Sunday, February 2, 2014

Do You Have Any Friends? Go Fish.

"Do you have any friends?" That's the question I was asked last night by ... Someone dating a family member.  And then I was told "We're the only REAL friends you've got." Considering that he had just stooped to the level of one of her teenaged years boyfriends, who all acted like complete asses to me, I wasn't sure if I even wanted to respond.  It was a jackass thing to say, and an idiotic thing to presume.  

I never completed my resonse.  I hope she noticed the abrupt shift in his personality.  I'm not the only one who has seen it.  It was like a mask being ripped free to show the unpleasant truth. THAT'S who he really is.  And I will not stoop to that level.

Some people find it easier to pigeonhole you into a simple two dimensional character type, and then presume to not only know you, but what's best for you.  I don't call those people friends.  I'm sorry, but they don't know me.  It takes effort to truly know someone, and to be comfortable knowing they have clay feet.  

Because I think of friendship as more than just going bar hopping with drinking buddies, and I have no simple drinking buddies to think of, I have thought about this before.  I would hardly call someone trying to hurt me further with such an ugly remark, my friend.  

There are all kinds of friends.  

Friends you grab lunch with, on occasion, and once in a lifetime, attend a concert performed by the band you loved as a teenaged girl, but were never allowed to see in concert yourself.  

Friends come to your mother's funeral, even though you know that they avoid funerals, which really bother them, as much as they know funerals to bother you.  They can see from many rows back that you are sitting still, reacting to nothing in the service, and worry that you aren't coping well due to your zombie like state.  Friends who know that the veneer will crack, and know what the reaction will be.  Those are the ones you share your darkest secrets with, because there is no one else you can trust.

True friends can pick up right where they left off even if decades have passed.  Those friends I don't have to go to the trouble of impressing, because they always saw and accepted the real me.  They didn't decide that I need to be ripped out of "my shell" with liberal dousings of alcohol.  Inside the shell is where you find the pearl, after all.

My friends are the ones who click "like" on my workout and running posts, and encourage me when things aren't going well.  They don't complain about those posts, just as I don't complain about the endless posts of other people's children who do not enrich my day.  

Of course I have friends, but don't have to beg them for their company (that seems limited to family), and then be told no, I'll only go if you're doing MY favorite thing.  Friends sometimes do things they don't find enjoyable themselves, to make a friend happy.  

There's more to friendship, it seems, than alcohol and shopping.  Friends are there for you when there is nothing to gain, no favors to demand, no one-upping to do.

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