On a dark and stormy night, back when the market was screaming hot (so I frequently worked into the evening), I ducked in to Sungari Pearl to order Chinese takeout. A while-you-wait Grey Goose martini with olives and a twist seemed like a good idea too. There was one other woman at the bar, but the tables were all full.
My girlfriend lived across the street. I could see her office light glowing in her third floor condo and I decided to give her a call to join me in that Martini. I dug for my cell phone in the pockets of my bag. “I’m across the street at the bar in Sungari Pearl. Come over as you are; there’s no one here who cares. I’ll have a perfect Martini waiting for you in three minutes.”
As I tossed my phone back into the abyss of my working shoulder bag, I felt the woman on the next stool considering me. Turning, I said hello in a friendly way. “I can’t believe you could just dial the phone number of a friend from memory!” she said. And then, “I don’t know anyone’s phone number by heart; just my home number.”
I smiled at her. This I know for sure. You have to have a few phone numbers that you know by heart, and one of the most important ones is for your best girlfriend. You might have an emergency broken heart, or you might need advice on whether or not to spend a third of your next commission check on a single pair of shoes with heels so high you can’t walk in them. Someone in your family might have died, your dog might be diagnosed with cancer or for that matter, you might need a friend to pick you up from your doctor’s office after some really unsettling news. Your best girlfriend is who you call for a quick drink, no agenda. She is the one who, in thirty minutes, can listen to your worries, give you her worries in return, tell you not to spend that money or to go ahead and blow your entire wad on something totally decadent. She will invite you to a meet up at the art museum, remember your special color of lipstick and call you when she sees it in the gift with purchase bag at Saks. Your best girlfriend sends you clippings from “O” that laugh at your on line dating experiences, and comics from the New Yorker that remind her of the road trip you took last summer. Your best girlfriend knows who your children are, and how to interpret the ultimatums from your daughter or a loan to your son.
Just then my girlfriend blew in from the cold and settled on her own barstool. She thanked me for the drink and scanned the bar for someone she might know, or someone she might want to know. And then, we did what girlfriends do. We laughed and talked and enjoyed our drinks, and thirty minutes later, we split the bill down the middle and waved good bye. The woman at the bar was still considering. I think she was concentrating on improving her memory.

2 Responses to “Girlfriends”
  1. Anonymous says:

    Karla,Loved this piece! I particularly loved this line…"A while-you-wait Grey Goose martini with olives and a twist seemed like a good idea too." Especially the "A while-you-wait Grey Goose Martini." I really enjoy and appreciate those types of economy of words phrasing! Thanks for sharing.Traci

  2. I love the breeziness of the voice of the narrator. It felt very "Sex in the City." And I loved the list of reasons someone might need to call her girlfriend, from the shoe purchase to the bad dog diagnosis to the quick drink no agenda.

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