Do you prefer boys or girls?
No, before you get all smutty, I am talking about friendships.
I was growing up thinking that girls as friends were really not worth the effort. Moody, bitchy, fickle and, well, girly. So I spent my youth amongst boys who would have fist fight instead of a hissy fit. Of course, as one of the very few girls in the group (girls who also didn’t like other girls), I had to make clear that I was ‘one of the boys’ rather than a ‘girl’ who needed looking after (or the other thing). But after a while nobody thought of us as boys X girls. We were just friends.
Fast forward to adulthood. Oh my goodness! As a girlfriend or a wife I suddenly realised that I was not meant to spend time with my male friends only! I was expected by everyone to ‘go out with my girlfriends’, go on ‘girly trips’ and do all these alien things!
Luckily I married a man who as well as being extremely understanding (I know you are reading this, M) belonged to a cricket club and a volleyball group. So I avoided the issue by joining him and the guys. Perfect solution, I thought.
Except that gradually as I grew more adult (I prefer that to the word ‘older’), instead of playing volleyball with the men, I started watching it with the ladies. Instead of going to cricket, I began cycling on Saturdays with five other women. These days I regularly meet with a girlfriend or two for coffee or a dog walk.
I guess, once the twenties and early thirties are over, even women relax a bit and the world ceases the be an endless contest for a mate. There is time to just sit and talk.
Last night my cycling girls came for a supper (my dear husband golfing somewhere that I’ve never heard of). We ate, we drank, we gossiped, we celebrated a birthday. No competition, which means no bitchiness or tension.
It was only very slightly girly but it was perfect.
Oh, and they helped me to clear up!