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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Do you have your Golden Girls?



As I was lounging on the dock by the lake this Saturday with a group of some of my dearest girlfriends, I was struck with how lucky I am.  I place my girlfriends high on my list of important people in my life, and they do the same with me.  One of my best friends and I often joke that if we ever find ourselves in the unfortunate circumstance of outliving our husbands we will move in together into our Golden Girl compound.  We actually were talking about this one night in front of a group of our other friends and immediately we had people who wanted a spot in our compound.  We laughed that night, but I think we both know we are dead serious.

This past Friday when reminding my husband I was going to the lake for twenty-four hours to celebrate my friend’s fortieth birthday, I was reminded of the Golden Girl conversation as my husband’s eyes got big, and he asked incredulously why going away to celebrate my friend’s birthday was necessary.  It’s not that my husband doesn’t like my friend, in fact, he adores her.  It was more the fact that he was panicking about the thought of having to entertain, feed, watch and tote my kids around all by himself.  My kids both play baseball and the day was going to be packed for my husband. 

I felt a twinge of guilt about leaving, but then I decided to squelch the guilt.  This friend is one of My Golden Girls. She’s a friend who will always be there for me no matter what.  Later that day at the lake, I got a text from a friend who said my hubbie was crumbling under the pressure of our children’s sports schedules.  In fact, my youngest son missed his team baseball pictures because hubbie didn’t follow the schedule I wrote down for him.  Men!

Once again, I questioned my decision to go to the lake, but once again my inner voice told me I had made the right choice. Not only did my husband get the benefit of seeing just how much I do and just how hard scheduling two boys lives can be while running his own life, my friend wanted me there to celebrate with her, and I wanted to be there to celebrate her.  So, I texted my husband, made peace, and sat back to enjoy the rest of my day and night.

As the sun beat down on me, my mind started to turn and I realized my dearest friends are like family to me.  I don’t think everyone is lucky enough to have friends like this, so I feel especially blessed to know women I can call any time of the day or night and ask for their help, people who will keep my secrets as their own, count my losses as their losses, and celebrate my triumphs as their accomplishments.  These people will be sitting beside me, all of us silver-haired old ladies, cackling away at what a hoot we all are!  How blessed I am to have such Golden Girls!

Do you have friends you consider to be Golden Girls?  If so, what is the most important quality you think a friend needs to have?

Have a wonderful day!
Julie Johnstone
The Marchioness of Mayhem    

46 comments:

  1. Yes, Yes! My girlfriends are incredibly important to me. I need them! They know how to listen without needing to fix. They understand that even though I might have a bad moment, I'm not really a bad person. They tell me what not to wear! :-) They offer support, encouragement, and martinis!

    I love my girls and my life is easier knowing they love me.

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  2. Julie,
    It's beautiful that you have your Golden Girls. What a great blog.

    I have a group of girlfriends from elementary school. We don't get to see each other like we used to because we've moved to different parts of the country, but one of our friends is a great planner and has started planning yearly trips for us. This year will be the second and my first to attend. I can't wait!

    Then I have my social work sisters. We are very close. They've been behind me 100% in my writing, cheered me up when things haven't gone great, and celebrated the victories.

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    1. Samantha,
      That's so great that you are getting to go on your "friend" trip this year!

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  3. Julie ~ What a sweet post. Before I answer your question, I want to bring something to your attention. You refer to your sons as "My boys" not "Our boys". But they do belong to both of you. So you should have the ability to do things for yourself from time to time, just like he does. You're both parents, not just you. :)

    OK, getting off my soapbox. ;) I have been very fortunate to have wonderful friends, some longer than others; and not all of them nearby. But with the upheaval of my life a few years ago, I would have been completely lost without my friends. They made sure I got through the the most trying time of my life; and if I live to be a hundred, I won't ever be able to repay them.

    Most important qualities for me in friends - someone who is genuine, honest and possesses a wicked sense of humor.

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    1. LOL. Freudian slip! Honesty and genuineness are most important to me as well. I can't stand to have known someone for years but not really know them! Do you know what I mean?

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    2. I absolutely know what you mean! I know several people like that and certainly don't consider them friends. ;)

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    3. I think that's so funny that you pointed that out, Ava! I have had people comment before, when I waffle about going out somewhere and leaving the boys with my hubby all day- "It's not baby-sitting, because HE'S THE DAD!" Lol....

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    4. LOL on the "baby-sitting". I think I told y'all about the time not long ago when I had our daughter at Walmart getting all this stuff for school & our son called from a friend's house to say he needed a ride home. I called DH at home to ask him to get our son and he said, "But I'm sitting in the hot tub." Are you kidding me??? He did go get him, which is the reason our hot tub was not the scene of a crime that night. :D

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    5. The first time I traveled to England, my eldest was in elementary school and the youngest was in pre school. When I got back, none of the teachers asked me how the trip was, they all just went on and on about how great it was that my dh 'let' me go. Ugh. Drove me nuts.

