Wednesday, August 5, 2009

When is a friend a friend, and when is a friend just awful?

In the course of my (ahem) 40 years, I have been friends with a lot of people. My first friend was Therese. The story goes that my mom walked me next door to Therese's house the day she came home from the hospital, so technically, I have known her longer than her sisters, who were still at their grandparent's house.

My next dear friend was Christy. Christy and I did everything together - except when it came to getting our periods. We were at sleep away camp the summer between sixth and seventh grades, and she got her period and I freaked. Our friendship declined further until we were in our 30s and had a final arguement over our baby's schedules. (She was a nap and feeding tyrant, and I was the hippie, go-with-the-flow mommy.)

My next set of friends came in high school. We were a close knit bunch - not popular, not freaks, but somewhere in between. And after high school, we still all remained tight. Sorority sisters, college roomates... sure we had other loyal sisters in crime, but none knew each other better than the close knit bunch of high school.

Which brings us to present day. We all have kids, we all have minivans and husbands, and we all have email. For most of the close knit bunch, email serves the greater purpose - letting each other know when Junior gets his/her first tooth, when the next 1st communion is happening, etc, etc... For one member of our close knit bunch, email is not what a friendship makes. She expects everyone to see each other face to face at least a hundred times a year. Now, I don't know about you, but between soccer, softball, school, sex and sleep (which of course the latter two I know nothing about) I barely see the inside of my bathroom much less my close knit bunch.

This particular member of the close knit bunch sends a scathing email to the rest of the tight knit bunch, calling out a few of us, that continually turn down invitation after invitation to get together. Now, I must point out that the events she had planned were not to my liking. I mean, I'm not going to go do something if I don't want to, right? Then she points out that she has attended many an event that she did not want to go to. So why is that my fault?

Which brings me to the point of the post in the first place - When is a friend a friend, and when is a friend just plain awful? And how far does one need to go to ensure a lasting friendship? I mean, I know you have to work at marriage, but that's a no brainer - men are the lesser advanced of the sexes, so us women have to work to keep their men in line. Duh! But when you are friends with another woman, there is an unspoken rule that since estrogen flows 3 out of 4 weeks a month, no one really has to work at the friendship.

(Wow this post is getting long)

Alright, here is the ending... should we have to work at friendships this hard? Are some friendships meant to end, like when you move away when you're seven? How hard are you supposed to fight for a friendship? At the end of the day, I wish I had Socrates sitting next to me answer these questions.

No comments: