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I got 99 problems and b**ches are some

What's a Barbie between friends? Plenty, apparently...

What's a Barbie between friends? Plenty, apparently...

Firstly I don't have a child named after a colour and secondly I'm the opposite of his most popular song - I don't quite have 99 problems but girl dramas are one.

You see my best friends are fighting over a Barbie doll.

No, my mates aren't toddlers and yes I know how ridiculous this sounds, 30-year-old women bickering about a toy.

Gayle and Oprah wouldn't stoop to this level and I'm sure Thelma and Louise would have stopped the car and asked them both to get out.

Fashionista Barbie and a baby shower have been the catalysts for the girl fighting in my group and the weird thing is these are not symbolic of any subconscious drama that has been bubbling away.

We pride ourselves on being honest and open with each other, even if that does mean you cop the occasional "yes, your arse does look fat in those jeans" comment.

New jobs, moving houses and the arrival of a baby have applied some extra pressure to the posse so I should've seen the tears and the tantrums coming.

The 53-year old blonde doll was given as a gift by Friend A.

A gift which was then returned to Friend A from Friend B as she packed up her life (she's one of those Perth people that said "I'm so moving to Melbourne" and is now actually doing it) and relocated on the other seaboard.

Needless to say this scenario had the potential to go as pear shaped as this scene from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, yet thankfully real life doesn't involve camera crews and producers.

Stress, work, relationships and family life are hats that many ladies wear on a daily basis and according to a study conducted by Baileys (yes Kath Day-Knight's favourite tipple) late last year the average Aussie lass is only dedicating 5 per cent of her weekly schedule to her friendships.

The survey spoke to 671 women around the country and discovered that, on average, women only have 8 per cent of their week available to do things they actually enjoy – like lattes with the ladies or Skyping with their sisters and/or "sistas".

"Nurturing and sustaining friendships demands thought, time and effort. Many of us let our lives become so busy with work and other commitments that our friendships are often pushed to the side," social commentator Rebecca Huntley told me.

And she should know as she's juggling a career in academia and the media, raising a young daughter and sustaining a marriage.

"A clean and tidy house might give you a temporary sense of satisfaction and control but no one thinks about celebrating their birthday with a night of dusting and ironing," she added as I confessed to continually ditching housework for a bottle of Houghton's finest with my besties.

My new year's resolution was to dedicate more time to my female friendships and I hope I'm doing better, so to see people close to me bickering is a little heartbreaking.

"We live to the expectations of our peer group," The Change Agent life coach Gillian Skeer said.

"Who we surround ourselves with has an effect on our happiness and our success."

She added that friendship tiffs were common across all ages.

"The golden rule when you want to resolve it is to get back into rapport with the other person. This might mean making the first move. Rapport is about finding that synergy in the friendship, getting back in tune with each other like tonality of your voices and matching and mirroring behaviours and gestures, like the way it used to be. Get face to face!"

So while I help my friends find their pants so our version of The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants can continue, how do you handle your female friendships? How much time do you dedicate to your friends every week?

3 comments so far

  • This is exactly why I tend to steer well clear of relationships with other women.

    Date and time
    March 30, 2012, 4:22PM
    • I have 4 really close female friends. If I don't see them on a weekly basis then I will call them for an hour or two that week. I tend to treat female friendships like relationships, only become friends with women you really click with and admire as people; don't tolerate bad behaviour; keep them around as long as they are a positive influence on your life.

      Date and time
      March 30, 2012, 8:07PM
      • I don't get of your friends gave another one of your friends a Barbie doll and the recipient gave it back? So is the giver of the gift offended at having been given the gift back? Please explain...

        I have (or thought I had) a few close friends but since having my son at least one of them has drfited away. Actually, it started long before I had my son but since I had him I've had less time to devote to chasing her. It's very difficult to be friends with someone who refuses to answer the phone, respond to emails or acknowledge text messages, and who continually makes plans to meet then bails at the last minute. Oddly, I got an out-of-the-blue invitation to her birthday drinks this year, just after her relationship ended. I was glad to go, but I can't help having the feeling that this is friendship on her terms. Frustrating, to say the least. Fortunately I have other friends whose lives I can dip in and out of (and vice versa) without us missing a beat. they're the ones you really know are friends.

        Date and time
        April 04, 2012, 9:56AM

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