Monday, April 11, 2005

Girlfriends Are Cool

I just spent 90 minutes on the phone with my friend, Jeanile. It was 90 spare minutes that I didn't have and couldn't afford.....90 minutes slated for work....I can accomplish a lot in 90 minutes.

But I called her, and I'm so glad. I feel much better, and so does she. My son's difficult marriage is weighing heavily on my heart, and I had to talk it through with someone other than Ron. (We've discussed it plenty. Even during an apparently important, must-watch golf tournament with Tiger Woods.)

She and I disagree on many subjects, we don't often follow each others' suggestions, we've given each other the cooler-than-cold shoulder many times. Our families have enjoyed good times together, and we've had uncomfortable times, too. We've endured more ups and downs than a proverbial roller coaster. We never fight...we interject space and tact, when appropriate. And we always come back together again. Contentedly, like returning to family.

She and I can talk deeply, intimately, caringly about family problems and burdens, especially extended family dilemmas. Problems with mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children. Problems from yesterday and today. Even decades-old family "secrets."

I am a private person with my fair share of the world's hurts. So is she. I rarely confide to anyone my innermost worries and feelings. My facade is polished, my focus compartmentalized. And my blood pressure occasionally suffers for it.

90 minutes once or twice a month on the phone with Jeanile does more for my emotional health, and hers, than all the usual stewing, yakking, worrying and stuffing of feelings. The unplanned, unscheduled time we just spent on the phone left both of us feeling healthier, lighter, ready for the week.

Through agreement and disagreement, I am grateful for her friendship. God has blessed us both.

As my teenage daughter says, girlfriends are cool.

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