In lockdown again, I’ve been revisiting my favourite shows, this week it was Sex and the City. Each episode is as comforting as chicken soup, it’s like visiting with old friends. It has also made me think about my own posse of girlfriends, my enduring girl gang. There are those I have known for 30 years and others who I’ve met more recently, but they all add to the fabric of life.
Back in the day …
The younger version of me relished the times spent working crazy hours (staying out even crazier hours) and hanging together as a pack while none of us had serious partners. Standing weekly dinners, after-work drinks at the local, open-ended brunches, baking at the beach regularly, and impromptu boozy nights punctuated our lives. There was always someone to play with, and the freedom of us then makes me sing even now, years later.
And while I love this earlier version of us, I also love our collective metamorphosis. Geographically scattered we still navigate life together, only now it’s all the grown-up stuff. Kids, mortgages, divorces, deaths, careers, and now a pandemic just for good measure. Despite all the changes in and around us, our friendships remain unchallenged!
While we’re not in each others house everyday these days, we’re involved in each other’s lives — thank you 21st-Century tech. These friends are special, they’re the friends you may not speak with for months but when you do, it’s like no time has passed. You just pick up right where you left off.
These are the friends who ring to inform ‘I’m coming to stay for 3 nights in October’. There is no question being asked here. They are assured in both their ‘request’ and in your response (‘Cool and yay, let me know the deets closer’).
These are the friends who decades earlier, made you promise in the event of their untimely death that you would race to their house and remove all bedroom tricks from bedside tables. Essential business so when bereaved family arrived to pack up, there would be no awkward surprises for parents or siblings.
I’m talking those friends who WhatsApp you from across the globe with a picture of their wild bedhead. Resplendent with errant grey hairs and a pillow creased face, sent just to amuse. And secure in the knowledge that you’ll return an equally hilarious photo for solidarity!
You know who you are!
Good for the soul…at all ages
According to research, having good friends is not only good fun, it also has far reaching physical and mental health benefits. Experts advise that friendships are not just nice to have, they are in fact, essential for vitality. These positive relationships bolster everything from anxiety and stress responses to heart health and our very longevity! In fact studies show that strong social relationships are as important as diet and exercise at all stages of life. As if you needed another reason to catch up with a buddy huh?
So here’s to girlfriends then girlfriend! Those sisters we select, the peer pods we pick, the nominated keepers of secrets and takers-of-the-piss that help make us who we are today — our forever friends!
Tracy is a media professional working in television. An enthusiastic explorer of the inter webs, she's held many different roles and has worked on documentary, reality and lifestyle television shows across almost two decades in the industry. Tracy also writes.