Elevate Difference

Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship

My daughter has a t-shirt that reads “Friends are Forever, Boys are…Whatever”. It always gets a laugh, especially from her female teachers. And while most of us know that friends are not always forever, we do realize the importance of girlfriends. Every girl needs a girlfriend. That one person we can go to with our secrets and our neuroses who will commiserate when we find that enormous zit emerging or the first hair on our chin.

Cheap Cabernet reminds us that there are different girlfriends for different stages of our lives as well. Maybe that one go-to friend in high school isn’t the same one you run to with questions about parenting when you find yourself alone and wondering if your child is going to be a serial killer. Cathie Beck’s story recounts the years of friendship with an unlikely best friend when she finds herself an empty nester. She seems truly surprised to have found this irreverent wild woman with whom to share adventures, but considering that she herself started the ball rolling by putting an ad in the personals seeking “Women on the Way” (WOW) when she was really just casting about for some companionship, maybe her audacity was simply rewarded with this woman in a very fitting way.

Cathie was a very young single mother, with two kids by the age of twenty, who worked hard to get by and these years after her kids have gained independence are truly hers. The unlikely scenarios in which she finds herself seem to be a fair payoff for the years of struggle. Like many of us, Cathie finds herself inspired to do things she would not have dreamed of otherwise thanks to her new found friend. The book is a testament to the power of friendships between women, complete with ups and downs, fights and dressing room hilarity.

It is clear from chapter one, however, where this friendship will end up and, if I have a complaint about the book itself, that would be it. In every single chapter, there is some foreshadowing of the eventual outcome, to the point where I could be heard muttering to myself, “Okay, I get it. Message received.” Overall, however, Cheap Cabernet was a book that reminded me to cultivate my friendships with the lovely women in my life and gave me hope for those days when my daughters aren’t nearly so cavalier about boys and I’m stuck at home alone on a Saturday night. Maybe I’ll pop open a bottle of wine and call a friend who will come make me laugh.

Written by: Kari O’Driscoll, September 17th 2010