Theme: The personal rituals shared between lady friends.
Written by Jessica
When My Girls (trademark pending) and I get together, we always toast, “To health, wealth, and happiness!” It’s a tradition, one of many, that started long before I can remember and will likely continue for the rest of our lives. It started as just that—an appropriate toast while we clinked our glasses of bubbly—but in the many, many years that the five of us have been together, it’s become more of a mantra. These are our words to live by, and I think other groups of ladyfriends can find themselves in our words too.
We always toast to this first, and the older I get, the more fitting it is. Back in our younger, wilder days, I’m pretty sure by “health,” we all meant, “please let tomorrow’s hangover be swift and unmighty.” Those younger days included cheaper booze too, so we really meant it. Years later, however, I take the first part of this toast to mean not only our physical ailments but our mental and emotional ones as well. We share our headaches, our root canals, our Dramamine-fueled flight stories as well as our heartaches, our confessions, and our meltdowns.
Pro tip: it’s very helpful to the “health” part when two of your friends are pharmacists. Especially when you’re away from home and you get a sudden onset of nausea. They don’t judge when you have to vomit in a parking lot of a Rite-Aid or in the front yard of their house. (Yes, that was the same trip. No, Mother, I hadn’t been drinking.) They give you the good stuff and know just what to do to ease your pain.
I was always one of those “one of the guys” kind of girls and I didn’t feel the need to rely on close female friendships for a long time. However, those ladies pictured above? The one I’ve known for the least amount of time, I met in the first grade. When you’ve known someone since the days of cheering for Pee Wee football and giggly sleepovers ensconced in New Kids On the Block sleeping bags, there isn’t much you won’t share with that person. Even if what you’re sharing is very personal or uncomfortable or, shall we say, a wealth of information. Clichés are clichés for a reason. TV shows and movies continue to show groups of women baring their deepest darkests to one another because that is what happens in real life.
Sometimes, our significant others think we share too much with one another. Those significant others are wrong, and we ladyfriends make sure to tell each other when that happens. Usually over text; particularly in one of the longest, greatest, and most hilarious group texts to ever grace iMessage. (No, that’s not a tap-dancing cat.)
If you find friends who welcome your health and wealth tales, then I have discovered it will likely lead to a healthy wealth of happiness. My Girls and I have been together a long time, and we’ve shared a lot of memories. What I remember the most, though, is the way we laugh. It is open, honest, foolhardy, and pure. We do not care who hears; we do not care who sees. It is from the heart and the belly, a deep and steadfast joy that hurts in the best way. It doesn’t matter if we’re laughing at a story we’ve told a thousand times before or the latest chapter of Becky’s biography—it’s the kind of laugh you can’t fake.
That is what I think of when we say our toast. We don’t think of the future or the past, even though it may loom around us. We clink, we drink, and we keep on going like we never stopped. So here’s to you, Witches of East End! To health, wealth, and happiness!