fancy lady times

January 31, 2012 |  Category:   friends life

There was once a time, years ago, when it seemed like all my friends were boys. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but there is also nothing like hanging out with a girl friend or a small group of ladies that you feel totally comfortable with. I remember desperately missing that in my life and wondering if I would ever have those “best friend” relationships that meant the whole world when I was a kid. Hearing Mia list all her best friends reinforces that feeling that we really do crave and need those kinds of companionship, even at an early age – but it isn’t always easy to find now, is it?


When Mia was a baby, I found a group of new mom friends in the neighborhood who I’d meet with every week. It was rather easy to meet other new parents here even if you weren’t particularly outgoing or good at reaching out to strangers. I don’t know if you ever forget your first mom friends. The first year or so of having your first baby is a big bonding experience. Even if you don’t have anything else in common, you have this, and being new parents is a big enough commonality that it can trump anything else. I don’t want to say that I had a friend “type” in my pre-baby years, but I did, only because common interests bring people together to the same places, whether it’s at school, a job, or a community of like-minded people. So when I started meeting people outside of the artist/designer/musician/chef/computer geek types – people who were lawyers and bankers and who had other corporate type jobs – it was sort of a novel thing as far as friendships go.


I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as I’ve been marveling at how rich my friendships have become in the last 2 or so years. For many years it was all about being friends with other neighborhood parents. It was just easier to socialize this way and in many cases, the only way to socialize. It was great and fun and one of my fondest memories of being a new parent. These friendships shaped the way that I approached parenthood and they meant the world to me. But I’ve recently realized that many of those friendships have naturally drifted. I’m a totally sappy person and I would never want to admit this, but I guess sometimes friendships just run their course. Maybe we’ve moved on.


These days I have made most of my friendships online. It is both totally strange if you think about it, but totally amazing. I feel lucky enough to live in a city where many people will breeze through on various business and visits, so that these online friendships become real life friendships too. I’ve also gravitated towards people with the same interests again. Now that I’m a parent of school age kids, I don’t feel like my conversations need to center around my children and in fact when I am out with friends, I don’t necessarily want to talk about my kids. Many of my newer friends aren’t even parents!
I’m in love with all the friendships I have made over the past 2 years, many of which I’ve written about on this blog. To go out at night with ladies like Anna, Jen and Tamera, to plan these get togethers even though Jen and Tamera don’t even live in NY, to wander around the East Village on a Saturday night from one place to the next, and to sit around and talk about lady things. To feel a bit like my own person, not someone’s mom, for a long evening.
But when I get back home, I get back home to this. The girls never fail to leave me a good night note to place on top of my computer. Love. I finally feel like I’ve achieved some kind of balance in my life.


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  • Aya January 31, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    What sweet drawings!

  • Ashley January 31, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Beautiful post! You are blessed for all the ladies in your life: past, present, old and young :) I love the nightly notes!

  • wendy January 31, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    So true and so well said Jenna. Friendships are funny.. it’s so interesting how there are seasons of friendship, and it is sad when one has run its course. I love that your girls leave you notes and drawings, it’s the sweetest thing!

  • Helen January 31, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while and rarely comment. I work for a big corporation but also have a creative side that wants to come out. Reading your posts makes me feel like it’s possible in the near future, perhaps.

    I’m also about to become a mom (in March!!!!) So your posts on parenting and finding the balance of being yourself and being a mom kind of give me a “preview” of what life could be like for me. I hope I would be able to find that place in a couple of years. :)

  • gia January 31, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    omg, that is the blessing to getting older hmm? That is what we should think about with each birthday, the richer people and experiences in our lives. amen.

  • Annie January 31, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    So well said. I’m currently in a mildly awkward stage, friend-wise, where some of us are getting married and planning for families and some of us are having a second adolescence, and nothing seems to mesh like it once did. I’m encouraged by the idea that there can be new best friends for different life stages. And doubly encouraged by the idea of having sweet daughters who leave me notes when I get home from a girls night. Talk about balance!

  • Melissa@Julia's Bookbag January 31, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    I could say that I love this post FOR THE TITLE ALONE, but I love it for so much more. Friendships are a lovely thing — some friends I’ve maintained since I was 11 and living in Hawaii — we Hawaii folk seem to have stuck together, but I love and appreciate that there have been different friends for different seasons in my life — just because we’ve drifted a bit doesn’t diminish those relationships for me — Miss Jenna you have such a knack for succinctly putting into words many of the “life thoughts” we all seem to have…Thank You!

