What I Learned from Joan Clayton

girlfriends tv show
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Enter Joan: Joan Clayton was, in a sense, the leader in her group of girlfriends.  She was the glue that held each of these girls together.  She was also the bona-fide giver of the group. I remember her to be the one who gave her all to plan and execute memorable social gatherings for her friends, always having a corny game to break the ice during any event.  Though it seems she planned the best events and was a very successful attorney at the law firm, her love life was always in shambles. At least that's the one thing all of Joan's issues were perceived to stem from.  Joan's character made me wonder if a woman could be very successful at love and her career simultaneously.

How I identify with Joan:  Like Joan, I felt like I was the glue that held me and my group of friends together.  I loved throwing together a social gathering and I'm known to want to play a silly game others grow annoyed with.  I also believe I am practical like Joan.  I have a tendency to give the best advice when it comes to my friend's problems, but cannot seem to transfer that practical thinking into my own life.

Below are five things I learned from Joan Carol Clayton throughout the show's tenure:

1.  How to make (and break) a three-month rule:  In dating, Joan made a personal vow to abstain from sex for the first three months of a relationship.  There were times that Joan stuck to this rule and times she did not.  Either way, it was still an interesting concept.

2. Women can be very successful in a male-dominated career field:  Though women were a minority at the law firm where Joan worked (other than the assistants), Joan made her presence known.  Not only did she stand up for herself during tense situations, she also made partner early in her career.

3. It's okay to be the giver.  It's cool to be one who throws the parties, pays for dinners, and takes friends in.  But know when to draw the line:  Joan spent a lot of time catering to her friends.  She was a good person.  She took in Lynn, allowing her to live with her rent-free for a long time.  But sooner or later, Joan had to draw the line and ask Lynn to leave.  It's one thing to help a friend, and it's another to allow a friend to use you abuse your kindness.

4. It's never too late to start following your dreams, even if everyone thinks you're nuts for doing so:  Though Joan was a successful attorney, she was passionate about branching out to start her own business.  When she shared her dream of opening a Tapas bar, her friends thought she was delusional.  Her mother disagreed with her plans.  William, her co-worker and friend, supported her but doubted her ambitions.  This did not stop Joan from pursuing her passion.

5. It doesn't take long for today's "It Girl" to become yesterday's news:  In the later seasons of Girlfriends some roles were reversed.  Joan went from having trouble keeping a man to juggling two men at once.  Yes, she was feeling herself too much at this point!  So much so, that she neglected her best friend Toni when she needed her most.  Joan took her hand at being the fly by night, selfish, and self-absorbed one for a change and it blew up in her face.  At season's end, she lost not one but two men in the process. Her magazine cover feature was soon forgotten and her new found fame became nonexistent.

Were you a fan of Girlfriends?  If so, what did you learn from Joan's character?
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