By Cherimie Crane Weatherford
It is found in preschools, gym classes, dance lessons, bathroom stalls and occasionally in that hour where the whole world seems to have gone blindingly dark; a sympathetic glance, a shared tissue, a gentle hand that silently screams, I am here and we can handle it. It is female friendship, the foundation of most anything memorable and necessary for anything manageable. Such a sacred, sweet and fierce bond is formed in that one moment where one woman sees herself in another. When the competition fades, the jealously subsides, and the learned habit of judgment sheds its cloak and the true feminine mystique reigns.
Few women can recall momentous events that aren’t shaded by the colors of their closest friends. Notorious as our gender may be for devouring our own, every woman has at least two females who would readily walk through fire at first summons. It isn’t always family, it isn’t always the most likely of pairings, but it is always certain, safe, and without condition. There is no sweeter bond, no more protective barrier, and no more guaranteed source of havoc than a best friend.
She will love you, hate you, envy you but always stand by you. She will borrow your favorite dress, lose your favorite purse, and never fail to say the absolute worst thing at the absolute worst time. She will hand you water when you have had too much wine. She will had you wine when you have had too much life. Her problems become your problems, her victories your triumph, your shoes her possession. She will be the reason you smile, the reason you cry and the reason you need substantial bail money.
Anytime three women are spotted it is quite simple for any experienced observer to identify the most obvious of personalities required to create such a trio. There is usually one who occasionally finds Jesus and loses her sense of humor, one who loses her religion and finds Earl, and one who is too busy finding the other two to lose much of anything but sleep. Thus is the making of soul mates and a life time of shared secrets, shared success and shared shoes.
Just as a cartoon with a devil and an angel perched on ones shoulders so is life with two closets friends. The devil is far more fun, but much more likely to land you in prison while the angel is grounded, responsible and reminds you to act your age. It takes a village to raise a woman, and it takes two best friends to keep her standing tall.
If I ever manage to sit still for longer than 47 minutes at a time, there will be a book, a novel, a horror story intertwined with comedic chaos and the purest exposure of human nature as one can experience. It will be the highlights and late nights of my life with my two closest friends. An honest account of what it means to live in one body with three heads, three mouths, and only four ears. Friendship seasoned with shouldn’t haves, couldn’t haves, and wouldn’t have any other way.
My cup runneth over with the sisterhood of two amazing women. One I know will forever enrich my life with late night phone calls, missing cars, and shenanigans that make me laugh until I cry, and one, who with a moment’s notice, morphs into an army of one standing ready in my defense.
The real feminine mystique resides in the power of sisterhood, the ability to love that which you are, that which you are not, and accept that your favorite shoes will always be missing.
By Cherimie Crane Weatherford