I’ll be frank: not having a close group of girl friends makes me feel like a failure.
Sometimes not having a close group of friends makes me feel like a failure, but mostly it’s not having a posse of girlfriends, six or eight women to flank me in salmon bridesmaids gowns, that makes me feel like I’ve done something wrong. Aren’t I supposed to have women with whom to start a book club, a knitting circle? Isn’t there supposed to be a core group to call upon for appletinis in our most satin-y, shiniest clothes? Aren’t we supposed to rehash Saturday night’s antics over Sunday brunch? Groups of friends aren’t just reflected back everywhere at me in pop culture — The Babysitters Club, “90210,” “Gossip Girl,” “Sex & The City” — but in the lives of other women I know as well. But my life just doesn’t, and hasn’t ever, looked like that. At 26, I can forge new friendships with women and slowly strengthen their ties over time. And I do try, as much as I can for someone who prefers art museums and indie flicks to house parties and tailgating. But most everyone I know has their “group” already set — built in college, built from their jobs, built from their sports teams — and I’ve found l can’t affix myself to one. Attempts in the past have unilaterally failed. I may have been invited along to go see a movie or attend a party, but I was never included in the core “group.”
I have friends, of course. My two closest girl friends are solid, really close friends. One has been around since 2nd grade, while the other has been around since 6th grade, and we know each other like well-worn slippers. I like that we know each other’s mothers and who each other dated 10 years ago. I know they get my sense of humor, as I get theirs. I know they’re completely genuine, as they know I am. I can loosen up enough around them to be my real self (who is actually really, really silly). One lives in New York and one lives in Germany the majority of the year, so I don’t see either of them often. Most of our friendship happens over Google Messenger and Skype.
But in all that time between seeing those two good girl friends, I ask myself, Is two good girl friends enough? I have two good girl friends who would drop everything for me if I had a crisis. I have two good girl friends I would drop everything for. But I couldn’t call someone up — or call three someones — tonight to see a movie or get a manicure or share a cocktail. And what about a book club? Sunday brunch? Those appletinis? Will those lady-group-bonding experiences never be mine?
It’s almost unfair to ask, would you rather have two close girl friends or a “group” you perhaps cannot always depend on? That very question implies I might give these two girl friends up. I wouldn’t, of course, but I do wish I could feel less lonely.
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