For whatever reason, my television viewing habits of late have me in a bit of a time warp. As the proud owner of the entire series of Friends, Will and Grace, and Sex and the City on DVD, episodes of these shows are currently on frequent rotation. While I laugh along at the fictionalized adventures of these familiar characters, I have to admit, it also makes me a bit sad.
These shows are, at their core, about friendship and the love we have for our friends. It really makes me miss the days – I call them “simpler” now, even though at the time I thought my life couldn’t possibly be more complicated – when we would sit around and talk, and laugh, sharing stories about our disastrous love lives or whatever the issues of the day may have been. Be it in the dorm or the sorority house, crappy apartments with too many roommates or even the homes of our parents, I am longing for that closeness, familiarity and lack of pretension I had with my girlfriends and guy friends. While the ups and downs of our lives were never neatly resolved in 30 minutes, sometimes it was as though we were a part of our own personal sitcoms (or dramedies).
Of course today, having that kind of physical togetherness is next to impossible – and I’m not sure how much I would appreciate the people who live across the hall just popping in, unannounced, on a regular basis and eating all of my food. But with today’s worries about marriages, dating, kids, work, anti-aging products etc., finding time to curl up on the couch, unrushed, with friends and talk, laugh and even cry can be very challenging.
As luck would have it, last night I had dinner downtown with two girlfriends who have been a part of my life since childhood – one married, one single and dating, but remarkably we are facing many of the same life ups and downs as we navigate our mid-30s. While our worries today are far different from what we experienced in high school, what makes our relationship so special is the trust, familiarity and comfort we have around each other. We don’t have to hide what we’re really thinking or feeling, and can be brutally honest with each other, and ourselves.
I brought up how I’ve been nostalgic for the “good old days” of friendships (or at least how they are depicted on the TV shows). We talked about this a bit and I thought, why not? Time to bring it back. So at least once a month, I’m going to host (or attend) a gathering – sweatpants are required, makeup is forbidden, wine is a must. Let’s talk, laugh, cry, and enjoy spending time together. After all, at the core, it is about friendship and the love we have for our friends — something that too frequently is pushed down to the bottom of the priority list.