Adventures in female friendship
When Laurie and I walked along Warren Street yesterday, everyone wished us "Happy Mother's Day." Our mothers both died some years ago now, but this was the first time I heard so many offer us this wish. I miss my mother and I miss old friends who left me or I left them. I think this was an appropriate day for this particular post.
Please write more on female friendship! Thanks for such a truthful, raw, honest narrative.
Fantastic essay. I'm a new subscriber/reader and you articulated here my own deep, secret thoughts and fears, as well as my occasional eff-it shrug, regarding my perceived repeated female-friendship failures. You helped me with the insights and also with the company, thank you. ❣️
I was the first female boxer in Manitoba in 1991. After 2 years training in Paris (supported by a Canada Council for the Arts Grant to research women in contact sports and eroticism), I became more fascinated with the different types of feelings and relationships (for lack of another word to define the chemistry) I was having with other women around me. The women I would spar with, the women I would talk to, the women that were good enough to train us. When I returned home to Winnipeg, I made art for the next 10 years, attempting to explore the undefined sensations I had with the women I was with in France. At that time, in the early 90s there were a number of very feminist lesbian performance artists that became Internationally know that did not take kindly that as a heterosexual woman, I was flirting with ideas around other women, that were not lesbian guided per say, but titilating nonetheless. I was considered a "bad feminist".
Thank god someone (okay, you) finally wrote something interesting, recognizable and true about female friendship. Just typing those two words gives me chills. Loved the Heti. Now someone (you? me?) needs to be the Annie Ernaux of same.
I’ve always had complicated relationships with women and few close friendships, yet surprising moments of closeness when it feels almost like we’re in complete sympathy, then we (or I) back away as if singed by flame. I enjoyed your honesty in this piece.
I love this. Thank you. I forgot about the Heti, some people destined to live their lives with their clothes off. Hahahaha- yep.
I'm 67 and that's just digits reversed. I also feel that I'm every age I ever was with the advantage of being able to look back. And your story about Pam & Julie not wanting you to help was eerily familiar to me. Sometimes I feel I can still be a friend and it's okay to feel hurt at the same time.
This was good read and at times uncomfortable. With some people I never want to get too close, but I still want to be a friend. I never know how close is close enough or too close.
Thank you for your writing.
Where to start? A good place was Upgrading to Paid, because, dentist aside, it's my 71st birthday, and it's under forty bucks, special today, for Mothers, of which I am only to plants. (But I had a mother.) I am celebrating today with my Significant, because I am totally in the land of the Fleeing Female Friendships. (Holy cow, you nailed it. I'll leave it at that.) My male buddy, who always comes through, texted me at 4:40 this morning from some medievalist confab in Michigan; we'll do a rain check. My sister and I had already planned ahead on the raincheck deal.
And now I disappear into the land of my beloveds, my embarrassment of riches, my many, many gardens. I am blessed as anyone who merely achieves 70 is blessed, and I have so much more!
For me, female friendship can be difficult, but if we are willing to be open and supportive of each other, it becomes a source of growth and introspection. I have had two such experiences in my life. Great article!
Much to reflect on. Thank you for this piece!