Tuesday, August 26, 2008

You Gotta Have Friends

Do you believe that friendships are forever or that people come into our lives for a reason, a season or just to drive us crazy?

I'm in a transitional point in my life. Things are changing. I can't say that I like it. Not sure that I can do anything about it though.

Let me explain:

I view most friendships as reciprocal in some fashion. I give, you take (come on, you know I'm a giver!), then I take and you give. If you think about it, all friendships are based on this. It can be as simple as "that person makes me laugh" or "that person carpools with me to get the kids to school" or "I work with that person and enjoy them while I am there."

You notice I am purposefully leaving out family relationships. We don't get a choice in those. You are simply stuck with all that dysfunction. But, when the person is not related to you by blood or marriage, its a choice.

I meet so many people everyday that I really like. The problem is I can't be super great friends with all of them. Some of them live too far away so socializing would be tough (and nowadays, you have to rate friendships on how much gas $$ would that cost me?? The married people's version of "sponge-worthy")

What I hate is when you have been really close to someone and circumstances cause the friendship to drift. Maybe your kids aren't as good of friends as they used to be, or maybe one of you changes jobs so you no longer see this coworker/friend like you once did. Maybe they get divorced. You would think that a divorce wouldn't affect your one on one relationship BUT IT DOES.

When I look back, I had some great friendships that have drifted away now. High school, college, then the neighborhood playgroup. We worried about feeding our kids right, changing diapers, keeping our houses in some semblance of order, and not losing our sanity at this point in our lives. Then I went through the "sales" period, I like to call it. You know, when everyone began selling something from home - candles, jewelry, cooking paraphanelia - we all got together just to see each other and connect again.

Happily, I haven't drifted away from all my best buddies. There are certain ones who are my shelter in any storm - be it a raging hurricane, or just a blustery day. There are certain friends who are worth the effort. The friendship is no longer based on kids, work or anything else. Just a mutual liking and understanding. You know that they would BE THERE. No matter what. And, they love you even at your most unloveable. These are the types of friendships that make life rich and wonderful.

If I was a tree, my immediate family would be my roots. But, my friends? They are all those glorious, glossy, green leaves.


  • I can completely get what you're saying here.

    I have been those friendships that fade. Worse yet is when you don't want one to fade but it seems as if the other person doesn't really care that much. And, more common for me, when you feel like you're giving and you're not really getting back.

    Sometimes you wonder if it is all worth it really--the work it takes to keep a friendship going after your initial connection is gone. But, then you look look at those glossy green leaves that make your life fuller and you realize, it really is...

    By Blogger Crazy MomCat, at 8/26/2008 11:09 PM  

  • I am very lucky in that there is a group of us who have been friends since we were about 11. (wow that's twenty five years now!). Some of us are closer than others, there are a few I woul talk on the phone to nearly every day.

    Others live far away so I might only see once a year but we do still all keep in touch.

    There are time when we all annoy the sh... out of one another but we all get over it eventually. :-)

    By Anonymous Alison C, at 8/27/2008 4:53 AM  

  • Great post! I can honestly say I don't have any close friends right now. Well, none not on the net. Wow, that sounded kind of pathetic. Lol. When I was little I moved around a lot, and then I moved into a tourist town where the locals were... not normal. I guess I'm still waiting to meet more people like me. I'm starting to think I might have to move.

    By Blogger Tink, at 8/27/2008 8:49 AM  

  • I know I don't say this enough, but you're truly one of my dearest friends. And I hope we continue our lunches (whenever they my happen)for a very long time. Remember, you're my 'cool' friend and I love ya!!!!


    By Blogger nettie-fudge, at 8/27/2008 9:45 AM  

  • My best friends are those I can have serious conversations with, and who understand how passionate I am about writing and art.

    I develop the strongest relationships with those who don't expect me to be funny all the time and those who know that I'm a thinker and introspective and LIKE THAT about me.

    I have four friends that go back more than 30 years that I communicate with regularly and very close relationships with two people I first met online and then later met in person. One friend from college. They're my inner circle.

    The others are "shared interest" friends who I enjoy but don't confide in.

    By Anonymous V-Grrrl, at 8/27/2008 5:29 PM  

  • Yes, friendships are dynamic things. I just got totally dumped as a friend by someone who I thought was a lifelong friend. It really hurts, and I have no idea why!

    By Blogger teahouse, at 8/29/2008 9:23 PM  

  • I'm in a transition too. I tend to hang on to a few old friendships, but it's the ones that have seen me through the child-bearing years that require most of my attention. Non-reciprocal relationships aren't my bag either. If the other person doesn't try...I'm so out of there.

    By Anonymous apathy lounge, at 8/30/2008 6:49 PM  

  • When my Dad got sick, my true friends came out of the woodwork for me. And when he died, my best friend (since we're 14) spent every moment of that week either next to me or watching my son for me. Leaving her own kids with her Mom. True friends are unbeatable.

    By Blogger Annie, The Evil Queen, at 8/30/2008 8:35 PM  

  • Amen, friend.

    By Anonymous tlc, at 8/31/2008 5:52 PM  

  • I remained best friends with my childhood friend I've known since I was 4. She died last month. We take so much time for granted, thinking there's always time to catch up with people, and that's really not true.

    By Anonymous Trish, at 9/03/2008 5:31 AM  

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