I have a confession to make. I'm just not my perky little self lately.
Oh, I really can't put my finger on it. It could be too much work and too little time for relaxation.
Maybe I'm distracted by all the things that need to get done and all the things that I really want to do.
It could be that I'm entering a time of life that has created a need to be more introspective. Or maybe it's that I'm getting older and life is changing and moving faster than it has any right to do. Maybe my funk is related to the news that my 30th high school reunion is being planned.
Yikes! Can it really be 30 years? That's me you hear gasping for air.
I just can't seem to put my finger on this sense of restlessness. There is one thing I do know - right now, at this moment, I'd much rather be working in my garden, sitting by the pool or cuddling my granddaughter.
But, do you know what I really long for? An afternoon spent with my friends - my "girlfriends." I want to spend an entire afternoon doing nothing but laughing and talking and sharing. Oh, how I miss that.
Women used to take more time to visit. Somehow, we knew it was important. But that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. That sense of importance got lost in developing our careers, creating a home and raising our families. We've allowed ourselves to become so busy that we're letting a formerly common social interlude - girl talk - die without so much as a backward glance.
Girl talk is different than those oh-so-serious discussions about the stock market, unemployment or falling mortgage rates. Girl talk is the talk between women that is open and unfettered by self-consciousness. It's that kind of talk that bares the soul without thought of self-protection. It's the kind of talk that leaves you feeling simultaneously lightened of load and re-energized of spirit.
In high school, we talked about boys, clothes, our parents and school. As young adults, we talked about men, jobs, sex and college life. As mothers, we talked about pregnancy, childbirth and raising children. No subject was ever considered taboo. Nothing was ever too silly or too serious to discuss.
It used to be evidentially important. Girl talk enabled us to discover, share and understand. When we talked, we learned about pragmatic issues such as how to dress. When we talked, we discovered how to deal with the complicated issues of handling relationships.
We talked over the telephone. We talked over lunch. We talked until the wee hours of the morning. We talked while our children napped, we talked while our children played. Sometimes we talked until there was nothing left to share but the sound of silence.
We shared deep, dark secrets - my girlfriends know things about me that even my husband doesn't know! Most of all, we shared how we FELT.
And now, we simply don't take the time. Most would say they just don't have the time. I would counter that, like any other priority that we schedule in life, we need to MAKE the time to be with the women that are important to us.
Because we don't, we're losing a valuable part of the feminine social structure. And I, for one, miss it terribly.
Like all things related to life, maybe it's only natural that relationships with girlfriends should evolve too. But for it to simply disappear is disturbing.
I need that female interaction - somehow it completes me as a woman. So tonight, I think I'll place a few phone calls. If I'm missing that good, old-fashioned girl talk, I know that many of my friends are, too. Afterwards, I know we'll all feel better.
Theresa Larson is the administration manager and bi-weekly columnist for the Lodi News-Sentinel.