The Sisterhood of the Travelling Necklace
Have you ever watched The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants?
If not, I need to enlighten you. It is a cheesy and lovably goofy film, about a group of teenage friends who discover a magical pair of jeans that somehow fits each of them perfectly. From tall and athletic Bridget (played by a baby Blake Lively) to petite and curvy Carmen (played by America Ferrera), each girl tries them and is stunned to find they are the dream size for each girl. They decide the "pants" – I'm English, so it sounds funny – are magic, and that they will take it in turns to wear them that summer, writing to one another to share what happens while the jeans are in their custody.
My best girlfriends and I first watched this film when we were about seventeen. It was mid-February and one of us had a free house for the week, so we all went over to stay. We "cooked curry" (put the ready meal dishes in the oven), made a big sofa cushion nest on the living room floor and decorated the house with Valentines hearts featuring each other's names. Before we went to sleep that night, we pressed play on TSOTTP, and a group obsession was born.
What I loved most about the film is that it was the first movie I had seen that wasn't about teenage girls being bitchy. Every other teen film plot seemed to be driven by girls' conflict with one another, often because of a guy. Instead, The Sisterhood shows the girls going out of their way to genuinely support each other, in a way that represented my friendships far more accurately than Mean Girls. (It's also noteworthy because it has a genuinely great sequel, too.)
Watching it together in our final year at school before uni seemed to really strike a chord, and as we all left to universities all over the UK it left its mark. We chatted regularly on our group WhatsApp and had curry and movie nights when we could, but with most of the girls graduating in 2014, the following spring was the first time we realised some of us were moving away for good. For the first time, we wouldn't have a hometown in common.
And that's when Corinne suggested forming a sisterhood of the travelling necklace.
It's a little silver hoop with our names engraved in alphabetical order, purchased from Lisa Angel. For the last two years, we've taken it with us on fun holidays... but it's been sent it to any one of us having a really rough spell, too. It's been all over the UK, to Japan, Australia, the US, Italy, Denmark and Portugal, and we've had many an "Is it lost in the post?!" panic. (Italy's postal service: I'm lookin' at you.) For a few weeks we wear the necklace and send the odd photo of it to prove it's still doing okay... and then we write a letter, and send it on to whoever is due to wear it next (who will usually cry because we are all stellar at writing letters. Just sayin'.)
What I am most impressed by is the fact that the necklace has brought us closer than even during our final year of school. Having the chance to wear something every few months that has some of my favourite ladies' names on it makes the cities and countries that divide us feel so much smaller. Even if it's too expensive or difficult to meet up in person, there's still something that connects us. Though the five of us were at one point living in three different countries, we still chat pretty much daily, and I am more than aware of how unusual that is.
So if you have time to this week, I highly recommend watching The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants – and if possible, do it with your best buds too. Whether you get together in person or through Skype, watch it together, laugh at the cheesiness, and remember why they're your finest friends. Bonus points if you eat curry too.