Monday, 5 September 2016

Why your girlfriends are the best kind of friends

I just came back from a hen do and was having a polite conversation about it with a colleague in the kitchen (you know: ‘How was your weekend?’ ‘Good…not long enough! You?’ and so on). When I mentioned I was on a hen do she screwed up her face and said,
‘Ugh, yeah, I dread those…I just get on so much better with men, you know?’


No. I don’t know. But I do know that this seems to be the cool thing to say these days. As if saying you don’t like hanging out with girls even though you are a girl makes you one of the lads – yeah, you’re basically Zoe Ball, you are, downing pints and playing pool surrounded by blokes, looking amazing even though you're just in denim jeans and a band t shirt - you’re so down to earth, you, and they’re all your mates but they're also all secretly in love with you because you’re just so awesome and attractive. What a narrative to tell yourself.


I've noticed this more and more recently, and I truly hate it.  Saying you like hanging out with your girlfriends has somehow become akin to saying you like spending the weekends falling out of a limousine in five layers of fake tan and six pairs of false eyelashes, screeching about prosecco and singing Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ while you grab at passing men desperately with your overly manicured stiletto hot pink nails. I mean, maybe you do like doing those things. But to be honest, if that’s what your girls’ nights out are like and you don’t enjoy them, that isn’t because you don’t like girls, it’s because you don’t like your friends.

‘Girls are bitchy,’ people say blithely, as if everybody isn’t bitchy, and as if they themselves are the archangel Gabriel, never having sat in a pub and grumbled about how Maria never pays her share of the service charge when you agreed to split the bill. Everyone is bitchy, some bitchier than others. Some grown men are the worst bitches I know. If you don’t like it, then when someone says ‘God, have you seen Diana's new hair? Is it meant to be green? What was she thinking?’ Just say mildly ‘Oh, I don’t know, I quite like it.’ Keep this up for long enough and everyone will think you’re a bit pious, but they’ll also stop bitching to you. If you can’t manage this, it’s because you’re a bitch too, so accept it and stop blaming all other women for your own existential faults.

‘Girls talk behind your back.’ Okay. So what? I mean, I went to an all girl’s school, and I had severe acne, and nobody ever, ever bullied me about it. They probably did say mean things behind my back. But I’m not sure how it would’ve been better for my fragile 13-year-old-ego if they called me ‘pepperoni pizza party’ to my face. Girls know ignorance is bliss. Slagging you off behind your back might be a bit two-faced, but it’s better than shouting ‘FATTY! FATTY! WHO ATE ALL THE PIES?’ and playing a fake trombone behind you as you walk down the corridors before punching you in the arm and calling it ‘banter.’ 

Far from the vision of squawking, overly made up girlfriends, like a parody of Boots's hideous ‘Here come the girls’ advert, my girlfriends are cool, funny, generous, intelligent. We sit in pub gardens and sometimes we drink cider and sometimes we drink white wine and sure, sometimes we might discuss the girl who went to our school and now has 4 kids by 4 different dads, but we also discuss current events, and music, and books, and everything else in between. My girlfriends have got blind drunk with me when I was heartbroken, and curtailed their night out to take me home when I overdid it and cried on the dancefloor at our awful local nightclub. They’ve told me bluntly that a white fluffy jacket makes me look more Puff Daddy than Kate Hudson in Almost Famous. They’ve gone to McDonald’s with me at 10am and not even blinked when I ordered two McDonald’s breakfast meals and an extra hash brown. They've accompanied me to gigs to see bands they've never heard of when nobody else wanted to go, and stood in the rain watching Bob Dylan sing all his songs to the wrong tune and not complained once. They've bought me thoughtful, personal gifts on my birthdays. They’ve made me laugh until Diet Coke came out of my nose. 

None of my best friends have ever hit on or flirted with a guy I said I liked, or bought a top I wanted that didn't fit, or make disparaging comments about how much I earned or how much I weighed. Far from bringing me down, they are my buoyancy aid - they are where I have turned in life when things are rubbish, for someone to say 'Oh, snap out of it, you silly cow,' and order me a Domino's. They are the people I have dragged out to bars just so I can talk to some bloke I like, AND they have quietly disappeared into the background when it looked like we might snog. How do you even do those things without your girlfriends? Why would you ever want to?

Girls don’t only talk about periods, boys and clothes, but you can say something to them conversationally like ‘Do you ever find you get really bad dioherrea when you first come on?’ and they won’t look at you like they’ve just done a little sick in their mouths. They are like you, whether you like it or not - they have worries and joys and fears that men, bless them, could not understand.  My Whatsapp group with my best friends is one of my little joys in life – a never ending conversation of in jokes and TV quotes and stupid things we’ve seen on Buzzfeed. Pretty similar, I would imagine, to the Whatsapp group my husband has with his mates. In the same way that men don’t constantly just rate women out of 10 and down pints, women are diverse, exciting, different. It annoys me that we go out of our way to disown each other so quickly. If you are a girl and you don't have that level of female friendship I think you are really, truly missing out. 

So here come the girls. And I, quite frankly, would not swap them for all the world.
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4 comments

  1. Lovely post, such a great read :) and i totally agree!

    HER FASTEST FASHION

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  2. Great post! I love my friends, we're a true support group!

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  3. Love this! I completely agree. I have loads of guy friends but wouldn't swap them for my girlfriends, like you say always there even in your worse most pathetic or disgusting moments lol
    Lauren
    livinginaboxx | bloglovin

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  4. I love this post, so heartwarming! x

    http://www.aimeroseblog.com

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