Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Girls Need Girlfriends

I haven't always believed this, but I do so now - more than ever. 

Girls need girlfriends. 

When I was in high school I had two great friends.
One, an incredible gymnast. 
One, an awesome basketball player. 
Neither of which fully understood why I loved shop class and absolutely despised cheerleading practice. 
Guess I always figured I had better things to do, like break calves. 
Then I went to Purdue and decided to rush a sorority. 
No, that's actually not how that story goes. 
I decided to not rush a sorority and my older brother, Luke, called my dorm phone and told me that if I didn't rush, I would be missing the opportunity of a lifetime to interact with women such as Stacie Warner. 
He may have been right.
I cried....He hung up on me....I rushed. 
And joined Alpha Chi Omega. 
And found my greatest friends. 
And two of my four bridesmaids. 
And a sister-in-law who ending up taking Luke off of my hands. (Thanks, Betsy!) lifelong travel pal, Katie. 

For five years Katie and I have packed a bag (usually 5 bags between the two of us) and traveled around the country. 
We drove rental cars that seemed to operate off of go-cart engines. 

We hid in Wyoming country club bathrooms because we feared someone following us. 

We've traveled more than 4 hours at a time without a map or cell phone service. But we always had food in a cooler in the back. Wouldn't want to go hungry. 

For two Indiana gals: We've lived

And it seems we both knew that we'd learn much by traveling together, simply by the first stroke of a pen in our travel journal. 
I spoke these words, while Katie wrote:

I've learned the value in having a friend that encourages your strengths, compliments your weaknesses, can slap you across the face with honesty and also get you out of a bind in a hurry. 
In fact, I haven't always been so supportive of the role of girlfriends play in a gal's life - which is disappointing. 
But at twenty-nine, I sure do. 

This is why I understand that:

Great friends encourage your strengths. 

No matter where we go and who we meet in our travels, we instantly know to delegate the conversation based on what we know:

Lindsay: Livestock, writing, humor, American beer and wine....and anything pertaining to. 
Katie: Politics, antiquing, fashion, beer and top shelf liquor....and anything pertaining to. 

We use eye signals to field questions from strangers. We synchronize bathroom breaks so that someone can quote folks we meet in the travel journal while the other is away. 

Great friends compliment your weaknesses.

Katie is brilliant in terms of politics. She knows the who-what-where-when of anything regarding legislation, global influence and candidates. She reads several newspapers daily. 

I stopped this man at a Pacer's game recently and thanked him for his service to our state:

 Scott Swan, Channel 13 anchor

I mistook him for Governor Pence:

Indiana Governor Mike Pence

The gray hair threw me off, I suppose. 
Katie is still my friend, regardless of how badly she wanted to crawl under a seat. 

Great friends slap you across the face with honesty.

At this age, they aren't trying to protect your feelings, your heart or your temper. Great friends - at this age - tell you what matters. 

I challenged Katie recently about why she was so hard on someone. Why did all of that petty stuff matter enough for her to act that way, I asked her?

Last weekend Katie drove us all the way home from West Virginia because I felt a bit invincible the night before. She didn't say much, but she yawned behind the steering wheel often during the west-bound hours leading us back to Indiana. That was enough for me to question why I enjoyed the bluegrass so fiercely the previous night. Humiliation works wonders. 

Great friends understand that no matter what, some things are better stuffed in the trunk. 

Last weekend's trip was the first we had taken since we met our husbands.
....In September of 2011 we ventured to Wyoming. 
In December 2011 Katie met Brett in Indianapolis
In January 2012 we met Cody in Denver together. 
In November 2012 Cody and I were engaged. 
In December 2012 Brett and Katie were engaged. 
In July 2013 she became a Glick. 
In August 2013 I became a Sankey. 
In May of 2014 Katie and I relaxed in West Virginia and celebrated married life - while our husbands built fence and planted crops back home, alone. 
We dialed home each day, revealing that we hadn't found much that suited us...
Except for every heirloom known to mankind since 1897. 
Last Sunday Katie dropped me off at home and helped me transport my purchases from 16 bags into four large ones, to mitigate the risk, of course.
That is just what great friends do. 
The media tells women what they should believe.
Facebook tells women what they should portray.
Twitter tells women what matters in 140 characters.
Pinterest sets the bar incredibly high regarding what women should be (in all of their spare time). 

Great friends remind us that we have earthly mothers, 
simple grandmothers, busy friends and bosses with expectations. 

Wouldn't you rather have four quarters instead than 100 pennies, in term of friends?

Thanks, Katie Mae.

 You're the best girlfriend the 17-year-old-me never imagined she'd need. 

See more of our travels here
And here
More here


  1. You crack me up on a weekly basis and truly inspire me. I share this with my daughter each week (she's 15) because I can only hope she "lives" like you endeavor to do. Keep it up -- I look forward to Wednesday mornings!

    1. I SO appreciate that! I'm glad you share Jean's Boots with your daughter - I hope she gains something from reading. Thank you - so much - for reading every Wednesday!

  2. Katherine Mae sure is a good one! I am so lucky and blessed to call her my big sister AND friend. Great post Jean!