But friendship’s renewal is unique

CNN photo, Stuart Ramson/Associated press


Nicole Richie, above, appears on CNN’s Larry King Live in Los Angeles in November to discuss why she and former best friend Paris Hilton, shown shilling her CD below, are no longer pals.

It’s not often that you hear about two good guy friends who’ve had such a strong difference of opinion that they stop talking to each other. Guys just don’t do that.

Women, well, we’re another story. Whether it’s a dispute over Barbie dolls as kids, a brawl over a boy or an unresolved issue at any time, women can get into rows with each other strong enough to sever their friendship.

Or at least put it on hold for years.

Like many women, I know what it’s like. Guys think we’re ridiculous and can’t understand what all the fuss is about. But then they don’t get the opportunity to re-ignite that same friendship with more intensity than before.

I recently attended a wedding where the feelings of love in the air were palpable. Two women present were both old and dear friends of the bride, who had an argument over a decade ago that had ended a 20-year friendship.

Both thought they were right — one moved away, and life went on without them ever resolving their problem.

None of us would have expected this wedding to be the catalyst to a renewed relationship between these two strong, independent women, but somehow, through the veil of happiness that often surrounds a wedding celebration, all the anger and animosity dissipated.

Sisters know what I’m talking about. So often when two or more women grow up in the same family, strong divisions can occur between siblings — even over the smallest things. It’s important for women to create their own independence, their own unique personality, especially when in a house with other strong-minded women.

Perhaps it starts with the socialization of girls by their mothers, who, no matter what their other jobs are, seem to have the task of making everything right. Women grow up with a strong sense of both nurturing and justice, so that when we think we’re right, we want to be acknowledged for it.

Our opinions matter, we feel a strong need to be taken seriously and we crave independence and the strength that comes with that. Most men operate somewhat differently — sure they get into arguments with their mates over sports and politics, but they can often separate a difference of opinion from the basis of a friendship. Yankee fans and Mets fans can still be pals.

So back to the wedding — as the two women started to chat, others in the group noticed and silently cheered them on. By the end of the evening when the two women hugged their goodbyes, the rest of us had tears in our eyes.

The power of women is strong, and the need for sisterhood, understanding and forgiveness among women is even stronger.


Latest From ...