A few weeks ago, I wrote a post in which I put forth the following operational definition for the term "girl-date":
A girl-date is when two women who are relatively unfamiliar with one another decide they want to explore a more meaningful friendship outside of their current circumstances and do so by setting up a meeting whereby the potential for said meaningful friendship can be more deeply explored.
Eloquently crafted as it may be, I don't think this definition is as tightly written as I originally thought it was. What brought about this second-look analysis was the pop-up reminder I received this morning from my Outlook calendar that read, "girl-date: dinner at Nooshi with L."
The girl-date I have tonight, just like the one I had with E two Thursdays ago, is still a "date" in the sense we're meeting one-on-one, an alcoholic beverage or two will be imbibed, I took extra care to distribute the glimmer on my legs and wore a skirt to show off that fact and we'll no doubt engage in a back-and-forth discussion of how little sex - "little" being a generous description in my case - we're having these days. But unlike E, L doesn't fall into the "relatively unfamiliar" category, nor was this meeting set up to "more deeply explore" the "potential" for a "meaningful friendship." On the contrary, L has been a mainstay in my social calendar for years, and tonight's meeting, just like handfuls and handfuls of others we've shared since I arrived fresh from the oil fields of glorious Daqing three years ago, will be of the more comfortable, familiar sort. To put it in celebri-tard terms, if I'm Paris Hilton, E is my Kim Kardashian (gratuitous picture below) while L is my Nicole Richie. Minus that whole driving-the-wrong-way-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-highway "misunderstanding," of course.
Like Nicole to Paris, L has known me as someone's long-term girlfriend; she's known me pre-puppy-whipped when I would actually refer to dogs by the gender-neutral "it" and say things like, "I would never let something that licked its own junk sleep in my bed"; she's known me before I fell in love with New York and everything in it; she's known me long before this blog took over my life and increased what I had thought at the time was an already high threshold for undignified, irreverent humor; and yes, L has even been around long enough to earn the distinct privilege of being on the receiving end of my mother's monthly at-least-25-pounds care packages, which, depending on what was on sale at Meijer, could include a swag-bag filled with anything from triple-berry muffin mix to Magic Erasers to an Eclipse gum Big-E-Pak dispenser to blocks and blocks of pepper-jack cheese. Yes, cheese. Surprising even myself, on one occasion, I decided to give L one of my prized family-size boxes of antibacterial lotion-infused Puffs Plus. It may not seem like much, but I cry on average something like four times a day, so the sacrifice went well-beyond the $4 sticker price.
And of course, because she's L, she understood that.
So tonight might not carry with it the nervous stomach-flutters, the am-I-looking-her-in-the-eye-too-often? inner-dialogue, or the obligatory "who's the one you'll never get over?" conversation-starter, but sometimes that's just as well. Sometimes, all that first-date drama is too much to bear on a 90-degree hump-day when your bits are still tender from last week's Brazilian and the ulcer you're sure is forming as a result of the can't-get-it-off-your-mind dress-indecision for Monday night's dinner in Manhattan with your ultra-stylish college BFF only compounds the discomfort you feel with every crossing and re-crossing of the legs.
Sometimes there's nothing more motivating to get you through the work day than the knowledge that come 5:30 you'll be in the presence of a cold Tsingtao and someone with whom first impressions are a done-deal. Just an hour and a half of being around a friend who has already accepted - and even enjoys - the fact you send her bi-daily e-mails with attached pictures of clothes and shoes you can't afford, celebrities with whom you wish you could change places just so you could have access to their clothes and shoes, and more often than not, the little man in your life who, despite his junk-licking tendencies, is the most welcome of any beast in your Indonesian-teak queen-size -- sometimes, that's the kind of girl-date a girl needs most.