girlfriends

Author: angiem, 01 25th, 2009

I continually have to endure every brilliant pearl that falls from her daughter’s lips, every nuance, every sneeze.  So many women fall into this trap and end up boring everyone to death with details that parents should keep to themselves. It’s almost as if parenthood sucks up every available brain cell and like the canary, whose brain cells regenerate every year, all previous data is erased forever and all you hear is this year’s song. Kaufman/Mack–Literacy and Longing in L.A.

I love this quote. It is funny and true and also sad. Once most of us become parents we forget about that intimacy created between friends through the sharing of our thoughts, and become good listeners only when it serves our purposes.  When I make a new mommy friend, I put her through this test. I say something about my son or daughter and if she listens and asks questions I know she’s a keeper.  If, instead, she cuts in and one-ups me, I listen politely and after a few banalities exchanged, I make my exit. I’ve realized something though, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make mommy friends who still separate their individual self from their mother self.

Soon after my son was born, a group of us newly wed mothers of infants (and one newly wed but not yet mother) got together one evening a week, rotating houses, eating and talking our way into the night about everything under the sun. We avoided talking about our babies, not because there was nothing to say, but rather because there was too much, and frankly we were sick of it. We also avoided inviting our husbands (but not the subject) although we did take a bunch of trips together with them, which were entertaining in their own way.

Others were often invited, but our best times were when it was just us five girls and our wailing babies.  We learned a lot about each other and from each other.  Our feelings were real, no false cheer allowed, no false sympathy.  Disappointments, fears, desires that some of us would need an entire life to admit, were easily dispensed with, because we didn’t judge.  We were eyewitnesses to each other’s existence.  For some of us, it was the only outlet about the disillusions of life.

As the years passed a few other girls became permanent members. Kids have grown, some marriages dissolved, others have gotten stronger, but the purity of the friendships remains.  We don’t get together as often as we used to, but when we do it feels like coming home.

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6 Responses to “girlfriends”

  1. Sam Greengard Says:

    Hi Angie,

    Well written and a great topic! Unfortunately, I lost a couple of female friends several years ago because all they would talk about is their children. We all love our children but true friendship must be based on other things and I think it is so important for parents–particularly mothers–to stay engaged with people beyond their children’s universe. It’s good for them and good for everyone around them! Keep the postings coming. I always enjoy reading what you have to say!

  2. Melania Says:

    Your Right my dear,
    It does feel like coming home. Some times I think of some of our very personel conversations…. I specifically remember your “coupon book” for dates with Dani….Lol. Oh how well you kept us entertained! Thanks for being real Angie. You have gained much respect in my eyes for that virtue.
    Till our next get-together…..

  3. Bobi Says:

    Hmmm… so you did it… I have to say that I never minded the mommy talk so much, sometimes though the “babe” talking can get out of hand… hehe… I know I’ll be blasted about that one from all you ladies…
    sorry now that I see patients I guess I’ll have a little input on the geriatric population too. ;)
    Angie I love reading all your stuff and look forward to all your postings, also to our next get-together.

  4. Daniela Boata Says:

    Why bother exchanging banalities (not like I’m exempt)?

    “Say what you mean and mean what you say, ” I once read sprawled across on a sign someone hung in their shop as I walked by in the eclectic neighborhood where I once lived - Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY.

    Why not? What do you have to lose? You’re already intending to distance yourself from this person you’ve been put off by.

    One of my most valued and treasured capabilities is the power to overcome being put off.

    I’ll expand on this power, because it truly takes it, and it’s not of myself - to boast about, in a blog post (I’m working on right now actually).

  5. angiem Says:

    Good point Daniela, except that I am such a product of my upbringing, I can’t bring myself to say what I mean unless I know the person well.

    I’m looking forward to your blog. I’m sure I’ll enjoy what you have to say because I always do.

  6. Daniela Boata Says:

    Thank you Angie.

    I have noticed, appreciate and admire your politeness (your politicoasa ness lol). It is important; and a quality you certainly demonstrate to possess.

    I too, am a product of my upbringing - the one you may encounter in my recent post. I’ve become so acquainted with myself that I can’t help but feel I know persons well enough to say what I mean as a result.

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