I notice it most when my polish is chipped off my toes.
And when I’m sitting at home flipping through HGTV reruns.
And when it’s a Tuesday night and the kids are in bed, Jared’s asleep on the couch, and I’m too restless to get lost in a book or a blog.
That’s when I notice the big gaping hole that’s still there.
The hole that cannot be filled with husbands, or kids, or Avitables. Or work or blogging or writing. Or working out more or watching TV less or signing your kids up for more activities.
It’s the hole that, much as we try, cannot be filled by family or friends that are miles away, no matter how many emails you send or IM chats you share. You cannot stuff it with weekend getaways or annual parties or long distance phone calls.
I know, because I’ve tried.
And while I’ve made new memories and discovered new sources of joy, the original hole remains, calling to me.
Especially when my polish is chipped.
I miss having girlfriends. Not that I don’t have female friends now – the technical definition of a girlfriend I suppose. But it’s more than just another woman to laugh with that I’m missing.
I miss the girlfriend that drops by your house unannounced on a Tuesday night. Sometimes she stays and bullshits with you for hours, and sometimes she just stops to say hi on her way home and, no, don’t worry about it, you’re busy, I’ll call you later.
And she will call, too. Usually.
Or maybe she won’t. Because things come up and she was getting dinner started and you know how that goes. And you do. But that’s OK because you’ll talk to her tomorrow or the next day anyway.
I miss the girlfriend that drags all of her kids over to your house and throws them in the backyard before you have a chance to say hello. And her husband sits with your husband by the grill while the two of you invent cocktail recipes in the kitchen. And you don’t even care that it’s Sunday, because people still have to eat on a school night.
I miss the girlfriend who calls your husband’s cell phone because you didn’t pick up at home and you never answer your damn cell phone when it rings and she needs you. Now. Her dog threw up in the living room and she’s stuck at work and you know her husband has an irrational response to puke. And she knows it’s ridiculous but dear God the man has put a bowl on top of the vomit and will you please go take care of that so my carpet isn’t stained before I get home?
And you do. And you don’t feel inappropriate at all calling her husband a pussy while you spray his floors down with Resolve.
I miss the friendship that is easy, even when it’s work. The one that is an integral part of your day and has long since passed the awkward, insecure stage of calling only to set lunch dates and dinner parties.
The one you don’t put makeup on for.
The one that’s seen you without a bra and after a good hard cry.
I miss the girlfriend that answers her phone on Saturday morning and admits that she’s not doing much. And, sure, she can run and get a pedicure with you that morning, because she needs one too and she just has to be back by lunch because they’ve got a family thing that afternoon and she’s behind on laundry. And so you spend an hour or two together and then you go back to your lives and your responsibilities. And, really, it’s no big deal.
Until it is.
Until you don’t have it anymore. And then, some days, it’s the biggest fucking deal in the world.
Like when your polish is chipped.