They were there all of 20 minutes before the “Days of Our Lives” rehearsals began. Take five women out of a car they’ve occupied for five-plus hours and it’s bound to happen. A disagreement spurs hurt feelings spurs not one, but two dramatic exits.
My girlfriends since second grade came to visit last weekend. It made me realize how estrogen-deprived I’ve been the past 10 years because I welcomed every crazy second of it.
If you’re envisioning cocktails flying across tables and hair extensions torn from scalps, slow it down. There were some tense moments that, sans our Oprah-training, might have gotten ugly. But no one removed shoes. Or earrings.
This was civilized sass. Shouting at someone with a pointed finger comes a little easier when you’ve done it while wearing pigtails, braces, stilettos, and, for some of us, baby bjorns.
When a group of women have known each other that long, they feel comfortable enough to embrace authenticity. That’s what they were doing when they called each other out like umpires at a baseball game, when they stormed off with folded arms, when they burst into confessional tears. They were being true girlfriends.
I miss that.
Since moving to Las Vegas 10 years ago, and becoming a journalist, my girlfriend roster has dwindled. Making friends in your 30s isn’t the eeny-meeney-miney-mo task it was in grade school.
Back then, I’d spot the girl in my class with the prettiest hair, march right up to her and ask the words most adults wouldn’t dare utter if their DVR recordings depended on it: “Can we be friends?”
Fast forward to recess and me and Pretty Hair would be hopscotchin’ it up.
It’s harder now. Not just to make friends but to keep them.
A few years back, me and two girlfriends here had something pretty good. We called ourselves Benetton, like the racially progressive fashion ads from the ’80s. I’m Latina, Arlene is Asian and Katie is white.
Anytime we got together, we looked like we should be holding hands and singing “We Are the World” or something.
Long story short, Katie moved to Colorado and Arlene went and procreated. American race relations haven’t been the same since.
Other than that, it was expected. People leave Vegas all the time. And, babymaking? Well that’s something I’ve put up with from friends since my teens.
Babies and boyfriends can split up female friendships faster than an unflattering Facebook photo. Reason being, they require time. Lots of it.
That’s what always boggles me, though. Men keep their friends when they meet their future wife. They just fold her into their social scene. That’s why women tend to adopt their boyfriends’ friends and abandon theirs.
Men also hold onto their “buddies,” “homies” or “bros” when they have a baby. In fact, before Junior even makes his first cameo in this world, his dad purchases cigars to celebrate. With who? His boys.
Bottom line: Women kinda suck when it comes to friendships. And we have no one to blame but ourselves.
It’s never too late to change, though.
Fresh off the visit from my childhood girlfriends, I did something I’ll go ahead and call brave.
I follow a woman on Twitter who lives in Boston and writes about music. Her work is insightful and fresh. Her tweets are, too. We have a lot in common, just based on our musical opinions and tastes.
Most of her tweets make me wish we were friends, as fourth grade as that sounds.
She posed a question to the Twitterverse recently. I tweeted back an answer. She replied with this: “Thank you, my thoughts exactly.”
Here’s where the bravery came into play. I typed a tweet, deleted it, then typed it again and hit send.
“P.S. I’m moving to Boston in September,” it said. “We shld be friends. Haha. No, really.”
Fast-forward 20 tweets later, and we’re planning on meeting up when I move to the city. Who knows, in a few months we could be hopscotching together in the Boston sunset.
Contact Xazmin Garza at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0477. Follow her on Twitter @startswithanx.