Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Friendship and things your Momma never told you

Have you ever wondered what it means to be a friend?

I mean, there's no "friend police" out there with a set of rules that we all follow. Women all have different ideas about what a BFF is and who can be your BFF. Some women wouldn't dare call anyone their BFF. Introverts perhaps don't really know how to be friends. Extroverts can't imagine life without a huge group of friends.

I have been wondering lately what it means to be someone's friend. I never got the lecture from my Mom regarding friendship that I did about boys and sex and puberty and such. The closest we came to it was when I was in Middle School and one of my church "friends" pushed me and called me a name and I pushed her back. She cried to her Mom and I got in trouble. (Story of my life!) I remember my Mom telling me about how I should try harder to be her friend and I remember arguing and telling my Mom that this girl was so fake and I couldn't stand being around her. After that, I just sort of muddled my way through it as best I could and tried not to stick out in the crowd too much.

I've had friends in my life....most have come and gone with the passing of time or changes in lifestyle. I look back on my former friends and wonder what happened....was it me? Is it my fault that I don't keep up with many friends from high school? Is it my fault that I don't keep up with any of my college friends? I will admit right now that I am an introvert. I love my quiet time and solitude. Give me a book and I'm happy as a clam. I however, don't want to pass all that off and lay it on the shoulders of my introverted self. I am not patient. I take things too personally sometimes. I don't like to be made into someone's punching bag so they can let out all their gripes and frustrations. I don't like to always be the giver - although I am a giver, to a fault.

But I wonder....what's the difference between me and the next girl who keeps up with her preschool friend and still chats daily with her college roommate?

I wonder, what makes some friends give and give and give and some friends take and never ask why. I wonder what causes some friends to constantly be looking out for others and some friends are always trying to put others down. Perhaps it's not a "friend" thing....but rather a woman thing. Perhaps it's "Mean Girls" for the adult set?

Well....all I know is that I have tried, probably not as hard as I should, but I have tried to be a good friend to those I've crossed paths with. I just wish Momma would have sat me down and given me the birds and bees explanation of friendship.


countrymouse said...

hmm interesting post.

I lose touch with friends quickly. Its like we bond for a moment, then we lose whatever that element was that we had in common. I too, am not sure what makes a good friend.

Im off to ponder this...ill let you know if any lightbulbs go off for me.

Di said...

Friends never ask where you've been for months but what's been going on.

Friends don't ask why haven't you called, but say "Dude, what's up !"

Friends listen to blubbering moments of total nonsense and feel the pain and frustrations at the other end and just....are.

Real friens can pick up years later and it's no big deal, they understand that sh** happens and if they truly cared about you then they would be happy to hear from you and know you're thining of them.

I'm a bad friend in the fact that I hate to talk on the phone, don't go visit and trust rarley. I keep the friends I have once I see they are true friends, people you can trust and are trustworthy.

You can judge yourself by the quality not quantity of friends you have. More is not always better and variety is the key.

Anonymous said...

you and I sound sooo similar. I do have friends that I have known since the fourth grade, but really the credit goes to them. Specificially my very best friend. She is the most extoverted soul I think I know. She LIVES to be a social butterfly and I call her the glue that holds all of our childhood friendships together.

Girlfriends especially are hard. Get the ones that understand you and her have a life and it's ok. So once you come together again, it's like no time has passed. Or grab a guy friend. That's what I do. lol.

Thanks again for stopping by my place!

for a different kind of girl said...

Most of my present-day friends are the people who have come into my life in the last 8-5 years, and most of them are people I've gotten to know through church. There's the first common denominator of church that draws you together, but then there's also the bond of young families, etc., that brings us together. Some of these people have been with me through some real difficult times, and they are what I'd call my 3 a.m., friends - those I could call in the middle of the night who would immediately jump out of bed and be there for me if needed.

I've also got a core of people who are work friends, and while our connection is borne out of work, we don't typically call or do things with each other outside of work. At least not all of them.

I have a group of college friends that I have had in my life for a very long time, and though we see each other sporadically now, they are still the first people I say are my best friends.

I really don't have any high school or elementary school friends in my life. Sure, there were friends and I may say they are my friend, but the truth is, we've not seen each other in years, nor made any real attempts to keep up with the other outside of the information our parents may share about each of us.

I think this is more a woman thing than it is is a man thing. My husband doesn't really stress over the idea that he doesn't have a male friend to hang out with, but I have worried about whether I'm doing enough to nurture my friendships.

Interesting post. I could probably go on and on, but I've rambled on and on, so now I must sleep!

tz said...

this was a great post...there's been a lot about teen girls and their friendships but do women out grow that?

you get in the work force and there are still groupings that not everyone in allowed in then if you go the mommy route then you're either part of the 'in' group or not....depending on how much you volunteer, what your kid is doing...

i, frankly find it all much too tiring, I have very few friends who I enjoy my time with...and i'm just friendly with the rest...

as for friends who have gone by the wayside it could just be a matter of not having anything in common...they were people you needed or who needed you at that time....

but hey, there's your husband and by reading your previous posts he seems like a very good friend to you.

Julia said...

Very interesting, will have to ponder on that one

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

I have three friends I have known for a lifetime but we do not live in each other's pockets. This post sounds like it is describing myself. I'm so happy with a book. In fact, I frequently do lunch with myself and a book. I'm happy doing that!