Grace, and Frankie, and Women Friends


I’ve been watching the Netflix show “Grace and Frankie” for the past few weeks. It was recommended by a bunch of my women friends.

I love it.

You know why? Not because of the great writing, the wonderful acting, the humor or the gorgeous beach front location.

Nope.

I love it because it captures the evolving relationship of two women who have been in each other’s lives for years without truly connecting. It shows the tender dance of two women who are thrown together through an unimagined tragedy/comedy. It looks at the special bond between women who have always focused on their differences, but who suddenly find a need to see their similarities.

I love it.

I love it because many years ago, when I was young and the world was full of promise, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by loving women friends. Oh, sure, we weren’t actually “women” yet. We were adolescent girls, complete with acne, insecurity and remarkably uncontrollable hair.

But we found each other. We supported each other. In spite of the occasional boyfriend spat, we held each other up and helped each other to grow.

Those women overlooked my self-absorbed rantings. They pretended that they didn’t see my social struggles or my complete lack of fashion sense. They were my team.

The years went by, we went our separate ways. We married, or we didn’t. We went to college, or we didn’t. We were financially successful, or we weren’t. There were babies, divorces, illnesses, deaths, losses.

For a few decades, we barely knew each other.

But. Here we are now. Together once again.

After years apart, different paths, different stories, different experiences, we find ourselves connected once again.

And much like Grace and Frankie, we are finding our commonalities. We are rediscovering our shared experiences and our shared triumphs. We are able to look past the old comparisons and find the best in each other.

After many decades of defining myself only in terms of my ability to nurture, to mother, to teach, I am in absolutely desperate need of these women who knew me when I was just the goody-goody girl with the big Italian family and the mediocre alto voice. I need the shared jokes, the stories from our past. I need the love and support of women who can look at me and see the me that hides inside the Mom/Nonni/wife/daughter. I need the women who see the girl inside.

And I’ve found them.

That’s why I love “Grace and Frankie.” Because it gets to the core of female friendship.

Thank you, women of RMHS!

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Pretty sure I’d be Frankie.