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  4. Julie

    It is great to have friends like that. I have a few that I can call no matter what. I lost my very best friend (from birth practically) when I was 21 and have felt that loss ever sense. I still get thoughts of "what would Deb think". But, I am still lucky enough to have a circle that will be with me for years.

    The most important quality for me, is someone who will take you as you are with no judgment and love you just the same.

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    1. Oh, yes! It's important that your friends are not judgmental or they aren't really true friends, are they.

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  5. Hi Julie, what a great post! Facebook has been wonderful in helping to keep my Golden Girls group of friends (since high school) together. We all live in different parts of the country and have children, husbands, and jobs to juggle--but we connect every day. It's so important!

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    1. Facebook has been great for me to. It helps me keep up with two of my best friends who live about four hours from me.

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  6. Deb,
    Slapping forward! I forgot to mention the importance of having a group of gals who will share a martin or Cosmo with me!

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    1. Forehead! Apparently, I'm spelling challenged today!

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  7. Great post. I even had the Golden Girls theme song in my head.

    A couple of years ago my friend and I mad a pact that we would live near each other when we got older. We had decided on Tennessee at the time, because she liked it and I love living in the south. Then she told me it snowed there. (She knows how much I hate snow). So we have decided to change location to Bama, Louisiana or some place else in the south. Trying to convince my husband to move back to the south for this all to workout in the long run.

    I think a pretty important quality is loyalty. That's something I try to aim for so I would like in a friend. A good listener, when you need someone to talk to. Somebody to lean on your in trouble.

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    1. I had the Golden Girl theme song in my head all night! The crazy thing is my husband and I both know all the words to the song!

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    2. How did I forget loyalty, Melody?!?! That is definitely a have to have quality in friends.

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    3. While I was typing the last part Lean On me popped in my head. I really like loyalty

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  8. For some reason, instead of the Golden Girls theme, I've got the Facts of Life theme. Same sort of group, though. I would imagine they'll be Golden Girls for one another some day.

    Yes, I've got mine. One of them, though, has even decided that, should she pass before her time, I'm to marry her husband. Someone, after all, will have to be there for her girls, and now her grandkids, and she thinks there's no one better than me.

    Qualities I require are the ability to both laugh and cry with me, and to give me a mental smack in the face when needed.

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    1. LOL, Catherine. No friends better give me a mental smack in the head or I'll smack 'em right back. ;) That is interesting about your friend lining you up to take over her family should anything happen to her. Should I be afraid to ask what her husband thinks about the plan?

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    2. Catherine,
      That's hilarious that your friend has lined you up to marry her husband!

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    3. Okay, this is the third time I've tried to reply to your comment and blogger is not cooperating with me. I love that a friend of yours has lined you up to marry her husband. How funny!

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    4. LOL, any time she mentions it, he and I both kind of laugh it off. I mean, yeah, we want what's best for the girls...but I don't know about all of that. I mean, they're growing up so fast. One is married and a mother, herself. Another is engaged. The youngest is in high school... If I were to marry her hubby, it wouldn't be long before it was just me and him. While he's a great guy, I think we'd kill each other before long. LOL.

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    5. Seriously - sounds like a book. (Or the movie Howard's End. LMAO) You should totally write it.. the book, not Howard's End.

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    6. That is to funny Catherine. I don't know if I could do that. I have friends that joke around about being sister wives

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    7. LOL, Ava. I'd never thought about writing it, but now you've given me some ideas. And Melody, I'm with you. I don't know if I could do it...I hope we don't have to find out! She needs to be my Golden Girl!

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    8. Lol. We will pray for her to have a long life.

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    9. My bff and I have a pact that if one of us dies, we'll get in the house before family arrives to remove any embarassing stuff. LOL. (Neither of asked each other what that might be.)

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  9. Julie, I loved the article! The most important quality for me is a friend who will listen in my times of crisis and celebrate my victories. I also love a friend that gives good, honest feedback,

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    1. Kat,
      I'm right there with you! Especially on the good, honest feedback!

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  10. Ugh this is sensitive subject to me because when I was a pregnant teen and faced with responsibility suddenly, I lost most of my friends because I couldn't do the social thing anymore. By the time I turned 18 and my girlfriends were graduating, I had already missed so much, prom, graduation, football nights and having a full time job at that point took most of my time up. I married by the time I was twenty and they went to college.

    We lost touch after that and I only recently caught up to a few of them on FB. But things have changed so drastically now, we've all taken different roads and I'm not sure I know them anymore.

    Married life took over and I never really got the chance to find anyone else to get close to again. I know my situation is odd and unique but it makes it super special to have this crit group for me. I can honestly say that the ladies in this crit group are my closest friends. I really envy you of those relationships Julie. You're very lucky and I hope you guys continue to make each other a priority.

    I also think honesty and someone who will listen to me are my top priority for friendship. I should probably add the ability to laugh because there are times when you just need to be silly--or at least I do. Life is too short to be so serious all the time. Great post, Julie! And I am so glad you decided to go. It did you some you some good, as well as your hubby.

