I’ve often been called a “guy’s gal.” This is usually – I think– meant as a compliment. There are some stereotypical masculine pursuits that I do enjoy and which often lead me to rattling around in the boys’ club house. For example, I LOVE football. I’ve followed the Dolphins since 1972 and, as many of you know, I am a “somewhat” crazed FSU fan – GO NOLES! I can fish, tell jokes (yes, especially dirty ones), and have been known to go shot for shot with the gentlemen at the bar. I have yet to reach “broad” status, but I’m working on it. Call me a broad-in-waiting.
However, as I sit here in my comfy perch up in the middle-aged cheap seats, my older, wee bit wiser [read: subject for debate], self knows that it’s my gal pals who I dearly appreciate and cherish. Please don’t get me wrong: I do like the boys, I truly do. Nevertheless, it’s my gal pals who I have come to love with all my heart and soul.
Next week, on August 1, we’ll celebrate National Girlfriends Day. This day to celebrate all your gal pals has me thinking about our relationships with each other. It’s a travesty the way female relationships are often portrayed on reality TV. I personally boycott any show where a woman stabs another woman in the back … or throws a punch! My fear is that a whole generation of younger women who watch this trash believe that this is an acceptable way for women to treat each other – WRONG!
There are so many things about gal pals that I appreciate; it’s difficult to narrow my rationale down to just a few highlights. But, in no particular order, here are some of the reasons why I love and need my gal pals every day:
- You can have not seen each other for months or even years and pick up right where you left off. My gal pals can read me like a book, even a slightly worn, dog-eared edition.
- You can get an honest opinion. If I ask a gal pal “does this skirt make me look fat?” she’s going to tell me the truth; but in the nicest way possible.
- You can show your behind and it doesn’t matter – it’s even expected. I’ve gotten into some fabulous trouble with my gal pals (see for example, Naked In a Hot Tub In Vegas).
- You can talk too much, laugh too loud, and be too emotional. Gal pals don’t judge, they just hang in there with you and think it’s funny that you laugh at all the wrong parts of a movie.
- You can be vulnerable when it comes to talking about relationships. I’ve divulged some of my deepest fears about family and men to my gal pals. Often, I’m not looking for an opinion. Sometimes, I just need someone to listen and hold my hand – a gal pal knows this.
In addition to my actual gal pals, I’ve also been building a list of my “virtual” gal pals: women I would love to meet and spend some time with over drinks and/or chocolate cake. Here’s a sampling of my ultimate National Girlfriends Day Cocktail Party invitation list (and yes, some of these are posthumous; I never said this soiree wouldn’t be happening in the next dimension):
- Mae West. Did you know she was a playwright? Yep, her first play produced on Broadway was titled “Sex.” After one week the authorities shut it down and she spent a week in jail for moral indecency. She was WAY ahead of her time.
- Cleopatra. There is such a mystique around this woman. She was married twice – fought a civil war against the first and poisoned the second. She had children by Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. This gal certainly ruled her world.
- Katherine Hepburn. Ms. Hepburn is one of my all-time favorite actresses. I’ve seen a few interviews where she discussed the love of her life – Spencer Tracy. I would like to ask her if she was ever conflicted about being the “other woman.”
- Janet Reno. I had the good fortune to work at the Justice Department when Ms. Reno was Attorney General. Oh, if I could get fifteen minutes worth of off-the-record conversation…
- Jennifer Lawrence. This young actress first earned my respect with her amazing performance in the movie “Winter’s Bone” (if you missed it; SO worth the rental). But, she truly won me over as I watched her fabulous reaction when Jack Nicholson crashed her Oscar night interview with George Stephanopoulos:
- Margaret Thatcher. I never agreed with her politics. However, she sure was confident in her convictions and shattered a big ‘ol British glass ceiling. And, wouldn’t it be a hoot to see a conversation between this former Prime Minister and Attorney General Reno?
- Cari Cucksey. Cari is the host of the HGTV show “Cash & Cari” which showcases her work as an estate sale coordinator. In addition to being an estate sale expert, she also owns the store “RePurpose”, a vintage shop where she sells her brilliant creations. Cari is definitely one of my women entrepreneur idols.
- Erma Bombeck. Erma was, and continues to be, an inspiration to women writers and humorists everywhere. Beginning in 1965, Erma wrote two weekly 450 word columns for the Dayton Journal Herald. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to write a complete column in just 450 words?? The University of Dayton, where she received her degree, honors her with a bi-annual event –The Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop.
