Recently I made a few new Facebook friends.
One lives in North Dakota, has an amazing set of upper arms, and runs marathons.
I refuse to acknowledge any direct correlation between the latter two details.
One lives in Washington D.C., owns her own boudoir photography business, and has a fondness for llamas.
I am assuming there is no direct correlation between the latter two details.
One lives in California, has a bodacious Morrissey tattoo on her chest and owns a white sleeveless A-line dress printed with red barbecue grills.
Obviously there is a direct correlation between bad-ass tattoos and awesome taste in retro barbecue wear.
Yes ladies, I stalked you on Facebook as I was writing this post.
I don’t know much more about these women.
If we met randomly on the street we might pass each other by without notice.
We didn’t grow up together.
We didn’t raid each other’s closets or divulge our secrets to each other in high school.
We haven’t giggled over first crushes, done each other’s hair or been each other’s bridesmaids.
And for that last one I’m sure we are all thankful.
I don’t know their politics, their religious inclinations (or lack thereof) or their thoughts on the Middle East.
We are strangers living thousands of miles apart on opposite ends of the country with vastly different life experiences. We know very little about each other and have very little in common with each other on the surface – the obvious exception being our gender.
And I will be the first to admit that I don’t put much stock in the idea that women are naturally bonded with one another across time and space – or social media – simply due to their ownership of two X chromosomes.
In my mind, it has never been a truth universally acknowledged that an individual in possession of a vagina must naturally be in want of close friendship with the same.
My apologies to Jane Austen.
But, despite my own wariness over the years at fully embracing the sisterhood of the traveling punani (Hawaiians have the loveliest slang), the older I get – or the shorter the distance gets between my uterus and my knees – I find myself gaining a greater appreciation for the women in my life.
Even the ones I barely know.
Perhaps that’s because the lives of women are like that theory about Pixar movies. We are all recurring characters existing in the same interconnected world as part of one epic story.
Or maybe our connection is more akin to a feminine version of the butterfly effect – a uterus sheds its lining in China and the special extended version of Say Anything goes into rotation on Cinemax.
It’s hard to explain is my point.
But I know that when it is three in the morning and you can’t sleep;
and your bills are overdue;
and lovers or husbands or close friends have disappointed;
or, when you have disappointed the same;
or, you are watching Terms of Endearment, and can barely breathe from crying, and you just want that nurse to understand Shirley Maclaine’s desperation and give Debra Winger the goddamn pain shot;
and you make that desperate plea in your status update -
Somewhere out there is another woman who understands and will respond to your digital-age message in a bottle with grace, wit and tenderness.
Go ahead and cry ladies. I’ve got your back.