The loss of a friendship can be nearly as painful as a bitter divorce or a death. And yet is a strange sort of heartbreak, one that is rarely discussed, even in our tell-all society. Tales of disastrous love abound, but there is something about a failed friendship that makes those involved guard it like a shameful secret. Whatever happened to your friend? someone asks and more often than not the answer comes back carefully crafted to give away nothing. We had a falling out. It’s complicated. – An excerpt from the Foreword
I found this book while browsing through the stacks at the library recently. I was looking for a new book about running for Toad (Born to Run Christopher McDougall) and I’d managed to wander into the psychology section. That always seems to happen to me. As I was scanning through quickly, this book caught my eye. It was the last on its row so I could see the cover and it looked a lot like that book I Don’t Know How She Does It that I read as a grad student wondering how in the world I would have a career and a family and a room of my own and all of that. Still haven’t figured it out and that book certainly didn’t help, but they look quite a bit alike, don’t they?
At any rate, I picked it up because it sounded like a good idea for a book and I’m on semester break and I found the cover fairly appealing. Also, looking at the TOC I found that Dorothy Allison was involved with the project and I love her. Although I haven’t made it all the way through, I am certainly glad I stumbled on this one. It has turned out to be just the thing. I had expected it would be a bit more chick lit/skating the surface/light than the stories I have read actually are. There is substance here and I’m grateful for it.
Relationships are hard. Relationships between women seem particularly complex and I’m glad that a bunch of writers came together to reflect on and share their own experiences. This kind of thing is really helpful to me. Healing. It’s one of the reasons I love reading as much as I do. Listening to these women tell their stories, it’s possible to uncover some thread of connection, some meaning. Or at least to imagine that there might be one. I have two stories of my own and maybe someday I will figure them out. Maybe. For now, they just rest in the background. Sometimes silent and sometimes shouting with no pattern that I can predict.
Recently a friend who got away and then came back (I guess she almost got away – tee hee) got a Facebook message from her own childhood friend. A girl who was as close as her own sister until she got away almost 10 years ago. They have had no contact in all of that time and now….. who knows? They are going to try again. Brave.