Thursday, August 18, 2011

Relationships with women are interesting. Not only are those relationships difficult to manage and foster as girls, but it seems to remain true as we age and build relationships as grown women. As I've aged, I have found it to be equally as difficult to make and maintain girlfriends as it was in middle school. So I have learned how to foster the few I treasure and be okay with "surface-y" relationships with all the other women I'm around. That said, it isn't often we meet other women who we can be real and honest with, be 100% of who we are around, and not fear losing the friendship, offending her, or worrying she might spill the deep, dark secrets you revealed to her in a gossip-filled dinner one night. While I know people that have tons of female friends, I've just never really been one of those women; but instead have always been more comfortable in the company of guys. To be short, they're just less drama...and that's how I roll!

I say all of this because when I really do find a good, solid, trustworthy, loyal friend, I hang on to her, I work at the friendship, I bare my soul in complete faith, and do whatever I can to keep the bond and appreciate every bit of that friendship for all it is and all it offers - even if sometimes it's heartbreak. I do this because I know I'll get it back just the same as I give it out, what I share will be held in high confidence, who I am will be regarded with high esteem, and I will be held accountable for my actions. Women need these types of friendships far more than they need people to gossip with. One such friend of mine, Meghan, I met over 6 years ago at our wedding as merely a guest of one of our groomsmen. Though I'd not ever met her before that day, I have never regretted that boy's decision to bring her as his date. Their relationship (dating, not wedded) has ended, but as we jokingly say, "I got Meghan in the divorce." Despite having crazy jobs and living in different cities (or states) during the entire length of our friendship, we have only grown closer, more deeply involved, and more consistent over time.  I'm grateful to call her a forever friend.

Because we live in different places and most of our friendship takes place on text, email, facebook, phone calls, etc. we decided we needed to get away for a quick girls trip. Though it'd be easy to do one of our two cities, for some reason Vegas became the city of choice for this long weekend away. Not really sure how that happened...but we found ourselves on an early morning flight from Atlanta to Vegas, baby.

So off we went one Wednesday morning. But let me preface this trip by saying that the night before our early morning departure, my dear sweet friend totaled her car. And she still left town with me in spite of being hurt, broken, and bruised not only emotionally but a little physically, too. It's this that makes Meghan my forever friend. She shows up. She cares enough to sacrifice and be there despite personal tragedy. And she gives her all. Even though we lost about four hours in the air, most of which we slept, of course, we still managed to arrive at 9:30 in the morning...but since we'd been up since dark, felt like it should be lunch time...or nap time if nothing else. It's odd, having your body tell you it's 1:00 in the afternoon even though it's still morning. But what do you do but roll with it. We were off to see some sites, eat some food and lay by the pool before we found some high roller tickets to go see "O" at the Bellagio that night. Before bed that day, we'd already seen more hotels than we could count, and ridden a roller coaster through one of them, and started into some amazing conversation. We spent the next day (the ENTIRE day) at the pool. Lounging, talking, catching up, challenging each other, listening to each other's vices, wants, desires, needs, and giving honest and open advice. We met people, we talked with strangers, we got burnt to a crisp, but we had a blast. I love this part about my relationship with Meghan. Nothing is hidden from view, and she still loves me for it. Maybe even in spite of it. That is a rare gift in a friend, but one for which I am beyond grateful.

We found ourselves dining on some fabulous Mexican fare at the Palazzo that night. For FREE might I add! And I think between that meal and the others, we found ourselves either eating Mexican or french fries at every meal. Why? Not sure, but it was the way it was. The next day we  toured some of the hotels, shopped a little, and took in the heat of Vegas while wandering (and getting lost) in the maze that is the hotel feast in Vegas. There was lots of people watching. Lots. There was more talking. Lots. And there was fun. Lots! After some nap time and some time spent shopping for some gifts for my kiddos, we were off to enjoy our evening on the town. We learned a little about black jack and met some funny people and took our pictures with more funny people. People that get dressed up as random people just for tips. Go figure. Before we knew it we were saying goodbye to our quite remote controlled room at the Aria and headed for the airport.

How quickly it went from arrival to departure, but the memories made and the fun had was more than I could recount in this short note; however, I left a richer person, and knowing I needed to take more time for myself with other women as often as I can. While I don't have a terribly large amount of people I can do this with, I need to capitalize on what I do have. I think it makes me a better wife, a better mom, a better friend, and a better woman. Able to give more to whoever is in my world and able to see with new eyes. I'm grateful this time away provided me all that and a new view into the soul of a dear friend whom I am able to provide for even across the miles. Thank you. I love you. I can't wait to do it again!