I’m a fairly solitary creature by nature. Most days are spent sitting at home with The Goose forcing words onto the screen or out and about with the MrMr and our ragtag bunch of close friends who, more often than not, have little to do with my professional life.
It came as no surprise to me that the idea of spending five days in Morocco with a bunch of girls I barely knew arrived with its own alarm bell, no matter how faintly it tolled. Yes, I happily chose them for the trip, but this post is an ode to the dim, yet profound whistle left over from my high school days, so please bear with me while I set the scene.
Years of bullying (at worst) and never quite fitting in (at best) left a mark. The tattoo has faded around the edges, but the core is indelible nonetheless. I’ve always been slightly awestruck (I do love a good oxymoron) by that group of girls. The ones across the playground who appeared to fit together so easily, like a smooth and shiny jigsaw puzzle to which my crude shape would never interlock.
I’m not saying that I have no close girlfriends – I most definitely do – but as a result of my peripatetic life, they’re scattered to the four corners. Even the ones that are close by, I rarely cross-pollinate – my wedding and annual birthday lunches notwithstanding. And, if I’m being honest, being part of a close-knit group also makes me a little queasy. The baring of souls, the intimate revelations, the vulnerability. From the outside, it doesn’t feel like such a safe place.
Yet at the same time, I can’t get enough of the stories that render female friendship. Popular TV shows like Sex and the City, Gilmore Girls, Girls, Girlfriends, The Golden Girls, Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice are just a few of my favourites. And have you ever seen Fried Green Tomatoes, Steel Magnolias or Boys On The Side?
I live vicariously through these tales. I want what they have – no matter how cast in fiction these women are. In addition to my aforementioned fears, they represent unconditional love, support, solace, and laughter. The fact that they’re all American speaks of a different longing.
It’s time for my point. The girls I travelled with were an awesome bunch. Hang-ups, preconceptions and age differences were left alongside our half-drunk water bottles and other contraband at immigration. The rest of the time was spent giggling, gossiping, crying buckets of tears (happy and otherwise), storytelling and, dare I say it, bonding (bleurgh). Press trips are a funny beast, each one different depending on the characters involved, but this one I’ll never forget. Thanks for the laughs, my new lifelong (another oxymoron, somebody stop me) pals. Bring on the reunion.
More Spring Moods here.