other again, face-to-face. Even if we don't, I still cherish that bond.

The girlfriend I went to the movies with on Saturday must have sensed my anxiety about Christmas and my ex and cooking and wrapping, etc. She made me laugh and bought me a coffee, mixed exactly the way I like it. I lived with my ex for 10 years and he never bothered to learn how I like my coffee. But this girlfriend did and she got one for me, and in the process, made me feel cherished and loved and it gave me just a bit of strength to get me through the next week. She doesn't realize the power that stupid and long gone cup of coffee gave me. Maybe I can get her a cup of coffee one day that will do the same for her.

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