Part of growing up is expanding your heart and your circle of friends along with it. Like any good team, a girlfriend gang evolves because each woman brings a unique perspective or strength to the franchise. In that spirit, we think there are five chicks that every woman needs in her court. You can get by with fewer if they can multitask.
1. The "I've Seen You with Braces and Bell-Bottoms" Friend
This is the one who knows where you live. Not only literally, but also that figurative place where it all began. You bonded over jumping rope, passing notes and gushing over teen idols. She knows your family, she knows how you crashed your first car into a pole the day after your sixteenth birthday, and she didn't laugh when you wore a 32 AAA bra. Your friendship is based on the deep roots that come from knowing each other through all the big and little events that propel us into adulthood. She understands where you are coming from and helps you get where you want to go.
2. The Biological Buddy
This is the friend who mirrors your family status. If you have children, so does she, and hopefully her kids are close enough in age to yours that you can bemoan the dilemmas of potty training or car seats together. You listen patiently to her stories about junior, nod in the right places, and then it's your turn. You swoop in in a crunch to baby-sit or pick the kids up from school and vice versa. It's a beautiful thing. On the flip side, this friend may be the one among your group who, like you, doesn't have children. Together you celebrate your freewheeling status at fancy restaurants where you couldn't find a high chair to save your life. You go to museum openings, see movies with subtitles and indulge in marathon shopping excursions. Don't call me before 9am? No worries about getting any guff; she too is still asleep.
3. Your Own Personal Martha Stewart
She knows everything from how to get candle wax off your cat's ear to what color shoes to wear with a celadon silk suit. Need a recipe for champagne punch? She'll fax over five of them and would make the champagne if she needed to. Roof leaking? She's there with some shingles and tar that she happened to have in the workshop. She has every tool, every recipe and every magazine article cross-referenced and indexed, and she's as resourceful as the FBI, the CIA and Interpol combined. She is irreplaceable.
4. Your Sister-in-a-Suit
She knows how much your salary is and was instrumental in getting it there by counseling you before your last big performance review.
5. Wild Woman
You've always been curious about male strip clubs but never had the nerve to ask any of your usual friends to go to one. Bingo -- wild woman is your ticket; she's probably done something crazy such as work in one in the past. Nothing will shock her, and the word judgment (for better or worse) is not in her vocabulary. You can tell her anything. No matter how serious or benign, she takes it in stride on her way to the next adventure. When you're with her, hang on tight and never use your real name.
How tokeep your friendships
From "It's a Chick Thing" Copyright (c) 2000, by Ame Mahler Beanland and Emily Mile Terry, published by Conari Press. Reprinted by permission of Conari Press.