- Ann Joyce. Don’t know who Ann Joyce is? She was my Nana. I would love beyond words to be able to talk to her now and ask her questions such as: What was it like to be an immigrant to the U.S? What was my great-grandmother like? And, please, what’s the recipe for your amazing apple pie?
- Tina Fey. Ms. Fey is one of my comedic heroes. When she coined the phrase “Bitch is the New Black” she locked up her place on my cocktail party top ten.
Who would you invite to your ultimate gal pal cocktail party?
Who would you invite to your ultimate gal pal cocktail party?
To all my gal pals out there – Happy National Girlfriends Day.
Joyce Hansen saysAugust 2, 2016 at 4:20 pm
I’m grateful for a small group of gal pals throughout my life. Some have passed away and I would love it if there were still here. But, interestingly they have been replaced by new gal pals that are just as treasured.
Kimba saysAugust 3, 2016 at 11:32 am
I agree! I treasure all my gal pals, no matter how long I’ve known them.
Rena McDaniel saysAugust 1, 2016 at 1:24 pm
I had no idea there was a National Girlfriend’s Day, of course, there’s a day for everything. This one though is well worth celebrating! Sounds like a good night for a girlfriend margarita party!
Kimba saysAugust 1, 2016 at 3:00 pm
Ritas are a great idea! What time do we start?
Sandra Pawula saysJuly 31, 2016 at 9:11 pm
Love the spirit in this piece! I’ve had such special girlfriends too.
Kimba saysAugust 1, 2016 at 9:16 am
The gal pal tribe is vast and wonderful. Thx for stopping by Sandra.
Stella Chiu saysJuly 31, 2016 at 2:05 pm
We can’t do without my gal pals. We can talk about anything even the deep secret. .
Your party sounds wonderful.Save me a spot. I will invite Jennifer Lawrence. I was surprised by her outstanding performance in “Winter’s Bone” . I will also add Tina Fey who is one of my funny ladies that I love in show business.
Thanks for the post.
Kimba saysAugust 1, 2016 at 9:26 am
Stella you are a great addition to our cocktail party. Please bring chocolate!
Betsy Ashton saysJuly 29, 2016 at 10:01 am
Gal pals are the best besties ever. With them, we can be ourselves, warts and stretch marks and everything else.
For my list, you’ll have to read my blog on http://www.betsy-ashton.com. I’m using you as my inspiration…
Kim Dalferes saysJuly 29, 2016 at 11:11 am
It’s you that inspires me chica! Look forward to reading your post.
Reba Linker saysJuly 29, 2016 at 9:19 am
I love my gal pals – we can talk about anything and it’s all good. Your party sounds like a hoot – I wanna come, too! Love Mae West, Tina Fey, – gotta have the laughs!
Kimba saysAugust 1, 2016 at 9:30 am
Reba, you are a welcome addition to the cocktail party. Please bring a gal pal date. Attire is very casual, I expect several to be wearing PJs.
Leanne saysJuly 29, 2016 at 9:11 am
I never really valued my gal pals until I reached midlife. I think the pack has thinned and those that remain are super special and we have each other’s backs. I don’t know what I’d do without them sometimes and if I had a cocktail party I’d invite them – no celebrities, just my long time friends. Lovely post and I’ll keep Aug 1st in mind from now on!
Kimba saysAugust 1, 2016 at 9:35 am
That is so true – I hit midlife and definitely reached a deeper appreciation for my gal pals. Two of my best pals have been with me since we were 14 years old.
renee saysJuly 29, 2016 at 8:42 am
These are all great picks to have cocktails with. I would include my Mom, and both of my grandmothers. All 3 are no longer here and that is why I would love to chat with them all again. They were such a big part of my life and helped shape me into the woman I am today. I too hate women bashing women and would like to see an end to that. Maybe us Women of Midlifers could start a movement!
Kimba saysAugust 1, 2016 at 9:45 am
Renee, I am so with you! Let the midlife gal pal revolution begin!
Susan Bonifant saysJuly 29, 2016 at 8:31 am
I always like the questions that start with “Dead or alive, who would you invite to…”
I know I would include brilliant and funny people but I’d thrown in a few intense, deep thinking types who needed to lighten up, too.
As for gal pals, they’re better than therapists, and far less expensive.
Kimba saysAugust 1, 2016 at 9:46 am
Ha! My gal pals are indeed better than therapy. And their fee is usually a bottle of wine and some chocolate – I can afford that every day.