As we age, our needs change as well as our taste. The things we require to be happy often begin to simplify as we hit some of those golden numbers in age. Our tastes in movies, food, books and even the need for basic conversation also changes. As women, we can sometimes see the subtle changes that occur and often limit ourselves to women of our age bracket and even join some exclusive clubs that celebrate our maturity. Girl talk also evolves and changes with our adulthood.
In our teenage years, girl talk revolves around hair, make up and cute boys. At this phase we love to talk about all the sex we want to have with fictional characters we see in movies and singing groups. Our favorite songs become our mantras for life. For me, I wanted to be in Control like Janet Jackson and wanted to have a Rebel Yell like Billy Idol. Donned in my double belt, a punk rock haircut and more attitude than necessary, I chatted constantly about changing the world with my words. Conversations with my girlfriends were about kissing boys, heavy petting and making it to second base.
In our college years, girl talk revolved around hair, sororities, sleep and cute men. If you are able to combine sleep with cute men with great hair, you are ahead of the game. In these years, girl talk has a huge circumference around the number of batters on base and none you are willing to allow to round to home. You discover credit cards, nice restaurants and men with good jobs who make more money than your high school sweetheart. Your conversation becomes about your goals, Sylvia Plath and Gwendolyn Brooks. You are well read and can hold a conversation with a man that has an IQ and you have learned, after conferring with your girlfriends that you are in fact, deep.
After college we begin our careers and girl talk encircles our jobs, climbing the corporate ladder and cute bosses. Late nights are spent crying into cups of coffee because you have made some really bad choices with your cute boss while you have tried to climb his corporate ladder. You are learning political etiquette, learned to shut your mouth and realized there are somethings your girlfriends do not need to know. Company retreats are not the place to get snookered and tell people how you really feel, but most of all, always wear good underwear if you are planning to strip down and jump in the pool. These stupid things your girlfriends remind you, were not too smart.
We marry, we breed, we find other women who are breeding, clipping coupons and girl talk becomes about the cheapest diapers at the best price. The 30’s are an ideal time to get back in touch with the woman we swore we wanted to be. We have reconnected with women from high school, stayed in touch with our college room mates and have gone back for a class reunion that we should have just plain avoided. We are talking dietary changes, family friendly meals all while swapping recipes and listening to each other gripe and moan about those things that are truly important, diapers. Girls night out becomes an opportunity to burn off some excess energy. We take jazzercise, yoga and attempt to do Zumba. We are consoled by our girlfriends when we find that first grey hair that is not on our head.
Girl talk is exciting as we organize snacks for football, soccer, join social groups, get a minivan or SUV and start to talk about how we maybe, kind of, should have married that other guy. Our guy is getting fat, scratching himself and still telling those same jokes from 10 years ago. Girl talk becomes about ways to get the insurance money if he met an unfortunate accident, but we don’t really want that to happen, because we love that old lug. Our parents are aging and we go from the child, to the care giver, as we deal with death, loss and sudden weight gain. Our hands are held as we go for a mammogram to explain the new lump and realize we just need to cut back on caffeine. We hold each other and cry as we come to terms with not having more children, we get another dog and start realizing that our children aren’t the geniuses we initially thought.
We are almost there, the fabulous forties. Our kids are headed off to college, who cares about the corporate ladder, we meet for tea, scrapbooking and take trips without the kids. One thing has changed and we are emphatic, we have moved away from listening to each other’s problems. Our conversations centers on splitting the ticket, sharing half of an order of anything and planning our next bus trips. It is now understood that no one wants to hear about your damned husband, your kids, or your financial situation. Our parents have become less of a joy and more of a “trying time” in our lives, and girl talk is just spent laughing.
In the end, no matter what the occasion, girl talk is meant to uplift. The moment that girl talk centers around one person, or the same problem, then it is time to move on to some other girl to talk to because the one you have is broken. Ladies, love each other and be supportive. Supportive does not mean you are an enabler, but an extra set of ears when your girls need to just talk. If you are the person who loves to monopolize the conversation about the same problem you aren’t trying to fix, please take note, your friends are sick of hearing it. Eventually, they will become tired of you, and you will find yourself alone with those same problems you refuse to address. Sadly now, you have no girls to talk to; love you, mean it.