"Hi. Are you busy?"
The direct-and-to-the-point, are you busy, means only one thing.
"Are you coming over?"
"Yeah. I need a girl chat."
"Uuhhh, I'm on my way now."
"See you soon. Drive safely."
Dear reader, what you need to know is that I live in the middle of Oregon countryside nowhere. It's "a far piece" out to our place. This is not somewhere you drop by on your way to somewhere else. These are not accidental visits. They are necessary.
An hour of chatting and a glass of wine under the old and special apple tree (how many of these important conversations has this tree heard by now?, I wonder) turns into several. Chores get easily put on hold. In this life, there are just more important things.
Like men. And breakups. And hair. And health concerns. And hair. And crazy work stuff. And missing certain special people. And what great wines we've had lately, and what we've had for dinner last week that was so yummy. And the things we want and the things we need; goals, hopes and dreams. And hair. And did I mention? Men. Mars. Venus.
Girl talk like this is easily aided by a bottle of French Rosé. This particular Rosé, La Ferme Julien 2008, a blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah, is bright watermelon pink in color. It is a very inexpensive wine that is readily available at Trader Joe's. Hey, we aren't celebrating here, we're getting down to brass tacks, so fancy is not necessary. Its looks betray its taste: This is a very dry wine with tart but muted cranberry fruit. At one point I thought it carried a bit of minerally salinity, but that may have been our shared tears I was tasting.
Allow me say that I am terrifically blessed in this life with my female relationships. From my Mom who lives across the country to my neighbor down the way, my life is graced by women of all ages who possess diverse points of view, and I treasure them all. This particular visiting friend is so close and so dear, she is sometimes like a sister or mother and even sometimes like a daughter to me. Over the years we have shared so much of life, and she has taught me so many things. We always seem to be able to lift one another up, and to make each other laugh until we are snorting and our sides ache. I think we bring out the best in one another.
There is someone else really important in this story, too, and that's My Baby. Not long after we first met, I informed him that there were just always going to be things I was going to need my female friends for, things that he just wouldn't be able to provide. Never before have I seen such a look of relief in the eyes of a man. He already knew, and was glad that I knew, too, that he could a most important person in my life, but he couldn't be everything I would always need all at once. He is gracious and giving, supportive and loving to each of my girlfriends and my relationships with them. He and I share the view that life is too short to not be a good friend and have good friends.
Fast-forward a week: Ring; ring.
"Hey! How's your week going?"
"Terrific! And you?"
"Awesome. I've had the best news..."
Where would I be without my girlfriends?