"I don’t really have female friends. All of my friends are dudes ‘cuz girls are jealous of me."
If I had a dollar for every time I heard those words, I could buy myself that little black dress I’ve been eyeing. Actually, I’m gonna buy myself that dress anyway but I’ve heard similar sentiments to the one above from young women since high school. Those same words now make me even more thankful for my girlfriends.
At 31, I realize that the friendships I have with my female friends is quite special and unique. I don’t think I’ve felt more confident about this than I did last weekend at my friend Monique’s wedding. Not only was I extremely happy because one of my close friends has found a man who is on the same level as her mentally, professionally and is fun as heck - but the entire weekend, I was reminded of how dope my girlfriends are. They are doctors, editors, principals, paralegals, army captains, manicurists, stylists, publicists, AIDS prevention trainers, biology researchers and fashion merchandisers. They range in complexions from the deepest mocha to the lightest café latte. Wear their hair in locks, low-cut naturals, twists, doobies or weaves. Drive Lexus trucks (Yeah Tamara!) or take public transportation. Own brownstones (Yeah Nik!), co-ops, condos, townhouses and rent small, cramped apartments. Sizes range from 2 to 22. (Ok, not quite but you get my point.) Some of us are struggling, living check to check but trying to get our finances straight while others could give Suze Orman a run for her money with their knowledge of mutual funds. Some of us are totally, head over heels in love like the newly wedded Monique while others have been single for over a year like yours truly. My very best friend is married and has two small children. She rarely even comes into the city because she’s busy in Long Island helping with homework, attending Girl Scout meetings, driving to soccer practice and the like. She couldn’t care any less about most of the ‘industry’ events I often attend for work. Somehow, we have remained friends since childhood and other than my mother and brother, she knows me better than anyone. Despite all these differences, my friends and I love each other and support one other in all that we do. Although I’ve yet to meet my soul mate (or perhaps I have and don’t realize it) I couldn’t be happier for Mo. She and her husband are a blessing to be around because I can feel how much he loves her. It’s the little things he does when he doesn’t even think anyone is looking. I constantly tell Mo that she finding her husband is one for the home team! Last weekend, we were all chipping in when and how we could to ensure that Monique’s big day was all that it could be. And then we partied like rock stars at the reception. Good times indeed.
Yeah, yeah, yeah - I know this might sound like one big love fest. Of course, we have disagreements and downright get on each others nerves at times. But that’s human nature, it happens in relationships with the opposite sex as well. Plus, our lives are all so hectic now that we don’t get to hang out as much as we’d like to. But when we do get together, it’s like no time has passed. That’s what true friendship is about. And it’s very possible to achieve among females.
So, what do I have to say to those who still claim that females just hate on them too much and that they feel more comfortable around their male friends? Shame on you. Don’t get me wrong, I most certainly value my friendships with my male amigos as well. I have a very special place in my heart for them in fact. Honestly, there are times when I just want to be around testosterone - and not necessarily in a sexual way. But I don’t need my male friends to validate me. Sorry, my father did that long ago. And now I do it for myself. Trust, I love my boys for real but not to have any solid girlfriends… I just can’t imagine. Jealously and envy have no place in a ‘true’ friendship anyway. It’s so nice to know that I am surrounded by people who are secure enough in themselves not to trip over things like, ‘Oh she think she cute cuz she got a man now’ or ‘She thinks she’s better than me because she’s light-skinned’ How exhausting that must be! At this point in my life, I certainly don’t need any more friends. My Space can keep that - I’m good. But I’m so glad that I have some really, really good folks of both sexes to help me get through this complicated journey called life. And I hope they feel the same about me.