Midlife Friendship Needs More Memes

I love a good internet meme or inspirational quote. One of my favorites says, “We’ve been friends so long, I can’t remember who is the bad influence.” You’ve probably seen and shared similar quotes on social media. These days I’m too exhausted to be a bad influence, and so are my friends (except a few of you—you know who you are!). Sadly, the only philosophical reading I seem to have time for lately is Facebook, if memes and phrases even count. Sorry, Aristotle!

My dinners and Girls’ Nights Out are less frequent now, often substituted with group texts and promises to grab lunch with the kids when schedules allow. A night out with exclusively the 18-and-over crowd is doable with some planning and 30 days lead time. A girls night in which the whole squad is free AND has childcare? It happens, but rarely. I miss the spontaneity of my twenties. Memes with awesome, rowdy, silver-haired women give me hope and make me laugh.

Recently, when the opportunity to go out with a single mom friend came up, I jumped at the chance. Literally. I actually hopped a little with excitement. When you’re a single mom, a girls’ night out with other single moms is like chasing a rainbow unicorn. Child-free time is precious and tends to be cautiously rationed. And the chances of custody schedules aligning to alleviate the cost and planning associated with a babysitter? That occurs about as frequently as a total solar eclipse visible from San Antonio. My mind went a little wild thinking about possibilities. We could get dressed up and try the trendy bars we have heard about. Or check out the new restaurant at the Pearl. Or be super indulgent and “waste” two hours watching a movie…in a theater. Fancy.

However, the week flew by, and being the busy mommies we are, my friend and I didn’t discuss specific plans until the night before. Trendy spots requiring reservations would have to wait. Dinner and drinks it was, preferably on a happy hour budget. Quite the departure from the days when my friends and I would have Thursday night, Friday night, and Saturday brunch plans by the time we met for drinks on Trivia Night Tuesday. At least now I actually have a happy hour budget rather than just drinking my dinner and hoping for a free meal.

When the awaited day arrived, my friend and I had both had a long day at work. The text message conversation about our night out on the town now included phrases like “someplace close” and “jeans and sandals.” Eventually we met at a nearby restaurant and enjoyed happy hour drinks and appetizers on the patio. The truth is, at this point in my life the idea of trendy bars is much more attractive than their reality. And I would totally fall asleep if given two hours in a dark theater after work.
Which brings me back to friendships, memes, and inspirational quotes…
These days, the nights I enjoy out with friends are more about quality than quantity. We have settled into our lives and appreciate the effort and work it takes to make dinner and drinks happen. This stage of our lives is not (exclusively) no-makeup, yoga pants, and messy-bun moments. We are hitting our stride somewhat. Our kids are in school, and while we don’t have everything figured out, we’ve got a decent idea of what we think we should be doing as parents. Yet we have decades before we are the amazing grandmas on motorcycles. #lifegoals
I will admit that the wine and drinking memes are pretty accurate for some moms (cough), but midlife friendship deserves more. I want to see more images of the beauty in our friendships now. Friendship does not start when you’re young, disappear in midlife, and then transform into silver foxes celebrating Oktoberfest. However, that is hard to remember when I’m squeezing in dinner dates with friends and looking for a light at the end of the parenting tunnel. Perhaps that is why I enjoy a good meme.

Do you have a favorite inspirational quote or meme on midlife friendship? Post it in the comments.

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