Girlfriends

We had just come out of the local G&L center into a cold February night, and I needed to put on my coat.

I held out my purse for my companion, a transwoman around my age who has been out for a year or so, to hold.

She didn’t take it.

Holding your friend’s purse, one of the most basic courtesies of a woman connection, was just something she hasn’t learned yet.

I explained, and she happily held my purse as I pulled on my trench coat.

It occurs to me, as I am sure it has occurred to at least a few readers of this blog, that one key thing that is missing in my life is girlfriends.

Women like to travel in pairs or in groups, for conversation, for convenience, for safety, for empowerment.  There is more laughter, more support, more feedback.

I remember DeLane Matthews, who played the Beth Barry on Dave’s World, talking about heir haircut for the first season.  “The producers told me it looked like a mother’s hair.  I thought it looked like this woman didn’t have a girlfriend to tell her, ‘Honey, you need to go blond!'”

Women depend on other women to keep them connected.

And me, well, that’s missing.  Somehow a pal in on a ship in the Pacific and a brilliant Tarot queen downstate aren’t really enough.

Now, I’m not the only woman in my family who has challenges with girlfriends.  My mother doesn’t have any local girlfriends, and never really has.  And my sister has just a few that she has very limited time with whom to connect.

But not having local girlfriends to keep me connected, to keep me moving, to keep me checked, well, that really is where the loneliness and loss come to roost.  I know that I don’t have a family tradition of connection, I don’t have a history of being with girlfriends, I don’t have many venues to meet new friends, and most of all, I need post-therapy grown-up women to connect with.  I know how to help others, sure, but you can’t really relax and feel safe when you are always doing training, even training in simple things, like the obligation to hold your friend’s purse when asked.

I need girlfriends.

And that seems pretty well impossible.