So I'm sure I'm not the only one who lately has been inundated with wedding invitations, new wedding albums on facebook, and nearly non-stop chatter about "We're going to Cabo on our honey moon." (To all my recently-wed sorority sisters: I'm not entirely sure how you guys managed to get through all of your honeymoons in Cabo without tripping all over the half dozen or so of your sisters who were in town honeymooning at the exact same time.) And really, there are lot of things that blow about wedding season. There's the, "OMG, I'm getting so old," thing. And the, "There really is nobody NORMAL left," thing. And there's the whole, "All of my friends have married and disappeared off of the face of the planet," thing.
But really, none of these is the worst thing about wedding season. The worst thing is seeing picture after picture of girlfriends all hanging out together, getting drunk at bachelorette parties, dancing around in penis-laden veils, and hugging each other post-ceremony in matching gowns. Why? Well, at least for me, it's because I don't really have any girlfriends.
Wait. Let me clarify. I have girlfriends. They're all just 1,000-2,500 miles away.
*ahem* But back to the story. I have no girlfriends in Portland. And I think this is a normal affliction for a lot of 20-something women. Our once-single girlfriends start coupling off and get separated from the herd (never to be seen again), the rest of our girlfriends move far, far away, or worse, we ourselves move far, far away. It's hard not having other women around whom you can talk to, giggle with, go do things with that don't involve either a lot of dinners for one OR action movies, dumb boy humor, and electronics. *cough* Not...that...I don't...love those things...Kellen... *cough*
Now, I do think the single girls have it a little easier when it comes to making new girlfriends. Whereas most nights I already have someone to eat dinner with and someone to go see movies with, most single girls don't. They do those things with other single girls. And while, yes, I know I can ditch my boyfriend a couple of nights a week to go hang out with other girls, that's not the same as the single girl relationships of yore where we all spent every waking hour together and never really had to worry about how we divided our free time. Those single girl relationships have a certain degree of intensity to them that you don't get post-singledom because, well, you're not relying solely on that person or group of people to meet your social needs. And I don't mean this as an insult to single girls at all. I think it's fantastic, and this is precisely what I miss in my life.
Even if you move to a whole new city, if you're single you'll probably be able to pick up some new girlfriends eventually. However if you're like me, and you've moved 2,500 miles to be with your boyfriend, well, then you don't meet as many girls and you don't make those really intense, bestie relationships that really seem to dry up the longer you're in your 20s and the longer you're in a couple. In fact, most of my female friends are either Kellen's friends or girlfriends of Kellen's friends, and most of them who hang out with me also hang out with Kellen and usually are flanked by their boyfriends. It's never "just the girls."
And they really are just female friends. They aren't girlfriends. They aren't the girls who told me I was gorgeous and awesome right after some douchebag had just broken my heart, who cleaned me up after a night of hard partying, who went out to dinners and movies with me, who made me laugh and made me cry and were basically the coolest people I've ever met. (And yes, you know who you are.)
I guess this is what happens when you get into a relationship where your boyfriend really does become your best friend and you really do share a family/home/life together. That kind of relationship is an all new kind of intense, and I'm really glad I found it. All the same, there's still the tug of nostalgia for the relationships I had before, with girls who live thousands of miles away, who have new lives and new adventures. Many of them are still my friends. We still talk. They're the people I will travel thousands of miles cross-country to see. But...it's not the same.
So I'm missing those female relationships and the unique friendships that come in an age when you've left your family but yet to make a new one, and so your family becomes the girls around you who make that period of your life worth remembering. And maybe with all those girls in their pictures from bachelorette parties and rehearsal dinners and receptions who are all clinging together and grinning and laughing are doing so so fiercely because they also feel nostalgic for something gone by. I know a lot of them also now lives thousands of miles apart and rarely ever see each other and spend their daily lives with their SO's, and as much as you might love him, you know that nothing will ever completely replace your super awesome wonderful fabulous girlfriends.