Female friendship is a powerful thing.
The inspiration for endless memes and quips about how friends are the constant while romantic partners may come and go, there is nevertheless something true and special at the heart of it.
From the ones you’ve had in your life since school, to the new acquaintances that quickly fast forward into fast friendships, they lift us up, keep us sane – and tell us to cop on when we lose the run ourselves.
In honour of Galentine's Day, we asked some of the team to share stories of the gals in their lives and why they are so important to them.
When I almost Lost Her...
Amy, Editor of IrishTatler.com
Despite not yet being 30, I know getting that phone call on a Sunday in East London will be the most pivotal point in my hopefully long life. I was living in London, working in fashion and partying like any 26- year old should, when everything I knew was pulled from under me. My darling Mum and my best friend had been in an accident and broke her neck. They weren't sure what they could do.
In a haze of panic and disbelief, I booked a plane, packed and made it to the airport.
I wondered what the people staring at me sobbing in Departures might have thought happened. Perhaps an especially sad goodbye? A fraught break up? Maybe, even a death?
I spent the next 3 months by my Mum's side, as she made progress through ICU, various hospital wards and eventually, rehab. There were particularly difficult days in her recovery, but strangely, that time spent together conjures up mostly warm and pleasant memories overall. People spoke about what I had potentially given up, but I was aware only of what I had – my Mum.
Sometimes now, when I pick up the phone to tell her of the minutiae of my day, I completely forget all that has happened. She's there, on the other end call; my Mum and best friend. It's exactly then that I'm flooded with love and reminded of how lucky I was, and still am, to have her.
When I got married...
Sarah, Irish Tatler Magazine Editor
"Strapping yourself to the front of the hurtling train that is getting married (in my case with ten weeks to plan, organise and join in not-so-holy matrimony) is not only daunting, rather it's akin to an out of body experience. You arrive home from work, to face another full-time job.
In one fell swoop, your life goes from bickering about what Netflix documentary to watch to an intensely heated debate about the distinction between vol-au-vents and all-butter pastry. And that's before you choose the wine list.
It's a very lovely, yet – undeniably – stressful time.
Cue the WhatsApp group with my gal pals. A constant, gentle background track simmering with, 'How's it all going?', littered with supportive thumbs-ups and, at other times, a roll-up-the-sleeves dig out when it's all going tits up.
It was then that I called on one of my oldest friends to do me the ultimate favour – marry myself and my husband to be. And she did. However, it was the one wedding decision that saw no hesitation from either side of the bridal party. It's by far, the most thoughtful – and life-changing – gesture of friendship anyone has ever given me, and it's a bond myself and Barbara will share forever, 'til death do we part."
When I bought a house...
Brenda, Senior Editor
"When the big life events or challenges happen, more casual friendships move aside for a while and you’re left – hopefully – with the gang of people that will see you through. For me, outside of the help of my family, my friends were invaluable when I bought my home. The experience is as stressful as they say it is and I couldn’t have done it without them. Literally: a couple of them did many car trips with my life’s belongings crammed into their Tardis-like vehicles!
I am surrounded by kind, funny, capable women who are there when I need them.
The ones who encouraged me when the very idea of buying a home seemed impossible (and had taken me out of social circulation for about a year and a half. It’s an expensive business!). The ones who turned up to help without being asked – and still do. The ones who were almost happier for me than I was for myself when I got those keys. I am grateful to and for all of them."
When I needed someone the most...
Kate, Content Contributor
“It’s not always easy to be friends with someone who is going through a darker time. It’s even less easy to be around someone who doesn’t want help. During some of the trickier times in my life, my friend Hettie – who I only met at university – hugged, held and loved me at times when I couldn't love myself.
She has also been there during heartache, exam stress and times when I just wanted to go to a gay bar and get pissed. Even though we now live in separate countries, our fondness for each other and exuberance when we see each other never fades.
I truly believe she is the love of my life and any romantic relationships are just secondary.
We also massively annoy our other friends when we're around each other, which I think is a sign of true kinship."
When my Dad got sick...
Emma, Content Contributor
"A lot of the time, clichés are nothing but a string of words thrown together to fake some sort of emotion. They're quotes you see shared on Instagram stories, painted on bedroom walls and the kind I've most definitely rolled my eyes at. But late last year, a cliché I often scoffed was proven to be true: "They say you know who your true friends are in times of hardship”. That old cliché about looking around to check who’s left when the chips are down hit home for me when my dad got sick and not just man flu sick but in hospital fight for his life kind of sick.
Although I had an army of support around me, my best friend since I was seven years old, Katrina, was just there.
She made lasagna, she listened to me weep over the phone at all hours of the morning when I couldn’t sleep, she gave me lifts to the hospital.
She reminded me to breathe, she constantly told me he was going to be okay even though she knew I didn't believe her, she made me laugh and she even moved into my house so there would be someone to feed my dogs.
We’ve been through a lot together: sacraments, periods, State exams, heartache, trying to figure out this whole being-an-adult-business and most importantly, she’s been there for every time I’ve wanted to crack open a bottle of wine and eat my weight in mega boxes. But last year when she dropped everything in her life to sit in my house with two crazy bichons (her words), while I sat by my dad in ICU, made me truly grateful to not only have someone so thoughtful and so caring in my life, but the fact I'm also able to call her my best friend – even if she doesn’t wash her makeup brushes regularly."
Main image by @jorjasmith