Earlier this week I went to opening night of Sex in the City 2 with several girlfriends; we hadn't seen each other as a group since the first SITC. I'm seeing it again later this week with my female neighbors. Not because the movie is that great (well, the fashion is!) but because it celebrates an aspect life that so many of us neglect when life gets busy -- our friends.
Actually, I've been known to neglect my friends even when life is NOT busy.
OK, I basically pretty much ignore my friends all the time, until the guilt monster starts clawing at my back and forces me to start returning calls/emails.
I used to blame this on being a lawyer.
Now I must admit it's just due to laziness, or sometimes just preferring the comfort of my own cave over venturing out to join the clan. Or perhaps I'm living too much in the virtual world? I do love connecting with my Facebook friends, but let's face it, I've never even met many of you and others are from such distant times and/or places in my life that we might as well be living on different planets for all we know about each others' lives.
But then again, I've been absolutely floored by some of the virtual connections I've made -- especially the one I married. Sometimes people just click online (no pun intended), and sometimes we get to reconnect with people from our distant pasts. For example, I recently reconnected with a childhood friend who was the first to support me in fifth grade by joining my 3-member Laura Hating Club (which was rather pathetically formed in response to the hugely popular Katie Hating Club; they must have known I was destined to become a lawyer even then). My online network includes high school friends I wouldn't have recognized on the street but suddenly now chat with frequently, college roommates living all over the world, prior work friends, acquaintances from the dog park, distant cousins, neighbors, and many friends of friends of friends and others I have not met at all but would like to.
I guess that's the beauty of social media and blogging: we just put ourselves and our stuff out there, and people who are attracted to what we have to say become our friends.
My husband often teases me that I now have more virtual friends than real ones. Yet I am nowhere even close to the 5,000 FB friend limit; how is it that so many people so quickly max out on "friends" in the virtual world? Are all of these media socialites just exceptional marketers? Or could it be because in many cases online conversations are simply more intimate than in real life? I know that before the internet I could count on one hand the number of people who even knew about my MS; now it's in the public domain for anyone who cares to know. And I'm still not sure how to reconcile all this internet exhibitionism with the very private person who once threw her diary away just because her then husband had read a few pages.
But back to the movie: in SITC 2, the girls visit Abu Dhabi at the invitation of a sheik. Needless to say, the glamour is over the top fabulous and a very far cry from my own desert experience many years ago of being stranded in the Western Sahara for six weeks hallucinating about showers and clean sheets. And even though I've ridden camels in Egypt and Australia, I've never done so in quite the style of the SITC girls:
Which brings me to another point: not only do I need to nurture my girlfriend relationships, but I really, really, really need a BGF (best gay friend). Just look at Miranda's sexy transformation when she attended the gay wedding of Carrie's BGF to Charlotte's BGF:
You can't see it too well in this shot, but Miranda's dress is open down to her navel. She's the conservative lawyer in the SITC series, remember? I just love how she has been transformed into a vixen for this movie and how she is finally able to stand up the abusive male partners in her firm. (Of course we all know such characters are purely fictional, right?)
In any event, go see this movie with your best girlfriends. Or with women you hardly know but want to become friends with. Or if you are male, go see it alone and see how quickly you will make friends with the 100:1 ratio of women to men at the show.
And if you have no interest in seeing this movie, that's okay too. But this Memorial Day weekend, let's all spend a little less time on Facebook, and give our real friends a little more Facetime.
We're off to a BBQ now in real time with some real life friends ...
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What are your thoughts about social media networking? Have you been able to use FB to stay connected with your real friends, or it a distraction that takes away from your real life relationships? How do you feel about sharing details of your life online when there's a very good chance complete strangers will be reading these? Have you made fantastic friendships online you would have never otherwise had the chance to make?