This post will be wholly directed at other women. Sorry guys, but this one is just not meant for you! If you want to read it anyway then go right ahead--maybe it will offer you some insight on the opposite sex.
I have to start this post out with a disclaimer: I am not a single lady. I am married. I have been married for six years. My husband is wonderful, but this post is not about men. It's about women.
I have a lot of single friends. In fact, none of my best friends are married yet (well one is, but that's about to change). Several of my dearest friends remain single. I have lately noticed a disturbing trend among some of my single friends. These beautiful, strong women are posting statuses on facebook (and saying things on the phone) that lead me to believe they think they actually need a man.
I know what you're thinking: you're married so you don't understand! My response: Do you want some cheese with that whine? I was once a single lady, and regardless I am still a woman. As a woman I want to remind all of the other women out there that sometimes other women, even women you do not know, understand you better than any man (no matter how well meaning the man) ever will.
You think you need a man to share your life with, to hold you when the world crumbles, to protect you from your enemies. You think you need a man to take care of you when you are sick, to share your joys, to laugh with you. You think you need a man to listen to you bitch, to eat dinner with, to travel with you. You don't.
These are my best friends:
I believe we were all 18 years old in this picture. We're all 26 now. That picture was taken 8 years ago. These girls were my best friends when I was 12 years old and they'll be my best friends when I'm 80.
We have been sharing our lives with each other for more than a decade. These ladies were there long before my husband ever came into the picture, and God forbid--if there is ever a time when my husband is no longer in the picture, I know these ladies will still be there.
When a boy broke my heart into a million little pieces, these ladies were there picking up the pieces and gluing me back together. When my father died they listened to me cry and held my hand. Laura showed up at his visitation with a card and a hug. She didn't bother talking because she knew me well enough to know that I didn't need her words, just her presence. They were the first people I told when I got engaged. Emily officiated over my wedding.
When I found out I couldn't have children they came bearing wine and chocolate. They still listen to me cry over this great loss--my womb will not be home to my child. They are women. They have wombs. They understand this pain in a way that my husband will never be able to.
When Laura gave birth to Patrick her soon-to-be husband despised us all. We came anyway. He's gone now. We're still here. When Amy labored for 20+ hours and had to have a C-section to bring beautiful little Stevie into the world, we were there. We never left. We stayed all night. When Emily decided to move far away to take a job she loves, we were there. We threw her a big party and the miles aren't enough to keep her from being our best friend.
When my heart stopped beating and I almost died--they were there. When I had my first major surgery Amy and Johanna came and stayed the night. In fact, their faces were the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes. They took turns helping me get up to pee. One or all of them has been there for every subsequent surgery. They care for me when I am sick. I care for them when they are sick. My husband is here, but I know if he wasn't they would be because his presence doesn't deter their presence.
We spend holidays together. We have traditions. Amy and Laura have kids now. We're teaching those kids our traditions. Their children call me "Aunt Jenn" and when I have children my children will call them "Aunt" too. We share our lives. We know each other's joys and sorrows, tears and laughter. We are a circle of women, strong women. We love each other. We fight for each other. Sometimes we fight with each other. But we are always, always there for each other.
If you have a circle of women, you will never be alone. If you have a circle of women, you will always have love. If you have a circle of women, you will always have family. If you don't have a man--you don't need one. What you need is a circle, a circle of women.
*This is a cross-post. It is also on my personal blog.