I’m not a sociable person by nature. I find crowds intimidating and tend to get exhausted if forced to attend more than three social occasions in one weekend. But I do love my girlfriends. And my wish for my daughter is that she finds and keeps the kind of friends I’ve been lucky enough to make.

Girlfriends should be there to:

    • Rely on in a crisis: If your partner lets you down, your family’s away and you need a babysitter/lift to the airport/bed for the night, your girlfriends will always provide it.
    • Talk to: There’s something so comforting about getting together with your closest girls and talking about love, child-rearing, office politics, you name it. It’s a form of therapy. Your husband will try to fix the problem but your girlfriends will just nod, sympathise and tell you it’s okay to be angry/sad/moody about that particular issue.
    • Laugh with: Only your girlfriends can appreciate the absurdity of what it means to be a woman these days. And laugh about it.
    • Cry on: Besides family, my girlfriends have known me the longest. They know what makes me sad and that I just need to cry sometimes – it’s a form of release. And then it’s time to wipe off the smudged mascara and face the world again.
    • Eat and drink with:  My girlfriends and I love food. We’re not shy to dig in. Last night we ordered some (overpriced) dim sum for dinner. When it was finished we agreed that it was a nice starter, but we were still hungry. Then we had some tapas. Then some brownies. Then some cheese. All interspersed with gulps of champagne (for the non-pregnant ones). There is great joy in enjoying a meal with women who aren’t obsessed with kilojoules or waistlines, but simply enjoy the taste, the moment and the simple pleasure of a wonderful meal, shared with friends.
    • Go shopping with: Have you tried to go shopping with a man? Mine follows me around the shops, walking exactly one metre behind me at all times. This means that if I suddenly halt to pick up a garment, he ploughs into the back of me and steps on my heels. Girlfriends can give honest opinions on how you look in those jeans, whether you really do need another LBD (um, yes) and exclaim with you as you admire something gorgeous together.

Like a proper haircut, flattering jeans and a bright lipstick, girlfriends should form an integral part of every modern woman’s set of tools to get through life. Because when the jeans get too tight and the trip to the hairdresser ends in disaster, who you gonna call? Your girlfriends of course.


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