Thursday, April 5, 2012

I Get By With a Little Help....

I love Mad Men (the show, not the practice of angry individuals).  I especially love the clothes.  The story line I love, but mainly because it has nothing at all to do with my real life.  Which got me to thinking how different I would have been if I had lived during that time.  For one thing, I would have looked fabulous every day, thanks to the thousands of layers of undergarments ladies used to wear.  Seriously, anyone can look svelte with that much crap on!  And I would have rocked me some Betty Draper Francis dresses too - LOVE.  GORGEOUS.  It would have taken me forever to get dressed but MAN I would have looked hot.

For another thing, I would have been BORED BORED BORED.  Clearly, these ladies who don't work don't hang out, AT ALL.  They don't have friends.  If they do, they are the talk-about-you-behind-your-back-cause-you-have-nothing-else-to-do kind of friends.  And that's just bad news.

Yesterday I was talking to my friend Chrissy about how lucky we are to have our friends.  I think back to when my boys were babies, and I LIVED for playgroup days, so I could catch up with my circle of friends who had kids the same age and I could see that everyone was feeling as sleep deprived and crazy as I was.  We used to meet for coffee twice a week, and together we sat with infants, then chased our toddlers, then watched our preschoolers play together.  These ladies were so critical as I formed my world as a parent.

They were especially important to me because this was my circle of friends who surrounded me with love and support when my son TJ was diagnosed with autism.  At first, after diagnosis, I had to separate from them for a while, as watching their typically developing kids hurt too much as my world fell down around me.  But they stuck with me.  I got cards, notes, emails...they let me know they were there, waiting, and loving my family through this with me.  When I was ready to return to playgroup they were the first ones I could vent to, share my fears with, and fall apart around.  And they held me up each time I did.  I love all these ladies, and am forever grateful to every one of them.

As my kids grew so did my circle of girlfriends.  I met some amazing ladies as we waited at school to pick up our kids, or as we volunteered for the school's science program.  I even met some of my friends through TJ - his teachers and specialists became close to us, as they gave my boy his start in being successful in school.

Now I have "my girls" as I call them.  The Ladies.  They are my touchstone, my link to the world outside my family.  I ADORE my family, but don't understand how a woman of the 60's only had her family as her entire world.  Who did they bitch to about cramps?  Who did they vent to when their kids started talking back and didn't seem to stop?  Who did they lean on when their husbands decided they didn't understand the english language that day?  WHO DID THEY CALL WHEN THEY GOT A NEW PAIR OF SHOES???  I mean, really!  That solitude just seems unnatural.  These ladies of mine make me laugh at book club (50 Shades of Gray, OOH LA LA!).  They got me to go to Zumba.  We go to movies, have coffee at each others' houses, celebrate birthdays, ring in summer, have girls' nights out.  They are the ones who have helped me through my first 9 months (it's been 9 months!!!) of not drinking.  I love them.  My days would be bleak without them.

And I can't have a post about my friends without mentioning my chosen sisters...the ones who have been there with me for years, who know me inside and out, who will be there with me no matter where we live or what we do.  I honor them.  So to Amanda, Gina, Jennie, Jill, Katherine, and my true sister Susan, you guys are so much a part of who I am, forever.  I love you.

And they would look AMAZING in those Mad Men clothes.