I chatted with my friend who I call ‘Oprah’ today.

You have to earn a nickname like ‘Oprah.’

It infers a commanding presence and uniting the girlhood.

It means inducing a frenzy, like “What are we gonna do tonight since ‘Oprah’ can’t make it?” Or “What would ‘Oprah’ say?” Or “What would ‘Oprah’ tell us to do?” Or “‘Oprah’s’ not gonna like this!”


You get the idea.

‘Oprah’ and I have been friends since our early twenties. She’s one of the great gifts of my marriage. The friend who didn’t divorce me because technically once upon a time we met through my husband.

But by the grace of God and the good fortune of youth we were still individuals and had not yet been officially registered as couples, so we had the privilege back then of stand-alone friendships.

We got to be original girlfriends first and the girlfriends of our men second.

I remember our first encounter.

Ever so excited to meet the third girlfriend in a pack of fifteen men I bounded towards her.

Where there was once two there would now be three and I was certain we would be besties.

‘Oprah’ took note of my presence, there was a subtle hello and it was back to swiping her nails.

I was unphased.

It would take more than a preoccupation with polish to sway this girl’s excitement.

There was one more of us and that was all I needed to know.

There’s nothing like a girlfriend.

From that moment the memories ignited.

‘Oprah’ soon learned I was not to be ignored and I had simply been politely quiet during our first meeting. A smart strategy to play my cards close to the vest. After all, her swiping silence didn’t quite match shall we say, my louder personality?

These past years ‘Oprah’ rallied me, she scolded me, she championed me…

And she waited for me.

Not unlike a few other incredible women who I now discern as ‘blessings’ not ‘girlfriends.’

When she called me I monopolized the conversation as I often do these days. I am acutely aware as my circumstances have elongated they bring a selfish preoccupation.

We joked about my next phase of life.

And as all good ‘blessings’ do, she passed along some sage advice.

It seems if you upgrade on match.com and pay a few extra bucks you weed out a few frogs.

When we hung up I noticed a missed text from her.

“Meatloaf is on the radio. That’s what reminded me to text you back.”

It’s funny since our twenties we have amassed a plethora of memories.

We have morphed from drinking Miller Lites to cosmopolitans, from dancing in dives to dancing in far away resorts, to bar packed St. Patrick Day’s in Philly to quiet New Year’s Eve’s in Eagle’s Mere. We whooped it up at one another’s weddings and sat subtly mesmerized by the birth of one another’s babies.

We were young my friend ‘Oprah’ and I.

We swapped lipstick, stories, and cigarettes.

And over time, we accumulated love.

Out of all those escapades, there is but one song which will make us both stop to remember it.

It was one of youth’s many spawned nights on the Jersey Shore.

A club in Avalon when for some mystical reason time stood still and we had the presence to take it all in. The three of us girls surrounded by those fifteen great guys dancing our hearts out to none other than Meatloaf’s…Paradise by the Dashboard Light.

And just like that – a girl you once had the luxury of growing up with, who spends her day’s several states away, surrounds you like it was yesterday.

We got to be original girlfriends first and the girlfriends of our men second.

We swapped lipstick, stories, and cigarettes.

And over time, we accumulated love. 

In the proverbial words of Meatloaf…

“Ain’t no doubt about it 

We were doubly blessed”


Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist

Photo mine

on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com





More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

I sit on the bank of a river eagerly awaiting the arrival of my nephew’s beautiful bride. Somewhere over the Rainbow flows through the air as she makes her way down the grand staircase of her family home. It is a magical moment. One where love makes itself known. It is their very own beginning. […]

We generally start out wanting our lives to be perfect. We promise ourselves we won’t make the mistakes our parents made and that we will right the wrongs of the past. It’s so easy in the beginning to keep our personal word. Life is uncomplicated when we initially have only ourselves to worry about. It’s […]

I recently wrote a column called Why People Pleasers Aren’t Weak. That being said, trying to make everyone around us happy can become an emotional liability. Relationships are already enough work. We don’t need to be the only investor. Being a pleaser can put too much onus on one individual.  And here’s what I found […]

It’s cold here in the Northeast and the wind is kicking it up a notch. Needless to say, I might have grumbled a bit while walking my two labradors. Hazel and Phyllis seemed oblivious to the cold and found it energizing. My two furry beasts as motivated and I was unmotivated by it. Despite this, […]