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19 January 2016

why female friendship is everything

We sit on her bed drinking tequila cocktails, eating cheese and not worrying about our thighs as snow blankets the tree outside her window. It's cold inside so we calmly huddle together, drawn in through conversation and the tenderness of unforced laughter. Four females, friends and new acquaintances, watching YouTube videos of other women telling their stories. Feeling the glory of being united, of a kind of sisterhood.

I recently read Lynn Enright's Mourning the loss of intense female friendships (I know, I know- late to the game). I don't know why but it really shook me. I guess because even though I know it's inevitable that someday gurl-time may be swapped for the likes of marital bliss (/monotony) and talk of mortgages, I seriously CAN'T EVER imagine not having weekends like this past one described above. I can't imagine not being surrounded constantly by ladies I love.

Maybe it's because I've never been one for long-term romantic relationships. Mostly I think it's because I've found friends I can laugh with, cry with, spoon with, drink with, dance with, and I just can't picture life without these bloody wonderful women. Without those phone calls whenever one of us is walking anywhere. Without those evenings spent under blankets, eating calorie-soaked cake, and watching Sex and the City in serene silence. Without having a code word we say whenever we're having the roughest of days, so that we can just jump right in to helping each other without the bullshit of niceties. Without our wine-stained teeth winking at the mirror while we apply copious amounts of lipstick in unison, maneuvering so we all have enough space to preen adequately. Without shaking our limbs in a circle in da club, throwing shapes you'd never in a million years show to someone you wanna shag. Without that FIERCE loyalty that eclipses everything. Without that limitless closeness of platonic girl-on-girl friendship. 

"Now, when I want to see [my friend], which I often do, I have to consult a diary, email her and arrange to meet her for brunch somewhere. And brunch is nice, of course, but I’m sad that we’re never going to shoot the breeze in our pyjamas again. " - Lynn Enright

I've felt it more this year than I ever have - that slow, drawn out parting of linked arms. Galpals of mine, who at one time or another have been the ones I've meticulously called, texted and revelled in bestfriendom with, now live hundreds (even thousands) of miles away from me. I love Leeds and I love my life here, but I miss the possibilities of popping on a bus to certain friends' houses. Christ, if I miss that already, what the hell am I gonna be like in twenty years time? When even bigger, more boring responsibilities gnaw away at friend dates. When it's probably not socially acceptable to laugh at silly boys' Tinder profiles over a glass of wine at 3pm in the afternoon. 

But then, I think of Frances and Sophie in Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha. I think of Tina and Amy. I think of Thelma and Louise. I think of motherf*cking Carrie Bradshaw, Miranda Hobbes, Charlotte York and Samantha Jones, the most badass forty-something soul sisters. 

I think of ongoing Whatsapp conversations when we're a world apart, I think of sending a message to a chica I haven't spoken to in a while and marvelling at how easy it is to strike things right back up again. I think of how my friendships with these women have formed me, and girl, bricks don't break easily. I'm the sum of every single one of these ladies because of the intense bonds we've shared. 

Relationships may come and go, but real, raw female friendship is forever -- no matter our postcodes. In 2016, I've resolved to devote a hell of a lot more time to nurturing the ones that really mean something while I've still got it to spare.

Though let's all avoid a car-crash SATC sequel style trip to Abu Dhabi, yeah? (Seriously SJP, what were you thinking?)

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