I've been fortunate to have had some VERY good friends in my life. I learned very early that it is not about the quantity of friends - but the quality of friends. Often, this realization results in fewer friends and more meaningful friendships.
What I'm talking about are the friends who know you're hurting. They drop what they're doing (kids in tow) and walk right through your front door (without formality), set their kids up with some Legos and a cartoon, and walk right into your room to dry your tears and talk you out of your own head.
These are the friends who are comfortable - they know they belong. You know they belong. They've probably seen you in your pajamas a number of times. They know what your house REALLY looks like. They know which cupboard you keep the Advil and they know they don't have to ask for some. When you're happy and excited, so are they. When you're down and troubled, they're worried and prayerful. There isn't this "I wonder if she's mad at me" internal conversation because you already know that they'd tell you - they value their friendship with you and no one has to wade through it with blinders. If you've got a friend (or a mother, sister, cousin, etc.) like this, count your lucky stars. It's a beautiful thing - you probably already know that.
So what's up with the snarky, nasty women out there?
There's a couple out there that I just can't seem to shake! One of them sends me the most venomous, offensive e-mails under the guise of 'constructive criticism' while I thought we were on good terms (I'd been sending uplifting screen shots of beautiful quotes and had no idea she hated my family so much - which is pretty dang scary) and the other woman was encouraging this behavior. In fact, this woman knew I'd been given this e-mail, shared it with one of my parents nonchalantly, and never bothered to call to check on my well-being or the well-being of my 14 year old daughter (who had been on using my account when the message rolled in. She saw the horrible remarks and judgement heaped at her as well.) It's so weird. This same person was extremely ill a few years ago. When I learned of her condition, I ran out and bought a beautiful Nicole Miller gift set and get-well card for her. I brought this to her house, climbed in her bed and gave her my time, attention, prayers and gift. I even let it go when she told one of my family members that I hadn't extended any concern or mailed a card. I wish it were easier to delete these two women from my life.
And that brings me to this thought. What the !$%*& is with these "types" of women!????
I guess no one ever told them.
I guess no one ever told them that being a woman is a very special thing. Women are strong, powerful, intuitive, soft, gentle, knowing. If ladies would drop the jealousy and stop being snarky, they could bind together and actually MOVE some freakin' mountains! (And no, this isn't a feminist rant --- I actually believe the feminists sold us a raw deal in the midst of the good that they DID accomplish. And that is for another post.) Women have the ability to nurture to the point of healing. I see it ALL the time. I overhear some of the conversations my daughter has with friends who have called in tears, only to hear them laughing in a mere three minutes. I've been in a group of women who rallied around a shy woman who was new to town, didn't know a soul. We sat in an Applebees restaurant and visited for hours about kids, husbands, life, clothes, etc. When we left, this newbie had three new friends of whom she's kept in contact with and this was over a year ago!
This is the stuff we are CAPABLE of. This is the stuff that feeds us. It feeds us to provide it. It feeds us to receive it. It's as simple as giving a knowing smile to the mom in the grocery store with the toddler having a tantrum instead of shooting hate rays at her through your eyes. It's letting the woman who is waiting anxiously for her chiropractic appointment go in front of you - it often turns out that she's worried she'll be late to pick up the grand-kids she's due to babysit. It's dropping off a meal with a mom undergoing chemotherapy or one who's just had a baby. It's leaving some flowers on the doorstep of a woman battling depression because you know that she's not up for answering the door and feigning hospitality.
I'm telling you, we need to be loving and nurturing other women. It's time to stop being a bitch. (Yeah, I said it. I called it what it is.) It's time to step away from the clique for just a moment and make nice to the mom at the park that doesn't know anyone. Who cares if her diaper bag isn't a Vera Bradley or her purse isn't a Brighton or Yves St. Laurent?! Her baby is probably lovely and certainly good enough to play with yours. I want to hunt down a mama in need of respite - no, not the kind that want the babysitting so they can go party or pose for Playboy. I'm talking about the Mom that would give her eye teeth for a haircut and a trip to the bathroom without her toddler. Go be a light. What you put out there is what you get in return. Call it karma, call it the bible - it is what it is.
It's time for women to come to their calling. Love your tribe and lift your sister. Seriously!
Then come on over - no doorbell or knock required.