Happiness Highlights: Girlfriends in Memphis

Memphis, they say, is the birthplace of rock n’ roll, soul, and dry ribs barbecue. It’s where Elvis lived and Martin Luther King, Jr. died. There are endless sights to see and foods to eat, but we didn’t come for any of them.

We left Nashville last week and headed into western Tennessee for one reason: so that I could stay up late with my best friend.

Faiqa and I met in Florida and I cried buckets of tears when we left. A few weeks later, she called to tell me she and her family were moving to Memphis, which meant an earlier than expected reunion for all of us. Although we’ve talked on the phone at least once a week for the last five months, I’ve been anxiously awaiting this time together.

It has been marvelous.

We’ve stayed up until 3 AM talking about religion and politics and feminism in patriarchal societies. We curled up together under blankets with candy bars and tortilla chips to watch hours of television. We’ve listened to our husbands commiserate and our children giggle, grateful for the connections our loved ones have made with each other (because it makes those hours on the couch so much easier for us.)

This week has been more than I could have hoped for and everything I have been missing on the road.

There is simply no substitute for a best friend, a person who isn’t bound to you by blood or contract, but who picks up the phone time and again only because she wants to.

I know we have another goodbye looming in our future, but not today. Not this week.

This week my happiness came from the hours I spent with my girlfriend.

Where did yours come from?

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