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  11. Well I typed out this really long post about how I lost all my friends when I was a teen due to having to grow up fast but blogger ate it. So I'll just say this that I am very envious of you and your girlfriends, Julie. While my friends were going to prom, football games and graduation, I was working two jobs and raising a two year old. It was too difficult to try to keep up with my friends when I could barely take care of myself and we lost touch.

    I haven't found anyone yet, to take their place until I met you ladies in the crit group. It's nice to have someone to share with everyday. It's been so long since I've had that. So enjoy your girlfriends and never feel guilty for it because you're very lucky to have kept them all these years. I'm glad you got the chance to go this weekend and glad you had so much fun! Enjoy it and never, ever feel guilty for it.

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  12. Suzie,
    You do have good girlfriends-us! We need to get together this summer! None of my girlfriends I was talking about in this article are from my high school years. In face I met all of my best friends after I had graduated from college. That's not to say I didn't make great friends in college, but for me, the closest people in my life are people I have met in the last eighteen years.

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    1. Stupid blogger lol. And now my post shows up twice. Sorry about that lol. That's excellent Julie. We've moved so much in the last twenty years I haven't had the chance to get to know anyone well enough yet. I have to amend that though, I have two really close work friends from my previous employment and one of them was my boss. She's great. And I hope to keep touch with her even though I've moved away. So here's to making friends a priority.

      I had a blast when I went to Raleigh last year so we'll definitely have to all get together again. I can't wait to get to meet the rest of you in person. It'll be so much fun.

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  13. For years I never had any real girlfriends (I tended to spend ALL my time with my wonderful hubby), but when I became a writer, I was blessed to find many! Also, my sister has been and always will be my biggest Golden Girl friend - who else would do cartwheels at Stone Henge with me??

    Lovely post, Julie, and I am so glad that you have your wonderful friends :)

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    1. Cartwheels at Stone Henge! That's a story I want to hear.

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    2. Blooger is really irking me today. Second try reply. You must tell me about acrobats at Stone Henge.

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  14. Note from a Golden Girl!

    Just thought I'd pass on a little advice since I AM a "golden girl". Fortunately my best friend and I married "younger men" but we also now live miles apart.

    I'm in Rhode Island and she is in South Carolina so "visits" are by phone or computer and even though we plan on getting together life has a habit of getting in the way.

    Take the time now to enjoy your friends because unfortunately too many friends don't have a chance to make it to the golden years. Believe it or not your spouse and children can survive for short period of time without you. Note: Teenage sons can be taught to cook and do laundry! Just remind them that someday they will have a part with their buddies and someone better know how to cook or they won't be eating. (Husbands can also be taught to cook and wash dishes as well.)

    Be sure to take time for yourself to walk, exercise, visit a museum or just read a book. Friends are wonderful and keep them close but sometimes take some quiet time to reflect and relax.

    Remember to keep in shape and tax care of your health and well being but at the same time get to know and like yourself. Your going to be around for a long time and some of that time you may be spending alone so be sure that your best "friend" is yourself.

    Now go out with your girlfriends. Leave the worries at home and have fun. You'll be even more appreciated when you get home!

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    1. Great advice, Jeanne! And I do completely treasure my alone time, though it is rare these days!

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  15. Great post, Julie... and a great point. Family is important, but so are your friends. My friends save my sanity! I adore my boys, but being a stay at home mom can getting a little suffocating. I can go for days without talking to anyone over the age of 6, but my hubby or the grocery store bagger! So, having "girl time" is super important to me.
    Sadly, my very best friend lives in Berkley CA, and I live in NC. We've seen each other a handful of times int he last 6 years, and only talk about once a month. But, when we do talk or visit, we pick up right where we left off. I can only hope we get to live closer in our "old age"!
    And, like Erin, I am so lucky to have met an awesome group of writers since I started writing about 1 1/2 years ago. They make me laugh, commiserate, and give me a kick in the butt when I need one. :)

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    1. Olivia,

      Maybe you and your girlfriend can plan a get together this summer!

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  16. Oh, Julie, I love the GGs!

    I think one of the best things about my friends is that they are all so different from one another. I have one friend that I can call anytime, anyplace and I know she'd bail me out of jail. ;) I have another that I can spend HOURS talking about ANYTHING and NOTHING, which I love. Another I know will always have the best and funniest things to say about people.

    Hopefully, I will continue to grow old with these ladies and be one of the grey haired grannies causing problems in the old folks' home.

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  17. Marquita,

    I can just see you gray haired, hobbling, and stirring up trouble!

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  18. Cute post, Julie! I have two "sisters from another mister" that would follow me anywhere and vice versa. Much to the chagrin of both my husband and theirs.

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  19. Andris,

    I wonder if husbands are jealous because men just don't seem to be as close to other men. Hmm...something to ponder.

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