Girlfriends Henson and Davis at the 2015 Emmys When I look back on my life I’ve been in relationships with men for more than 27 years. And don’t get me wrong they were great - as long as they lasted - and I’m glad to have had those experiences. But just as important, and sometimes more important, are the girlfriend relationships you have. And I know this because your girlfriends are who you call when the male relationships go south.
I cannot tell you how important these relationships are to me, and mine stretch back to elementary school. My best friend, who was also my next-door neighbor, and I still send birthday cards to each other with a little something inside. When we were young it was a dollar and it was more when we were older. Even though we’re in different cities and can’t have lunch together we take that little something, get lunch and think about each other when we do. Girlfriends cheered on my career successes, new relationships and got me through my breakups, make-up and everything in between. Most importantly, girlfriends got me through my Mother’s passing this year. When I needed it most they told me to just sit down and let them take over. Boy was I glad for that.
I try to give as good as I get and was there until the end when I lost my best girlfriend in my 20’s and another girlfriend just last year. Now I’m sending cards or taking food to my girlfriends as our mothers make their transitions. Yes, girlfriends are the bomb!
I saw that, along with millions of others, when Taraji P. Henson gave much love to her television sister Viola Davis during the Emmy telecast on Sunday night. Taraji was working that front row, and despite being in competition with Davis for their category of Best Actress in a Drama Series, you would have thought Taraji won the way she cheered for Viola. And perhaps she did win too. She won because Viola knocked down a stereotype as thick as a brick wall and walked right through it so that other African American women can never face that barrier again.
And it wasn’t just Taraji. It was Kerry Washington and Regina King and Meagan Good and Uzo Aduba cheering for Viola, and in turn, they cheered for King (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series American Crime) and Aduba (Outstanding Supporting Actress Drama for Orange is the New Black) when they won. And also cheering were Debbie Allen and Alfre Woodard and Cicely Tyson and Regina Taylor, who as previous Best Actress in a Drama, nominees certainly put cracks in that wall. The elation in that room and the camaraderie among those women was electric and can’t be described but I certainly understand it. It’s girlfriend power.
My sincere hope is that my girlfriends will be by my side going into my sunset years. If only to sit on the front porch, go for the early bird dinner special or hold hands as we cross the street to go to the movies. Because one thing I know for sure - girlfriends are da bomb!