Monday, May 27, 2013

Female Friendships Done Right - why is it hard to find?

I have been friends with my best friend since we were in Kindergarten. Kindergarten! My son is in kindergarten right now and I look at his friends and think "huh, I could be stuck with this kid coming over for the rest of my life." Anyway - she came up to visit with her family for the weekend, her two boys and husband. Our kids get a long great, our husbands who haven't spent a lot of time together are finding common ground as they stand over the grill, watching the steaks cook. Lish and I stayed up until 5 AM, drank all the wine and laughed and cried. As we do. As I think women with long-standing friendships do. But the other side of that coin is how difficult our dynamic can be as well. When you know someone so well, and have been dealing with the same quirky personality traits since Kindergarten it can come with frustration. Joy and eye-rolling - that's our relationship. More joy, don't get me wrong.

But I was saying to Lish, that I don't have any relationship like the one I have with her.

One of the reasons I stopped reading "women's fiction" or whatever subgenre those women at the summerhouse dealing with each other's drama books are called is because I felt those female relationships were so pat. There wasn't any tension to them. Or really, reality. And they all felt remarkably similar. I don't write relationships between women that have been friends for a long time because I find it so so so difficult to nail those nuances. It's easier to me to write women who are just starting out their friendships, because there's a little less nuance there and frankly, nothing mirrors a romantic relationship starting out like a friendship. But as Lish has left I find myself epically hungover and wanting to read about female friendships done right.

So, what are some of your favorite fictionalized portrayals of female friendship? (I got in all the F's)


Sue D said...

You can't beat "The Color Purple" for female friendahips.

Maureen McGowan said...

Sister relationships are hard to capture too. One I recommend is a book called Do Me, Do My Roots by, oh, what was her name????

Oh, yeah... Eileen Rendahl.

Eileen said...

THanks, Maureen! It's still my favorite of all my books. Sssh. Don't tell the others, okay?

I've been re-reading Little Women and even though the March girls are a little too Goody Two Shoes for my taste, I love the tensions between Amy and Jo and even Meg and Jo.

Also the two sisters in Jennifer Crusie's Welcome to Temptation. Awesome dynamic in that one!

Molly O'Keefe said...

Do Me Do My Roots - still one of my favorites, so I'd imagine it's still one of yours eileen!

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