Growing up I never had much difficulty finding friends. Even as a small child I think I had the ‘disease to please’ and so I know I kinda went along with any game plan that was put on the table. I was really easy going and just didn’t care to rock the boat. I kept a lot of my emotions and opinions to myself and as a result I always had a lot of friends to play and laugh with. In high school I met Naava, an out-spoken artsy/intellectual who jumped for no one and, literally, danced to the beat on her own drum. We totally clicked for some reason. I think because with her I felt I could just be me and I wasn’t afraid to not be perfectly agreeable. For the first time I had a friend who I felt really liked the real me and not just the ‘fun’ me, and that was huge. I learned so much from that friendship about quality, not quantity.
When I think about where I’ve met all my closest girlfriends what surprises me as that there really is no recurring theme except that they’re all quality women. They’ve all popped into my life from different angles; work, travel, school mom, friend of a friend’s spouse, neighborhood, and I am soooo grateful for them all. I guess the point is you never really know when a new amazing friendship is going to find its way into your life. Every girlfriend I’ve had has given me something special and made me a better, happier, more in-tuned human being.
My mother used to say that the friends you make in high school will always be close because you’ve seen each other go through one of the most difficult periods in your lives and that’s incredibly bonding. While I think there’s a lot of truth in that, I also think that it’s equally possible to make deep bonds with new girlfriends at any stage in your life. Once you’ve experienced a true connection with someone you know it’s a feeling you never want to be without.
I found a really interesting site last year when I was online looking for book club ideas. It’s called www.meetups.com and it works like this; you punch in your zip code and up pops a list of different clubs or groups that are meeting in your area. Joining is as easy as tapping a button. I’ve used this site to join a book club, coffee club and a walking group. When my sister moved to Australia last year I told her about it and she found a writer’s group in Sydney she wanted to try out. I think this is a really inspiring site and what the internet is all about.. feeling connected. Your newest BFF could be one of the ladies at the Fabulous and Forty Wine Tasting Club!
Bonnie’s 2 cents~
I'm the one on the left with the strange bloomer shorts on. Dorrie is on her bike/pretend horse behind me. Yes, it was in the days before colour film.
I still remember seeing her across the street playing in her yard. She kept glancing over at me but then she would look away as soon as our eyes met. Her every move fascinated me. What was she imagining with her dolls. I wanted so badly to play with her. I’m the shy one. Other kids always come over to me first. I went inside and talked to my grandma about it. “Just go over and tell her your name. Then ask her if she wants to play with you.” my grandmother said in her matter of fact tone. “Can’t you go over and ask her if she wants to play with me?” My grandmother just shuffled me out the door and told me not to be so silly. I was 4. We stared at each other for a while longer and then finally one of us ( I think it was her) shouted out “What’s your name?” and that was all it took. We were great friends from that moment on…until I moved away shortly after. Her name was Dorrie. I wonder how she is now?
I’ve met girl friends all over the world. Unfortunately, I’ve moved all over the place too and have left many behind. I’ve always had the best intentions about keeping in touch but as time goes on and my life has taken different turns, I’ve lost touch with many really great friends. This is one of my biggest regrets. Thanks to Facebook however, I have been able to reconnect with some and that has been wonderful.
One of my life’s greatest blessings has been the one constant friend I’ve had since high school, Tracy. We’ve had our ups and downs but through it all we have learned some valuable lessons and have grown closer and closer. When I think back on our years together I realize we haven’t lived in the same city for many of them but I don’t ever worry that we will drift apart. Our bond is too deep.
Looking back I realize I have always had at least one close girlfriend near at all times. I have so many fond memories of all the great women I’ve had the opportunity to get to know well in my life. They’ve all helped mold me into the woman I am today and I’m truly grateful to all of them.
Where did I meet my girlfriends you ask? Strip clubs mostly, after hours. I’m kidding. I used to have mostly guy friends in my teens and twenties. Girls judged and gossip too much for me, guys were much less complicated. I feel differently now. I embrace the female spirit.
There was one girl who was always there, the one who knows every single deep dark secret of mine in detail, Bonnie. Some say the truth shall set you free. In my case, her aging mind will. Here’s hoping she loses the long term first. I want her to remember who I am, just not what I did. It would be so fun if she lost her mind before me so I could convince her it was she who did certain things, not I. Our conversations would go something like this. “I still can’t believe you did that!” Tracy says jokingly. “Did I do that?“ Bonnie says confusingly. “I should know I was there when you did it!”, Tracy says, while looking down to the left because it’s a big fat lie. “ I always thought it was you who did that?“ says Bonnie, while she starts to doubt her inner voice. “Nope that was you.“ says Tracy with her best acting face ever!
Bonnie and I met in Acting class when we were 15. Good thing we didn’t meet sooner because I would have FOR SURE told on her for some of the things she did. We were partners in class and our task was to find out as much about the other person and then introduce them to everyone. It was fairly basic for us, “Hi I’m so-n-so, I live in North Van, I’m 15.” and then we laughed and giggled for the rest of the time. I guess right then we knew we would be best friends forever so we didn’t want to find out too much too soon. It has taken me 30 years to get to know Bonnie and still to this day she amazes me daily at how non judgmental and unconditional her friendship is. She is one of the most multi-faceted souls I have had the honor to meet.
But how lucky can one girl be, 12 years ago I had the most incredible luck and met Jacquie on set of the movies. We have become very close over the last couple of years because we make the time to see one another. We embrace who we are, we work well together balancing one another’s quirks. She makes me want to be a better person. Sometime that’s hard! But I love her for it. She challenges me which is such a turn on (not in that way).
Making memories is what friendships are all about. Friends come and go, we learn, we grow. I have a circle of friends now that I absolutely adore, some old, some new, some borrowed and men too. It doesn’t really matter where you meet them, just that you do.