Thursday, August 26, 2010

In praise of women

Today I come simply to give a shout out to women friends. I have lunched, had tea and emailed just four of them in the last 24 hours. This isn’t just for them though because there are so many others out there. It’s taken me years to work out that women friends are great. Maybe it’s taken me the shock of real adult life (working in a dull job, the being at home with children, the going off to study while trying to be a full time mum, the challenges of raising children, moving 6000 miles away from home) to work out just how wonderful women friends are.

I look back at my adult life and it’s sprinkled with women friends who have meant something to me: they made me understand something, made me laugh  or were just there. These friendships haven’t always lasted. I remember my relationship with one woman grew only out of the fact that our offices were next door to each other. When York was cut off by snow from Hull she took me home with her and gave me macaroni cheese and a bed for the night. I looked at her photos: I was newly married and I would be her in twelve or fifteen years.

Then there was T. I had my second dose of post-natal depression when our eyes met over a piece of bright plastic gym equipment for toddlers. She’d had PND too and was further ahead in her recovery. Then L when I first came to Bangkok….

Women friends are brilliant.

You know those internet ‘chain letter’ things that people send to say someone loves you/thinks you’re beautiful/wants to thank you? I know they’re cheesy and schmaltzy. And yes, sometimes I do open them with a smirk because if they’d been physical letters, they’d have been written on perfumed pink paper with sparkly bits. Sometimes I can’t bring myself to send them on because they are just so gushing and the uptight English woman in me struggles to say those things out loud. But I do appreciate them. I’m grateful to know that I mean something to you too.

Today though I want to shout out for women friends: permanent or temporary, physical or cyber, here or far away, in my past, present or future. I think you’re brilliant.

16 comments:

Queenie said...

I completely agree with this post. And I think you're brilliant too.

Chris Stovell said...

Here's to the women in my life who have sheltered and sustained me during times of need too. Well said.

Flowerpot said...

Hear hear! I really don't know what I'd do without the women in my life who keep me going.

Boonie S said...

I’ve always liked women….
Nice post.

Have a nice day, Boonie

BEAST said...

So are you saying all men friends are rubbish? You cut me deep.

I would just like to point out that friendships between men can be equally sophisticated, cognisant and supportive. Perfectly illustrated by the typical exchange below, demonstrating the richness, depth and mutually trusting bond between Man A and Man B.

Man A: "Alright"
Man B: "Alright"

Job done, friendship re-cemented!

DJ Kirkby said...

This is a lovely post but I want to know what's wrong with letters written on perfumed pink paper with sparkly bits? ;)

Anonymous said...

You're a fab friend and I'm glad I met you! J x

JJ Beattie said...

Thank you Queenie.

Chris, absolutely - I am toasting too.

Flowerpot, our men are lovely but we do need women friends, don't we?

Boonie, *grins*

Bea, *rolls eyes*

DJ, Lol. Nothing. Particularly not to an agent or a publisher *snerk*

Jane, *grinning* (To everyone else, J was my tea drinker mentioned in the post.)

Lane said...

Well said!

Carol said...

Couldn't agree with you more!! Can't wait to see you and J and everyone else...just over a week to go (not that I'm on countdown or anything!!). Will e-mail you this weekend...still finalising plans

C x

Queenie said...

Loving Beast's comment :-)

SpiralSkies said...

Aw, this post brought a tear to my eye... I love the ladies in my life (especially when they're not behaving like ladies!).

Talli Roland said...

Women friends are the best, aren't they?

Denise said...

Hear hear and I hope we get to meet one day.

Angie said...

Love this post. I'm glad we became cyber-friends, because you are brilliant, JJ. Cheers to girlfriends! xx

Charlotte said...

I love my women friends too, in all their gorgeous variety. Great post!