Priceless Time With Your Girlfriends

Female relationships have played an important role in the lives of women since the beginning of time. As far back as historians have documented, women depended on each other for basic survival needs as well as a social outlet. As our society has evolved, we’ve become less dependent on our neighbors and family members for fulfillment of basic needs, but the social aspect of girlfriends has not diminished in the least. In fact, I would argue that they have become even more important as technological advances lead to social isolation on a grander scale. As a result, we must be more deliberate in maintaining these sometimes life-saving relationships.

The trouble is, too often when we think of hanging out with our girlfriends, we automatically think we have to go out for an expensive meal or spend the day shopping at the mall. This can often cause us to skip those important social times due to budget restrictions, forgetting that the renewal and comfort we receive from our girlfriends is priceless. I know that I have had this struggle lately, as have many of my wonderful girlfriends.

Recently, I had one of the best nights I’ve had in a long time with girlfriends — and it cost me less than $10, including gasoline. It didn’t start out as a cheap night though. As the three of us made our initial plan, the first suggestion was dinner and drinks somewhere nice in Covington or Crestview Hills Town Center , which would have cost at least $30, if not twice as much.

Luckily, my girlfriend Heather pled for a more low-key night and Tasha suggested making dinner at her place as an alternative. We divvied up the menu (I was assigned the easy appetizer and rolls), met in our PJ’s, and had a relaxing evening of laughter, support and a hearty and delicious homemade meal. Not only was it inexpensive, but the evening was actually more pleasurable and refreshing without the outside “noise” of a public setting.

There were no waiters interrupting our conversation to check in with us, no overly eager bachelors trying their luck with a table of pretty ladies, and no need to dig out the Spanx and eye shadow to put our best look forward. Sometimes all we need is a quiet evening in our slippers with healthy, delicious food and a willing ear and shoulder to share with a girlfriend.

So next time you and your girlfriends find the stars aligned and you’re all available at the same time for a rendezvous, rather than heading to the ATM for an expensive night of cocktails and dancing, get creative and have a BYOB dance party in someone’s living room. I guarantee you’ll feel better about the shape of your wallet, and I bet you also have some good laughs as you exhibit your best dance moves for each other without the self-consciousness of looking goofy in public.

A version of this post was published in the Cincy Chic column “Cents & Sensibility” on February 15, 2010.

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