  • Tian January 31, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    as an expat who have moved quite a bit for work, i find it hard to build solid friendships .. definitely yearn for that sometimes

  • rebeccaNYC January 31, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Love love love the notes the girls wrote. Full of love. You are indeed blessed!

  • Audrie January 31, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    When I was growing up, most of my friends were boys too. I didn’t like the drama the girls in school seemed to thrive on. In my 20s I made a bunch of very, very good friends and we’d meet often for dinner and talk all night. Then I moved to the States and I never thought I’d find that again. How wrong I was. I’ve got a tiny handful of people I call friends, and at 30+ you really don’t think it’d happen. I know I’m blessed and I’m so thankful for each of them.

  • 3lin February 1, 2012 at 12:31 am

    So sweet

  • mau February 1, 2012 at 5:09 am

    Awww so sweet of your girls! It would be worth going out just to find those notes!

  • Claire February 1, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Gorgeous post and love the new design!

  • Sharon @ Currently Coveting February 1, 2012 at 10:11 am

    I’m going to pass this along to my friends who have kids. Some of them have children who are in school and some are brand new mothers. They’ve all talked about the change that happens in friendships when their children have come and how difficult it was finding their first “mom friends” when everyone around them was still childless.

    Also, those drawings and notes from your girls makes my heart sing. Such thoughtful and sweet girls you have there. :)

  • Stephanie February 1, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Those notes must melt your heart every single time!

    I think this post so elegantly stated how those lady friendships are so important to our lives, even when only there for a sometimes small amount of time. I still am trying to find that right group of friends where I live, although I have a close group online.

  • Cecilia Madden February 1, 2012 at 10:58 am

    that is the sweetest thing i’ve ever seen. i can only hope to get notes as sweet as this from my girl when she gets a little bigger.

    and i love your remarks about friendship too. i was just reading a nytimes article yesterday about “defriending” in real life, which really raised the question of whether friendships ever end. i’d like to think that they don’t, that someday some of those old friends that drifted will resurface at a later, more appropriate time.

    …something else you made me think of: the super-smart gretchen rubin sites research that says that people with female friends are generally happier, and that this is true for both men and women. interesting…

  • Atsuko February 1, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Love those love notes from girls. It is strange a type of friendship changes as your circumstance changes. As I recently moved to the new location, I am starting again to find a friend that I feel “click.” This is getting harder for me as I get older. Is it only me feeling this way? But I also start favoring friends who have same or similar interests. I feel that blogs are the place to find someone who shares the same passion. Thank you for beautiful writing.

  • Samantha February 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    As someone who prefers small groups of good friends and who has made two major moves in the past few years, I’ve been thinking a lot about friendships and how they evolve and sometimes drift away. I loved this entry!

    PS I’ve made most of my friendships online too. It’s strange when I actually tally them up!

  • Susan February 1, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Notice how everyone is hugging Mia ; )
    So thoughtful of her. Hope you have a great day!

  • Meghann Chapman February 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Love the precious drawings/notes and completely agree. I’ve become such a hermit, it seems. Outside of school, I rarely leave the house or meet up with friends. But as soon as us, ladies, do get together for a grown up night, I feel how bad I truly did need it.
    We were on this earth before we had kids and will most likely still be there after they fly the coop. Therefore, we need to keep in touch with ourselves. What makes us ‘us.’ We aren’t mommies ALL the time but it IS sometimes hard to take off the mommy coat and put on the ‘me’ coat. But it fits like a glove every time. Almost like comfy sweatpants meets saucy LBD… if that makes sense :)

  • Lakshmi February 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Mark is virtually a giant in the first drawing… So cute.

  • Lia February 1, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    My husbands aunt has a group of friends that she has met for the past 30 years once a month! They all met when their kids were young and have kept the friendship. I think that to have kids opens a opportunity to start friendships but you have to have more in common than just the kids to keep the friendships. Love the drawings! All those hearts showing love abiding on each one of you! Precious!

