I do, for one. Although I’m perfectly content spending time by myself, I really need my friends, who run the gamut from married, divorced, never-married and getting-ready-to-be-married.
We go to plays and movies together; talk, talk, talk (gathering opinions, offering advice, sharing stories); attend each other’s events (for someone with no children, I’ve been to a lot of school plays!); and regularly have “Girl’s Night Out” gatherings.
These GNOs have allowed us to try new restaurants and bars, go to dance clubs and enjoy summertime music festivals.
One of the best ones centered around a birthday celebration. Two of the husbands volunteered to be designated drivers for our group of about a dozen women. The men ferried us from place to place on our rather ambitious itinerary, but did not otherwise participate. Oh, and the best part? The birthday girl’s husband gave us his credit card, to fund the evening. Awesome idea!
These GNOs have evolved to include a degree of costuming. Laura, who generally takes charge of this, supplies us with accessories like (fake) tat sleeves, lace gloves, faux fur cat’s ears and sparkly scarves — fun, silly elements which give our group a visual coherence and frequently lead people to ask, “Is this a bachelorette party?”
Here’s a picture from one of our GNOs:
When I began writing “The New Old Maid” (which is in progress), I assumed that single people in general and single women in particular had strong social networks. I reasoned that they (we) needed or wanted them more than married people did — to fill a void.
That’s not necessarily the case. I’ve interviewed lots of always-single women and found that not all have or need circles of friends.
Here’s a sampling of their comments:
“I have different groups of friends as opposed to a small, close-knit group of friends. I have probably three close friends and then after that I have lots of acquaintances that I can just pick up the phone and do things with.”
“I think one thing that I’m lacking is friendships. That is something that I would like to foster. Some really good women friendships that I just haven’t been able to attract that into my life, if you will.”
“I’m a little jealous of people who’ve been able to keep their friends longer term and have deeper friendships. Most of my longer-term friends don’t live here. But when I do connect with someone, I make friends fast and deep.”
What about you? If you are a single woman — never married or divorced — do you feel as if you need your friends more than if you were married? Does a spouse fulfill the same needs as a friend does?