Last week on a rainy cold winter’s eve, my colleagues and I decided to treat ourselves for manis, pedis, and dinner in Crystal City. It had been a long week spent on field trips and we had one day before Winter Break. S and I were a bit hungry so we ended up at Jaleo’s for tapas. I had every intention of having a small light dinner, as did S. However, as soon as we looked at the menu, it was clear that was not in the books. We decided on sharing six tapas because we wanted a variety. The two standout plates were the T-bone Lamb chops with rosemary sauce and pan-seared scallops on top of a butternut squash puree. I love a well made lamb and will always, but the plate that is going to pull me back for more is the scallops on the butternut squash puree. Each bite was a swirl of warm, perfectly-seared scallop with a smooth, sweet squash puree. Imagine sitting by the fireplace wrapped in your favorite blanket, this dish is just that–a warm snuggle on a cold winter’s day.
Although this plate was enough to make the night everything I needed that week, what it allowed was so much more. There’s something indescribable when it comes to girl friendships. With the right girl friend, one can feel so fulfilled by simply conversing. I sometimes really miss this, especially when I move and have to start over. That night after the exhausting week we had been through, S and I talked about everything and nothing. We discussed our relationships, our hopes for the school year, our dreams for our next field trips, and our plans for the upcoming break. It was pretty standard, but oh so special at the same time. In my relationship at home, I tend to have the most to say (N has video recordings of me ranting). I live with someone who takes his time with his output–the absolute opposite of me! It doesn’t bother me, in fact, it forces me to slow down and be still. I don’t realize, however, how much I miss “chatting it up” until I get to without pauses.
Feeling utterly content on my drive home, I began to wonder why is it that N doesn’t need this type of relationship. Is it as simple as I am a woman, therefore I need to bond with other women by talking and he is a man and he doesn’t need it? Was it biological, environmental, societal, or completely unique to me and him? During my usually brief research, I found an interesting article on PBS.org, this article claimed that it is a myth that women talk more than men. In two studies done by Janet Holmes, she found that in certain situations men talk more than women. The article made one claim that resonates the most: “women seem to use talk to develop personal relationships”. There is something so special about girl friendships. If I didn’t have them, I’m not sure I would have a successful relationship with my husband. I can process every aspect of my life with my girl friends not matter it’s size.
As I get older, I understand that one relationship can’t offer me complete emotional fulfillment and there’s nothing wrong with this. My relationship is not like the line from Jerry Maguire; N does not “complete me”. I have always surrounded myself with strong female friends. These relationships make the one with my life partner that much stronger. Therefore, I’m grateful for a new friend on that perfectly cold, perfectly warm winter’s eve.