You grow up with five sisters and you end up needing very few girlfriends.
That said, I couldn't live without the few female friends I am really close to and a long lunch is an ideal way to do the girly thing when we can both make it happen.
That's how we ended up at The Empress today, tucked into a back table where we were out of the way and could share the stories for which neither of us has another outlet.
While I pigged out over chorizo pizza made on a nice, thick herb focaccia, she went virtuous with a veggie sampler that looked delicious and way more green than anything on my plate.
But unlike a sister, she didn't judge me for it.
After some much-needed talk, we decided to head out into the sunshine for a walk and if we ended up somewhere for dessert, all the better.
In less than four blocks, we were in front of Garnett's and although every table was taken, two stools were free.
Over chocolate coconut cake (me) and pecan pie (her), we discussed past loves, online commenting and morning breath, with a hefty dose of why neither of us qualifies as joiners in between.
A former River City Roller Girl saw me eating the cake and came up to tell me that she and her husband had come there for lunch specifically so she could order that cake afterwards.
That thick layer of coconut icing in the center, the two kinds of chocolate frosting, the moistness of the cake, she rhapsodized and I agreed with it all.
I understood her point about planning a meal around what comes at the end. My own mother taught me that life skill, among others.
And the ones she didn't teach me, I learned from girlfriends.
Today's friend can be credited with teaching me how to hold my liquor and how to be a night person, two skills I lacked before I met her.
Praise be for girlfriends. Unlike sisters, you get to choose the ones you want.