The power of women’s friendships is constantly being undermined by pop culture’s obsession with cattiness. From mean girl Top Model contestants to Real Housewives reunion show drama, we are inundated with scenes of women attacking, humiliating, and betraying other women, more often that not supposedly their “friends,” for laughs and ratings. On the other hand, anyone who has experienced girlhood and womanhood knows that the authors behind Queen Bees and Wannabes and Odd Girl Out weren’t exaggerating; friendships between women can be challenging and sometimes traumatizing.
“I had the best dog. But I still have the best friends!” me, 2/7/12, Facebook comment
For the first time since I was a year old, I won’t have a dog in the house. After nearly thirteen years, I put down my beloved Talula to rest yesterday, accompanied by my life partner, Blues, and our family veterinarian. Talula had had cancer for well over a year and we just couldn’t stand to watch her fade away slowly.
Dogs are great friends. They love unconditionally. They don’t cast judgment. They don’t engage in gossip. They don’t complain. They live in the moment and share joy with everyone they meet.
What I loved best about Talula was her genuine joie de vivre. A pit bull mix puppy found wandering in a bad Hayward neighborhood, she was always gentle and happy. Apart from my parents’ mellow Lab, Pinto, Talula was the sweetest dog I have ever known. I trusted her with my toddler. Her early experiences made her skittish but never aggressive or unpredictable. She proved that she was more than a breed or a beginning.
During the painful process of putting Talula down, I asked Blues why humans aren’t more like dogs. Then last night, on the same social network that often makes me doubt who people really are, I was reassured that my oldest friends and some of my newest friends are loyal, trustworthy, and loving. People, like dogs, have the potential and capacity to be authentic and selfless.
I will never forget my wonderful dog. She knew me before and after my recovery, before and after motherhood, and always gave me her heart. While I grieve her absence, I rejoice in the peace of knowing she is at well-deserved rest.
The DJ is glamorous as ever: perfect hair, perfect skin, Prada wraparound shades, designer jeans, crisp white shirt, bling(was that platinum or silver?) Growing more handsome with age(I know he’d kill me to make reference to his late 30s status), he is slender and chic, a now New Yorker in the City for a weekend of spinning and shopping. And we can do lunch in the Castro without wanting to kill each other.
The DJ and I were inseparable for the better part of a decade. But, like most good teams be it the Beatles or the Supremes, we got to be too much for one another. We are better like this, fond old friends who’ve both grown up into individuals. I’m 8 months pregnant, in my first live-in relationship, all belly and mellowness(at last!). He’s fashionable professional, living out his passion for music. We live on opposite coasts and very different lifestyles but we share a bond that can’t be ruined by time or drama.
Get me on roller skates under a disco ball and I’m high as a bat again. Last night, Izzy and I made our way to the Peninsula to Rainbow Skate, a weekly gay roller disco party. Suddenly, my blues were gone as I circled around and around on the hardwood to the tune of Donna Summer, SoftCell, and cheesy Top 40. Not only was it a good leg workout but it reminded me of who I am: funny, bubbly, and so cute strangers blow me kisses.
Comida borinquena in the Town. Quintessential Peruano BBQ. An unexpected but welcome text. Name called out by Jamaican MC. Cute but painful shoes. Ms. Pac-Man, pool, and reggaeton at one of my spots.