Italian women and their girlfriends-they stroll arm-in-arm through the streets, talking about their families or what went on that day, or their plans for tomorrow. They laugh, shop and walk their dogs together, taking time to really know one another. They have the relationship thing down, from the time they are young until they are very old-they spend time in "girl talk," don't get in a hurry, and listen.
I am fascinated by the women of Italy, and how they interact with one another. Every generation values their female relationships--elderly women and their widowed friends, mothers and daughters, grandmothers and granddaughters, women my age and their best friends--all stroll along at a leisurely pace, really paying attention to what the other is saying and not caring what anyone thinks about them. Deep friendship and caring, true interest in sharing each other's ups and downs.
What is it about our culture that makes our girlfriend relationships so different? Why don't we spend time strolling through the park or the mall or the grocery store, arm-in-arm? Can you imagine the looks we would get if we did?
My new resolve is to be a better friend, to be an "Italian-style" girlfriend. I want to sit and talk, listening more than gabbing, spending more time in developing relationships than focusing on my work. I would love to stroll along downtown streets or along the hike-and-bike trail, sharing news about our families or our plans for the future, or even our struggles. I want my girlfriends to know that I am always ready to be there, sitting on a bench or walking the dogs, talking or just being there for support.
I want to grow very old with my girlfriends, experiencing life together just like these.