Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Thursday, June 18, 2009

C: WOMAN POWER. “We’re TNT friends!”

This morning I awoke to check on some of my "never-met-on-line-friends" in whose lives I have become interested through blogging. I am unsure as to how to "link" here, but the two that got my attention this morning were Four Miles North of Nowhere and What Matters Most. You can get to these by clicking on them in the sidebar to the right (sorry, I will learn to put links in here soon, I hope!).

Anyway, both these posts were about girlfriends, and it made me want to say "Me, too!! Me, too!!" So, here goes:

You've got a friend in me, You've got a friend in me
When the road looks rough ahead and you're miles and miles
From your nice warm bed, just remember what your old pal said
Boy, you've got a friend in me, You've got a friend in me
You've got troubles, well I've got 'em too
There isn't anything I wouldn't do for you
We stick together and we see it through
You've got a friend in me
--Randy Newman

Wonderful friends! I’ve got ‘em, and I need them all. But there are five of us who are especially important to one another—my book club. V is a member, too. All of us have been friends for over twenty years. We have many other friends in common. We all know each other’s families inside-out. It’s a tight group.

The term “book club” is a euphemism, really, which is a constant source of humor both for us and the husbands of some who refer to it, instead, as the “booze club!” I will explain.

Some years ago (five maybe? Time certainly gets by me…) we good friends all decided that we would read books together and meet monthly in homes, although one had the particular favorite home for us to attend. (She, of the blonde brownies, the wonderful raisin pie and homemade chicken soup!) We had great times together centered on the books we were reading. Since that time things began to fall apart for some of us, especially with yours truly.

These girls have helped me through betrayal by my husband and are helping me still negotiate the emotional swamps of the divorce. They are one of the “constants” in my life on which I lean heavily.

They, too, have had their troubles. We have talked out kid problems; we have commiserated through ill-treatment of one at her work; serious health issues; financial problems abound. The last couple of years have been a rough patch for us all. We know and trust each other unequivocally, and this is the “council” to whom we turn in our time of need. We have called ourselves the “T-N-T’s,” because we are with each other through Thick ‘N’ Thin. This title is not a euphemism—it is a fact. We are each other’s support group.

When the trouble hit the fan for us all (now that’s a euphemism), we gradually dropped the reading, although we still refer to ourselves as a book club. When I found out about my husband’s affair, I quit doing many things that had been central to my daily life: I quit listening to NPR as I drove, preferring to driving in silence; I quit attending church because it was so connected with my life with my husband; I quit cooking for people, which I love to do; and I quit reading altogether, which was HUGE.

My home is dominated by books and I am, in my authentic self, an avid reader of everything, non-fiction or fiction. The picture below is what you see when you walk into my home--books are everywhere (the photo is not good, but if you look through the doors you see a room full of books on three walls). The books you see in these two rooms may account for maybe half my library, the other volumes stowed in a floor-to-ceiling bookcase-lined hallway upstairs and in shelves in my bedroom (both way too messy to picture here!)

In retrospect, I think that during that initial pain I had some primal need to focus on survival. Everything extraneous went wayside as I concentrated on managing pain.

About the time I quit reading, the others, one-by-one also dropped the book thing, although we still met. But, not only did we drop reading, we picked up another place to meet: a local Mexican restaurant which serves delicious but cheap Margaritas. We have our own booth. The wait staff knows us. Now we meet there as the need arises and have Mexican food and Margaritas or beers with lime. Hence the term “booze club.” It fits.

If you read through the posts from six months ago, you will see some about our book club’s December bunking party—a wacky annual event that I love. V and I are already talking about adding a summer sleepover, making this a biannual tradition. I relish the thought of wine on the back porch in the late evening under citronella candles. The woods are alive with sounds in the summer nights, and it is beyond peaceful. The only addition needed is the company of good friends. (see the woods view off my back porch, below. It's a mess, too, but imagine it with twinkle lights and japanese lanterns and good friends in the evening!)

The posts I read about friendship this morning hit a particular chord with me. Just two weekends ago we all attended the wedding of the son of one of the "T'N'T's." It was a joyous, happy time, and I am reminded yet again of our solidarity. It was good to have each other (at least for me). I was “at home” with them amongst many with whom I was not acquainted. We had a wonderful time celebrating this wonderful milestone for a child all of us have known almost his whole life. We cheered for him and for his mother. And here, for your viewing pleasure, is a group photo of the T'N'Ts.

V is second from left in this picture. I'm the chunky one with glasses, second from right.

I am hoping there is someone out there who will be interested enough to read this little missive, because I want so much to tell women how important their girlfriends are. The relationship is just different from that with husbands or other males…it is, in many ways, deeper and richer with a shared connection that one must be female to have. We need to treasure them, and I thank my blogging friends for their posts this morning reminding me of that treasure!!! - C.


Anonymous said...

C please go to my other blog WOMANOFWISDOM, you will find it on my side bar. I think you commented on my flying post. I would like for you to have a WOW pin. It is to symbolize a woman of strength. You can go back on my blog and find the meaning of the pin. I was a holistic nurse and this is my cyberspace ministry now.Blessings

Hilary said...

That's so true about our female friends. Our SOs might understand us well enough, but only another woman knows just how to commiserate.

Sand Flat Farm said...

Thank you for putting into words what I and all other women feel everywhere! I have a circle of friends in my life, in fact, a couple of circles, that I connect with, that would do anything under the sun for me, and I would do the same for them. What would we do without them? I just don't think I could make it! I'm glad you've all got each other...

Anonymous said...

e-mail. jonespr@bardstowncable.net. There is no way to actually get a pin except copy and paste to computer then upload.

Linda Lou Rogers Averitt said...

C you are so right! I have a hand full of girl friends but one that is really special to me, I miss the others when I do not see them,we pick right up where we left off, funny how life brings people in and out of our life but we manage to hang on to a few real good friends...I treasure mine!

kath001 said...

I loved reading this post. There truly is nothing like a girlfriend.

When the dearest friend of my early-marriage-and-child-raising years passed away, my heart truly broke. I couldn't hear music of any kind without crying uncontrollably. I had to go to all talk radio in the car, and even the muzak at the grocery store was torture...I would walk the aisles with tears streaming down my face. And church...too hard. I was (am) sure that if my husband passed, I could not grieve more.

Even in the depths of my despair, I was SO thankful for the gift and honor of her friendship, and the friendship of all my other girlfriends...who as it turned out nursed me through my grieving, because my husband just didn't get it.

Poor, poor guys. I don't know many who have the kind of friendships that we girls are blessed with.

ps: thanks for mentioning Four Miles North of Nowhere. I'm glad you enjoy it, as I enjoy Stick Horse Cowgirls.

♥~♥ Nine Acres ♥~♥ said...

Girlfriends are my lifeline. I always know they will be there for me, thick and thin.

Love the pic of you all!

Anonymous said...

I am visiting for the first time and am so touched by this post. I do have many girlfriends, and they are wonderful support for whatever is going on in my life. And, I belong to a new (less than a year old) book club with many women I haven't known long. I hope over the years we will develop great friendships too, as you have!

lila said...

Hey Vicki-Lila here! Sandra's friend....from Little Rock days!
Great to see you in the photo!

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