Today, as part of WOW (Women on Writing), Traveling With T is participating in a blog tour for DANGER IN HER WORDS by Barbara Bath. Barbara has written a guest post, The Importance of Girlfriends, which is a must read! Read on for the guest post and the info about her book, DANGER IN HER WORDS.
The Importance Of Girlfriends
Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends. ~Virginia Woolf
A quote I love and included in Danger In Her Words. When the going gets tough, Susan turns to her friends! They have her back, make her laugh, share the juiciest of girl-talk over wine. They make her life complete, as only the best of girlfriends can.
I am lucky to have a group of best girlfriends in my arena too.
It is actually a new experience for me in some ways.
My friends have always been close to my heart, and I’ve always considered myself lucky to have wonderful friends over the years. But the real meaning of friendship hit me smack between the eyes when my husband died in May 2008. Prior to that date, most of my girlfriends were married and antique dealers I’ve known for many years. We did shows together, lunched together, and had antique booths in the same shops. At night we were home with our husbands. Then the unthinkable happened.
My antique buddies did not let me sit alone. They gathered around me that first year making sure I got out of the house. I remember the night Sex in the City was having its big premier in Atlanta. I had a very sad day and fell asleep on the couch. At six pm a call came in on my cell. I picked it up to hear a crazy dear friend shouting, “Wake up! It’s Sex in the City night. We’ll be there in twenty minutes to get you.” I was going to bow out, but she hung up quickly. I jumped up and washed my face, put on some make-up, and was ready when she pulled in my driveway. I headed out for one of the best nights with these two gals. We got to the theater and one of my friends opened a cooler. “Get a bottle of wine.” We snuck wine into the theater to drink with our popcorn. Giggling as we sat down and sipped from our small bottles. What started out as a terrible day for me turned into a grand evening because my friends would not let me say “no”.
In The Unfaithful Widow, my memoir on that first year on my own, I refer to my best friend. She was also my husband’s good friend. They liked to watch the home remodeling shows and cooking shows on TV while I listed on Ebay those nights she came over for dinner. She had just gotten divorced and coming to see us was her way of dealing with changes in her life.
She was my rock that year my husband died. She was the angel that was up at five in the morning when I called her to tell her the news. He had been ill with a rare immune system disease that took his life at home in the wee morning hours. She was the one who drove over and talked to the police, the ambulance driver, and other intruders in my home that morning when life changed for me. She stayed with me until my mother, sister, and brother-in-law made it up from Florida that night. She stayed close that week and most every day after that.
She listened to my stories every night on the phone, the same stories, rehashing everything. When I started to move out and do things on my own, we laughed at how stupid it was to date. I was the one with all the silly online dating stories and she had the patience to let me talk until I tired.
My friends turned a nightmare into a lesson on love. They made that year magical for me with their support.
I was asked in an interview once if my friendships with my girlfriends changed when my husband died. I know there are stories when couples are friends and a mate is gone, the other is left out. My girlfriends were really my friends, not couple friends. Nothing changed with us, except they left their husbands more to check on me that year. We are still together antiquing and lunching once a week.
My best friend suffered a huge loss when my husband left too. It took me some time to realize she lost a dear friend. Her only focus was on me. I needed that more. Later I told her I knew how painful it was for her too.
Now, six years later, I have a group of single girlfriends to hang with. We are all older – divorced, widowed, never married. In our late fifties to mid-sixties. We talk trash, love life, and are happy with where we are. Most have children and grand-children, I never had kids, so I am not good in chatting in that arena. I have six dogs and they are patient when I pull out my cell with its 300 dog photos!
I still don’t travel. With six dogs it is hard to spend the night anywhere without a pet sitter. My dogs can’t be left alone at night, so I pay for a sleep-over on the rare occasion I go out of town.
This year, after all my craziness of thinking I should sell my house and move, of having a shop of my own for nine months and almost going broke, of publishing two books in four years, the restlessness I’ve felt is gone. It’s my girlfriends. They have grounded me close to home after the dust of all my escapades has settled.
Some of my friends date, but when we get together it is just the girls. We don’t head out to meet men, we can do that on our own if we want. What we want is share time with each other. We hash over life over wine, where we’ve been and what we hope to do, and we talk as much silliness as Susan and her friends do in Danger In Her Words.
It is amazing that at my young age of sixty-five, I finally have the girlfriends that make life a blessing. I only hope I am as good to my friends as they are to me.
*Thank you Barbara for that guest post!
A TV sitcom pitch gone wrong turns dog-column writer Susan Meyers in a tailspin. Sex Sells was the topic of the day at the writers’ convention. Susan decided to try something new and a steamy romantic novel seemed just the answer. A widow who hadn’t dated in three years, Susan was out of practice with men and sex. She turned to an online dating site to find inspiration for her book and unleashed a predator with the words she wrote. Tucked an hour away from her friends in a small town where she kept to herself, with only her tiny dog for company, Susan felt safe from the world. Little did she know her life was about to change.
A romp of a story about writing and finding yourself in this book within a book. If you love girl-talk, farmhouses, antiques, country towns, a touch of murder, a sprinkle of suspense, and a bit of naughty fun, come join Susan as she learns about life from her character Jamie. Two widows looking for love in all the wrong places might still get it right if they live long enough.
Barbara Barth likes a lot of things: turquoise jewelry, surfing the ‘net, and margaritas, to name a few. Then there are the dogs. As many as her house can hold! This Georgia antique dealer and jewelry maker published a hobby newsletter for 13 years. After her husband died she recorded the year that followed in a series of essays. When she isn’t writing you can find her at the local thrift shops or pounding another nail into the wall to hang the paintings she can’t resist. She published a memoir The Unfaithful Widow and Danger in her Words is her debut novel.
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T