  • Susan February 1, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Hi Jenna,
    I read your blog quite a lot and marvel at how easily you are able to express your feelings and thoughts and how lucky your are to be able to share your “world” with us all. Actually, I envy that and I feel that if I ever really expressed myself, I mean truely expressed my feelings, I would, perhaps, regret some of the things I wrote down for all the world to see and there would be no taking it back, once it’s out there, it’s out there.
    My mom always said it’s a lot of work having friends. I really see what she meant, now that I’m getting older. I’ve been a single parent for ten years now and I work at home every day so I don’t get a chance to go out much…but I’d love to. I just don’t put myself out there, as all my family says, and that’s just my personality. I do find my Mom was right, though. Also, being a single person limits the chances for going out to dinner, for example, with other couples. “The fifth wheel” as Mom used to call herself, as she also was a single parent.
    So thanks for letting me comment. This is the most I have ever said online about my personal life!

  • Kate365til30 February 1, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Beautiful piece Jenna. Loved it.

  • Anna February 1, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    I love this entry and the lovely comments that have followed. I think women thrive on strong female friendships, yet in our busy, often disconnected, and very global lives they are often sacrificed. I’m at the stage where I have tons of mum friends (although many who’ve moved out of the baby phase have drifted away) but I do miss my old university friends, the ones who really get “me”, and who I can have conversations with that go deeper than a discussion of what my small children are doing. I come away from catch ups with my old friends feeling so positive, so … which word captures the opposite of loneliness? Most of those are scattered throughout the world, doing the career and travel thing, and I hope they’ll eventually come home to roost (I’m 31 so I hope by their mid-30s the biological clock will do its thing) but it’s uplifting to hear that I may have those kind of friendships again, even if they’re new friends. Overall, I do feel very blessed to have such a network of supportive, positive women (and men) in my life (even if I do wish everyone was closer!)

  • taste area February 1, 2012 at 11:30 pm


  • Annelies February 2, 2012 at 4:26 am

    I love how you can express your feelings like this. Often you write about something that has been on my mind for quite some time but that i couldn’t put in words. In this post you made me think, recognize and smile. Amazing.

  • tamera jane February 2, 2012 at 9:32 am

    you guys are the best! it really made me miss having lady friend times – i do have long calls with my SF friends but it’s not the same. hopefully i can make more nyc trips (oh, and meet people in VT.)

    & next time I want to meet the girls!! we can go to the natural history museum or something!!

  • vivian February 2, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Love this entry. It’s honest and it’s the truth about relationships in search and those that inevitably wither away. I can relate esp since I have a lil one and am a first time parent. I’m just waiting for the day I can brave the night away from my baby. Glad you can find time for yourself and working on those friendships. Your girls are sweet and so precious.

  • Misha February 2, 2012 at 11:49 am

    So sweet! I love my internet relationships, too. It’s like your blog can express so many things that words verbalized can not.
    So glad you got a night out…and the love your babies have for you is palpable.

  • Jen February 2, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    I’m so glad that you’re my friend. xo

  • Janet February 3, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Thank you for this insightful post but I must be the odd one out and ask where you took the picture of the cake slices? They look deliciously comforting

  • Jenna February 3, 2012 at 9:55 am

    @janet – it was at atlas in the East Village. Vegan cake!

  • Nina February 3, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Oh, those notes. Too, too sweet.

  • Jen Laceda February 4, 2012 at 12:43 am

    OMG, when i saw that drawing of the family hug, it just made me smile. we always do a family hug at home as well :) it used to be just the 4 of us (us + 2 girls), but now we have baby #3 also…so we do bigger family hugs :)

  • linn February 4, 2012 at 3:53 am

    This is just so nice Jenna, made my eyes tear a bit. You seem like a great friend and a great mother.

  • Jill February 4, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    You know, it’s kind of funny. I relate to your sentiments about having mostly male friends — I’d say I’m still like that. Part of it is a conflation of interests and networks, since most of my days and evenings are spent with other tech geeks, which I love.

    But your post actually made me think why I don’t really have many casual girlfriends. I have a few close friends from past lives in high school and college, but they mostly don’t live in NYC. While girlfriends can be WONDERFUL and it’s honestly the most fun to while away a whole evening with a close friend, we are so demanding! Girlfriends expect you to talk about your hopes and dreams and insecurities and anxieties… like open up and shit. THAT IS HARD.

    Anyway, thanks for the lovely post – it was fun to see you and Anna and Jen and Tamera all tweeting and Instagramming that night, like a bunch of chickadees. :) Glad you had such a nice time.

  • jodi February 6, 2012 at 10:27 am

    so great!!