What is it that makes women’s friendships beautiful and special? Good friends are important for our spirit. The loving connections between women are more powerful than you might think. This is an ode to female friendship.
Friends don’t just choose each other randomly. In the first phase of a friendship is about a certain attraction – comparable to the physical attraction in the beginning of a relationship. When I just started at college, I sat next to a girl with bright blue eyes. She had struck me before, because of her love of coffee and the swinging way she walked. We sat in the room, a collection of poetry in front of us, I remember the teacher had an impressive moustache.
The girl smelled like a rose garden, freckles were visible beneath her make-up. When the teacher told us how the poet was reviewed both positively and negatively in his days, the girl and I got into a discussion. I felt like hitting her and at the same time, I wanted to marry her. That afternoon, during another class, we shared a book. ‘From day one, it was clear that you were meant for each other,’ one of our classmates told us later. ‘We couldn’t even tell your voices apart.’
My female friends are part of the first generation of women who earned their own money. The result is the phenomenon of the gentlewoman. We tell each other about the films we’ve seen, we take each other to nice restaurants and spoil each other with poems, presents and flowers. This mutual gallantry adds a certain romantic touch to my friendships. It’s never phony, but serene and genuinely romantic.
Sometimes I cuddle up with a glass of wine on the couch, get all rosy and talk with my friend while the sun goes down. My friends are sensitive enough to know when I like to be touched (and when I don’t), when I deserve a kiss, need me-time. I don’t know how they’ve become so intertwined with my mind, but they have, they know exactly what I need. We even move in the same organic, self-evident way, that’s how adjusted we are to each other.
Friends see everything (‘You have a sunburn’), know everything (‘back then, you were a lot more introverted’), understand everything (‘this man would’ve intrigued me too’). And they’re not afraid to share their feelings and thoughts with you, regardless of how big or small they are. Light and dark thoughts, good and bad times, philosophical ramblings and complaint. I have voice memos with monologues of friends about the wellbeing of their cats and suggestions for world peace. Friends are the perfect philosophers and therapists, for whom no subject is prohibited. There’s room for angry, resentful, sad feelings. Unexpected changes in the plot you caused, are put into a narrative. And because there’s room for everything, your connection is strong.
With friends, you meet up to phrase what you really think. The stories I wouldn’t share with my partner or family –because they’re embarrassing-, I share with my friends.
Things I don’t remember: my upcoming dental appointment, my deadline for taxes, passwords I created four days ago. Things I do remember: N. wearing awesome gold sneakers, hanging in the garden with P. when giant dragonflies flew by. Meeting my friend R.’s cat for the first time. I have an impressive memory when it comes to friends, and an eye to the telescope. And it still amazes me how much my friends remember about me.
The intensity of women’s friendships didn’t really strike me until a good friend passed away. Our friendship seemed casual and simple, airy and nonchalant – hanging around at the cinema, exchanging poems, talking about boys, skating. Looking back, I know we got very close. In my dreams, we still chat, sitting on our well-known bench. As if death was only a temporary break in our friendship. We create the most profound, loving connection with our friends. Friends can arouse extreme homesickness in your heart, simply because the two of you have created a home together. That’s something special.
Text: Julia Maria Keers – Photo: Brooke Cagle
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