Friday, June 27, 2008

Make new friends, but keep the old, some are silver and the others gold...

I learned that song when I was 8...the one and only year I was a Brownie.

Back then, it was nothing more than something we sang at the end of each meeting.

Today, I'd classify that verse as words to live by.

I'm proud to say I still talk to my very first best friend. Deanna and I met thirty-three years ago in preschool...when we were 3. I've known her longer than I've known my own sister, who wasn't born until a year later.

Deanna's in almost every one of my 'best' childhood memories. Our friendship has never been plagued by pettiness, jealousy, or drama. And although we lost touch for a while after high school, when we did finally connect with each other again, our conversation was as friendly and comfortable as if we'd never been apart. She lives in the mid-west now and we have to squeeze in short visits when she comes home to visit her family. But I know if I ever want or need to talk to her, all I have to do is pick up the phone.

Girl 'friends' are a funny, confusing bunch. I often find myself wondering why friends--particularly the female ones--tend to drop in and out of our lives as often as the weather changes. One day they're there, the next, they're gone. Then, if you ever see them again, they hand you one of the two most overused excuses in the book, 'Oh, I've just had a lot of stuff going on'. Or, my favorite, 'I'm going through some changes and trying to find 'me' agian'.

Well, that's interesting. *she says sarcastically*

Now we're supposed to ignore or dump our friends in our times of need instead of leaning on them for support? Funny way to make yourself feel better. And the same goes for when we're feeling lost. If I suddenly felt like I had to go in search of myself, and the 'me' I found was someone who'd dumped good friends along the way, I'd sit myself down and give me a good tongue-lashing for the way I'd treated people...and hope they could find it in their heart to forgive my insensitivity.

Has friendship lost it's formerly priceless value? Or have we simply forgotten that in order to HAVE a friend, we have to BE a friend?

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Anonymous said...

Oh come on Lauren! You have an old friend who is still your friend. A trait not easily found in women. There is one theory hanging out there that goes hand in hand with your blog.

Theory (fill in your own answers):
How many women can you honestly trust alone with your husband or boyfriend?
How many women do you trust period?
How many women do you believe has an underlying plan of some sort?
Would you rather work for a man or a woman?

I guess my point is there is such a complicated set of rules in the female world that it is a blessing to end up with a handful of true friends. How would you expect women to accumulate many friends throughout her life when the elimination of a friend might come down to both women wearing the same dress to an event?

Remove the petty, and you might find a keeper!

Joey said...

Hi Lauren,

I think, maybe there should be a "friendship questionnaire" that should be, in an ideal world, filled out by girlfriends at the beginning of their friendship. See what level of friendship everyone is looking for!

Let me give you my history and issues that came along with having close girlfriends over the years.
My best friend, ever, Sabine, was and still is like my sister. We have been best friends since third grade. We have seen some low times over the years (high school dramas, I guess) but nevertheless we have always stuck together. We could always count on ea. other when it mattered. For periods we would talk every day on the phone. Now, I still stay in touch, when it seems important, like when she had her baby two years ago, we talked everyday, across the globe. I think of her almost every day.

I have had some other friends over the years that were almost that close, for a period. Friends I talked to daily, and that I saw three or four times a week. Sometimes location of course makes a difference. Like if you live next door, it's so easy to see each other all the time!

Big disappointments always came when a dear friend would have a boyfriend and would favor him over me. Which is natural, to a fault, since there is a different level of intimacy with a couple. However, I, even when I had a boyfriend, would always invite my single, or dateless friend along when we would do something and I could sense she had nothing going on, but would mostly not be invited the other way around. That would always be a big hurtful day for me. Like I would feel that I was always willing to extend myself, be generous and the other way around no one would be there for me if I was alone.
So, over the years you learn to protect yourself, I suppose.

I will call friends a few times to see what's going on, but if they never call me, I stop calling. I extend myself a few times, but if I don't see anything happening, I figure the feelings of friendship are just not returned the same way.
Some friends, you know what they can do, you learn the level of their friendship and you adjust to that. That can be ok too.

Joey's mini questionnaire:
How many women can you honestly trust alone with your husband or boyfriend? - If you trust him there shouldn't be problem. If there would be a problem, you might as well find out... 

How many women do you trust period? - Trust with what? My husband, my bank account, my car? My cats? My house?

How many women do you believe has an underlying plan of some sort? - If I start pondering this it might be sign that I am going insane. Unless proven guilty, I don't assume underlying plans. I don't have any. If anything, I am too honest.

Would you rather work for a man or a woman? - I have known female bosses that were great, male bosses that were great. Females that were bitches, men that were chauvinist pigs and assholes. This has to be judged on a case by case basis. There is no generalization. If anything, it what's holding a lot of women back if they ASSUME the worst of the other woman.

We could expand this questionnaire to make a comprehensive women's friendship questionnaire... : )

Anonymous said...

A woman is a true friend to me when:

I'm proud of her accomplishments and never jealous.

It never occurs to me to say, "Why haven't you called," because I'm so happy to hear her voice (plus I understand the phone works both ways!).

Despite the time that passes, we pick up where we left off.

I only have good things to say about her when she's not around (and when she is around!).

I know my life would not have been (nor will be) the same had she not been a part of it.

I look forward to our friendship withstanding time and recounting the good ol' days when we are old and grey.

I'm thankful to have a true friend in Lauren.