We were young girls with shiny dark hair and clear skin and who wore trendy outfits when we met up on Friday nights at places that specialized in martinis and cocktails served in mason jars garnished with fresh mint.
We would sit and judge people who were easy to judge if only because they weren’t there, while ignoring aspects of those people that made them undeserving of our judgment for reasons they had disclosed which we did not feel were important to the story we were telling; that story was, we are perfect. We are the girls we always wanted to be: ahead of the fashion game, young working professionals, a magnet for all kinds of undesirable men that we could tell off and laugh about after the fact. We talked extensively about men actually – good ones and bad ones, about our pasts, about our pets, about our future plans. We talked openly. We trusted each other enough to do so. We were candid with secret, personal intimate details of our lives. We talked about the things we loved – most of which, I loved more than you did. We were constantly in the honeymoon phase of friendship and we never questioned or second-guessed anything we shared, regardless of whether or not we were wrong. Even if and when I did question these things, I remembered something a friend, with whom I had a very inconsistent relationship with in my childhood, had sent to me once in an email forward; the exact wording to me now has faded, but essentially the message was clear: sometimes people you love will hurt you but they too, are capable of making mistakes, and it is important to love them no matter what. I don’t know why this trite bit of pop-advice stuck with me for so long. But it did. There is wisdom in simplicity sometimes.
We did what young girls do and our friendship was typical of young women, even though we constantly swore this wasn’t true. We were the same as everyone else. We were not special. We were not magical. Friendship is not magical. Friendship is circumstantial or symbiotic or necessary or coincidental. Friendship comes and goes. Friendship does not last forever, except in passing. Friendship is like two people across the street from each other hanging laundry at the same time to try in the sun. It is nothing more. Friendship’s endings do not negate good memories or steal away meaningful things. They just negate harsh judgment, time spent wishing you could disappear but feeling you cannot, because you remember what you got as an email forward from someone you loved who was consistently mean to you when you were a kid, who led you into making the biggest mistake of your life and changing the course of your future so that you became the ‘other’ girl, the one that is judged by pretty girls with shiny hair who wore trendy outfits and met up on Friday nights at places that specialized in martinis and cocktails served in mason jars garnished with fresh mint.