I’m very blessed to have active friends from pretty much all stages of my life.  The other day I was so completely down about pretty much everything that I had to force myself to think about what is right in my world.  Girlfriends popped into my head.  I have girlfriends who go waaaaay back.  No joke.  All of the women listed below are solid people who have my back–and we are close.  I was running through a list of my friends mentally and decided to write it out as a reminder.  I can’t list everything that is great about each of them here and much of their greatness and attributes overlap, but I tried to come up with something pithy about each of the following.  I’ve also met many other fantastic people along the way who aren’t mentioned here–this is a list of women who’ve seen me at my worst and my best and have longevity on their side.  I also have had to come up with nicknames on the fly for some of them–for no particular reason, some people don’t have set nicknames.

There is KC, my friend from Kindergarten who pretty much knows me; we went to school all the way through primary and secondary and even graduated from the same university (although she had a short lapse in judgement and attended Washington State University for half of her time; eventually, she came to her senses and attended the University of Washington, graduating from the better of the schools…). 

There is MT–I met her at a job I had during my college years (I juggled 3 jobs at one time while carrying a full-time class load).  We’ve known each other through marriages, children and deaths.  We used to write letters very regularly–email, cell phones and life changed that for us, but we still write on occasion.  Over the years I’ve collected kitschy postcards to send to her.  We love mail (of the non-bill variety).  She visits us and it’s as if no time has passed between us.

My mentholatum sister–we met the first year we both moved to Phoenix.  She is my spiritual twin.  We have so many commonalities.  Like KC & MT, she can pretty much read me like an open book.  While vastly different on the outside, our families are very similar on the inside–which is really the part that counts, right?

My neighbor from our old ‘hood, Coffee Girl.  We had dogs who looked a lot alike–hers was the furrier and less timid model.  She does all the girly things with me: makeovers, shopping, classes, lunch and the bonus, says the things we all think but pretend we don’t. 

My ASU graduate school and, later, mom friend, Wow.  (That nickname has a separate story of which I’m am not a part.  I just don’t have a different name for her & I seemed to have started something with the secret squirrel names!)  She’s been through much of the good, bad and ugly with me and many, many tears and soapbox rants.  Who am I kidding?  All of my friends have been subjected to those!  Wow has just heard more of a variety in the rant department.  After all, we did teach together, carpool and we are both moms to 2 boys. 

Through our kids, Wow & I met an amazing group of women and we meet once a month for dinner, lots of laughter and some kvetching.  Sad for us and fantastic for her, Wow moved for a great job.  So, we have dinner without her & text her the pics.  Last time we had some sort of bowl-like drink requiring sharing and very long straws–that screamed take a pic and send it.  No, really, it did.  Actually, I think she asked for a pic because she was sad to miss:(  But, not a drink pic a dessert pic.  Oops.

Dog Crazy I’ve known since Chief finished residency and she gets living with a surgeon, raising kids kind-of-sort-of alone and having crazy dogs.  She’s always been there to help out–especially when I was trying to finish my dissertation.  She really helped me with the boys.  After I had surgery a few years back, she drove me around like Ms. Daisy.  She’s even put up with my lipstick fetish a couple of times, patiently waiting for me while I tested a bunch after lunch (that sort of thing is not her gig).

Our current neighbor, if I had to give her a nickname right now it’d be The Competitor, because she likes to compete and win, but in a funny way not annoying.  Her family might beg to differ but I saw her go to town at a craft class and it was funny.  Her and her husband are a hoot–they really helped us through our remodeling nighmare with another firm and helped create a beautiful oasis in our backyard/pool/pond area. 

Rodeo is Dog Crazy’s niece and while we’ve only known her for 5 or so years, she, too, is like family.  She’s as crazy as my boys.  We think in very similar “flight” patterns. 

Crazy Mom (her nickname, not mine–honest!) has boys who went to preschool and Kindergarten with my boys.  Our 2 youngest are close buds.  She’s peeled me off the ceiling more than a few times when the other moms said things.  She sees many of the same things I do but cuts through the chaff very quickly, unlike me.

I also count Chief”s 2 female partners as close friends.  They get my silly jokes, my crazy children and my goofy husband.  They also regularly read my blog, lol!  Seriously, they are funny, lovely women with big, kind hearts.  Although, don’t mess with them because they have balls of steel and don’t fool around (again, that’s theme with my women friends–in a good way).  They are upright and upfront.  Super Green is very close to the boys and they love her and her husband.  Again, like family–she’s known them since Big Monkey was a year old and Little Man was still in the womb.  She reminds me what a precious gift I have in the boys and (like many of my other friends) what I am doing right.

I don’t feel like I can begin to do my friends justice here but I hope you get a little sampling of the fantastic women who grace my life.  They are all very funny, good-natured and kind-hearted people who really do cut to the chase and call it like it is.  I have managed to keep a good friend from each of the various stages of my life.  I will continue to keep them close to my heart and hope we continue to stay close for many years to come.  I also hope that you are equally blessed with wonderful girlfriends who help you stay afloat when you feel like you’re sinking and provide you with much needed laughter and perspective!  My girlfriends are my best cheerleaders and, in many ways, that positive energy and support is what makes the world go ’round.

Give me a shoutout! 🤠

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