Last night as I was watching Netflix my phone screen started to light up with one of the group conversations I have in Messenger. It was a group of girlfriends – probably the group of the most intelligent, witty, intimidating, professionally successful and beautiful women I know. As we discussed the group holiday we are planning for Byron Bay next year, a few memories were referenced, a couple of gifs were added to the mix and laughter ensued. “What are you laughing at?” asked my husband who was sitting beside me. “Oh just your friends. We are just talking about you,” I replied. You see, this group of girls were originally not ‘my’ friends, they were my husbands. His best friends are a group of women and I absolutely adore it.
Matt (my husband) met these ladies back at the University of Canberra where they were all studying a range of degrees. After a stint at residency on campus and other shared accommodation with various members of this group, the bond was formed, memories were made and a friendship of a lifetime was set in stone. It was like The University of Canberra’s unglamorous version of Sex and the City – including a (now) lawyer (also a Mayor), a journalist (she will count as the writer), someone who asked to be referenced as Samantha (I do question why) and for some diversity (as I am sure she would like to have mentioned) a lady of colour added to the mix. Then there is (as recently decided) a ‘Stanford’, my husband; not gay but as the Carrie of the group said – “he was the character that no one had a bad word to say about despite questionable fashion and music choices.” That sounded like a pretty accurate description to me; I have seen the photos (and videos for that matter).
Prior to first meeting these ladies I was nervous, I was intimidated, I was wary. Why are all his best friends female? Surely they will hate anyone who dates him? They will talk about me behind my back. They won’t like me. My experiences with an established group of girlfriends is that they aren’t usually very welcoming and inclusive to a fresh face. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. My anxiety melted away at rapid speed and rather than feeling like I was an outsider they welcomed me in, literally with open arms into their long solidified group and made me feel like I had always been a part of it.
I was given great insight into my boyfriend (now husband) and his questionable choices of the Uni days. I was fiercely defended if Matt tried to crack a joke at my expense, if he had perhaps indulged in one too many beverages on occasion, I wasn’t left alone, I was rescued and together we would judge drunk Stanford and his MJ dancing. And now as tie has gone on, together we coordinate and organise catch ups because we all know if it relied on him we would never be there.
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Whenever they are all together one of my favourite things is to hear the stories of their Uni days. The recollections of the pranks, dares, parties, past friends and nemesis are filled with absolute hilarity and often humiliation (for them). The group dynamic is one I’ve never witnessed before, and the individuals who make up this group of friends are so different from one another in many respects - their backgrounds, their professions, their personalities, their lifestyles but their humbleness, honesty and humility are features they all share and is what made it so easy to just slot right in, like I had always been there.
Despite spanning across four states/territories of Australia and sometimes overseas as well, demanding professional schedules, juggling families, partners in the army serving overseas, life challenges including health issues, the death of loved ones and redundancies, this group of women (and Stanford plus one) have remained close, supportive and eager to keep the relationships strong and as Carrie said – create the “Degrassi Next Generation” with the inclusion of our kids.
So with Byron Bay booked and the added members of the group (seven children) in tow we will join together for a week to create some more memories and laughter and I will be forever thankful that my husband’s best friends are these amazing women.
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