A personal and sociological examination—and ultimately a celebration—of the evolution of female friendship in pop culture and modern society.
“Text me when you get home.” After joyful nights out together, female friends say this to one another as a way of cementing their love. It’s about safety; but more than that, it’s about solidarity.
From Broad City to Big Little Lies to what women say about their own best friends, the stories we’re telling about female friendship have changed. What used to be written off as infighting between mean girls or disposable relationships that would be tossed as soon as a guy came along are no longer described like that. Now, we’re lifting up our female friendships to the same level as our other important relationships, saying they matter just as much as the bonds we have with our romantic partners, children, parents, or siblings.
Journalist Kayleen Schaefer relays her journey of modern female friendship: from being a competitive teenager to trying to be one of the guys in the workplace to ultimately awakening to the power of female friendship and the soulmates, girl squads, and chosen families that come with it.
Schaefer has put together a completely new sociological perspective on the way we see our friends today, one that includes interviews with dozens of other women across the country: historians, creators of the most iconic films and television shows about female friendship (and Galentine’s Day!), celebrities, authors, and other experts. The end result is a validation of female friendship that’s never existed before.
Author: Kayleen Schaefer
Thanks to the Girls Night In NYC book club for my copy!
“‘I love you,’ one of us will say. ‘Text me when you get home,’ the other will say. We’re saying the same thing.”
This was a great book! Schaefer is compelling, entertaining, and moving. I’ve read a lot of nonfiction books, and they can often move slowly, even if they are saying important things. Not so with Text Me When You Get Home; I zipped through this one in just two days and truly enjoyed every second of it.
Text Me When You Get Home is a partially autobiographical look at the depth, nature, and importance of female friendship. She covers history, childhood and adolescence, the intersection of romantic relationships, changing attitudes, portrayal in the media and film/television, and more.
“We won’t accept that we’re mean girls or that our friends should be also-rans compared to our romantic partners or children or anyone else tied to us with an official title. It isn’t true. Our friendships—the ones we’re living every day—can stand on their own. They are supportive, enthralling, entirely wonderful, and, often, all we need.”
Schaefer tells us about her early experiences—or lack thereof—with true female friendship, how she had never considered them to be as important as romance, family, what have you. How she had tried her best to actually not be friends with women during her early adulthood. But today her strongest relationships are with her female friends, and she feels more fulfilled and content than she ever did before.
I have far more long-term male friends than female friends; this is just how high school shook out for me, and those relationships have lasted. But reading this book helped open my eyes to things that are both missing from my day-to-day and present but underappreciated. It made me want to text every one of my female friends to check in and tell them they are loved, or even to ask them if they wanted to spend time together sometime soon. It made me feel like there’s a part of my life that could use some loving attention, and I’m excited to provide it.
“The women I love are like a life raft I didn’t know I was looking for before I got on it. But my friendships are not just about being nice. My people push me to do better. They listen, but not in a quiet, passive way. They’re always on point for correcting me when I put myself down or fall into the trap of thinking things are my fault when they aren’t. My friends are brilliant, funny, fearless, wise, and generous.”