mature friend

What Is a Friend? What Is a Girlfriend?

There is a difference between friends and girlfriends. Read my musings to discover the characteristics of each.

It was a lovely summer afternoon in my beautiful Chicago. I had just left my friends, whom I get together with twice a week for lunch and cards. My life has become so positively overwhelming (in a good way) that I usually leave them after lunch. I walk the short distance home, window shopping along the way, and often drop into boutiques to ‘glance’ at what they have to offer. I am a very discriminate buyer though. It is part of the feminine mystique to ‘gather,’ right dear readers?

On that particular day, I came home empty-handed. I walked through the revolving doors of our condominium, saying “hello” to everyone in the lobby, before stopping in the mailroom to check our box. It was fortunate that I came home empty handed from the boutiques.

With arms filled full of mail, I grabbed an elevator, pressed floor 71 and like a bird, the elevator flew up to my apartment in the sky.

I hurried down the hall and put my key in the lock as I said, “Orchid! Orchid, I’m home!” As I opened the door, my leapin’ Wheaton, Orchid, excitedly jumped up to greet me with licks. I then called out, “Shelly? Shelly are you home?” He emerged from our office, “Hi Honey, how was your day?” He is my best friend, my best girlfriend.

Together the three of us walked into our den with a full view of the Chicago skyline. I swoon at the beauty of my Chicago.

Plopping down on the couch, my arms still full of mail and Orchid by my side, I noticed an invitation in the mass of bills, magazines and junk. Naturally, it was the invitation I opened before handling any of the other mail.

It was a save the date from a close girlfriend, Sue. Notice, I write girlfriend and not friend. She had invited me to a girlfriend party in January on the evening of the Golden Globes. She is a Los Angeles gal, but lives in Chicago six months of the year with her husband, a Chicagoan. We share both an address and a friendship.

Fast forward to now – January 15th. The party was last Sunday evening.

I knew I was Sue’s newest girlfriend that night and it made me happy. Having lived in various locations throughout my life, I have always been the newest friend or girlfriend on everyone’s list.

Over the past few days I have been thinking about you, dear readers, who have lifelong girlfriends. Notice again I said girlfriends and not friends. You are very fortunate. Having shared lifelong joys and sorrows with one another throughout life. You have a bond and a history. Your small group is a sisterhood and your girlfriends are your sisters. Please phone them today to tell them how grateful you are to have them in your life.

As I continued to think about the term girlfriend, I thought about my husband, a very masculine man, who I call my ‘best girlfriend.’ There is a reason I have given him this worthy title.

Because I am a writer, I enjoy delving deep into my thoughts. I probe my mind to think things through and then I try to live my answer.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FRIENDS AND GIRLFRIENDS

There is a ‘subtle’ difference between a friend and a girlfriend.

FRIEND

You email and you chatter.

You lunch and play cards.

You have dinner with spouses or significant others.

You travel to distant places.

You catch a movie and talk about your grands.

You laugh together and discuss issues ranging from family to lifestyle, feeling visible and more.

They are exterior relationships, though very necessary because they enhance our lives.

That is a friend.

GIRLFRIEND 

A girlfriend is your sister. We all have those few special bonds.

You ‘choose’ one other.

You keep and share secrets.

You forgive each other.

You are loyal.

You tell each other what you ‘really’ think.

You help one another when in need.

You aren’t jealous.

You share all of your sources.

You listen and do not judge.

You are soulmates.

You wish one another well.

You get each other, protect each other, respect each other and love each other.

A girlfriend is a substantial marriage without a license.

That is a girlfriend.

I want to pass along one final message. If you have moved or plan on moving away, leaving your girlfriends behind is very hard.

Please do not despair. Look forward to making new friends. Be selective and ‘choose’ with care those you want to spend the next several years surrounded by. These friends can turn into girlfriends and you will need them as much as they will need you. We all need sisters.

Susan “Honey” Good is the founder of HoneyGood.com where this blog originally appeared. The site is a collection of lessons learned, life advice and insights from not only her, but from a fantastic group of contributing writers, each adding their own spice to the recipe. Honey Good.com representing “a family tree of women” — wives, mothers, daughters, granddaughters, mothers-in-law, daughters-in-law, sisters, aunts, cousins and girlfriends — coming together to talk about what makes them tick as well as what they have in common. Honey Good discusses life experiences with wisdom, humor and intellect, enabling all to attain a “Honey Good Style of Life.”