I’ve been thinking a lot about friends of late. I’ve had many over the years, and only a few have stood the test of time.
In my 20s, I had one of those girlie friendship groups – all Sex And The City (I even had a Mr Big, but that’s another story…), boyfriend dramas, nights out, ridiculous outfits, ridiculously funny trips away, and spectacular fall-outs. And whilst we all still speak through social media, life has moved on, and we’ve moved apart – more Facebook friends than BFFs.
I don’t have a BFF. I do have some close friends to sound off to, and I have my husband, who is, undoubtedly, my best friend.
I also have some new friends, who I am excitedly getting to know, and I have plenty of people I know I could call on if times got tough.
1. the emotions or conduct of friends; the state of being friends.
“old ties of love and friendship”
o a relationship between friends.
plural noun: friendships
“she formed close friendships with women”
synonyms: relationship, friendly relationship, close relationship, attachment, mutual attachment, alliance, association, close association, bond, tie, link, union.
I have been giving myself a little bit of a hard time over some of my friendships, particularly a few that have fallen by the wayside over the decades, but then I started to really think about it, and I’m holding fire on that hard time.
If you delve down deeper into the bones of what friendship is, it’s not that dissimilar to a romantic coupling. We meet, we bond, we have that first flush of excitement at how much we like this person, and we spend all of our time together. Then we have that first big disagreement, we make up, and then we continue to build on our love – or we drift apart, never really getting over that disagreement, and acknowledging that we aren’t, perhaps, right for each other.
Sometimes we have such a big disagreement that we never speak again.Sometimes we ghost out of each other’s life – one the protagonist, one the unfortunate victim to perhaps the most cowardly of ways of breaking up with anyone. On some occasions we just can’t agree with the path a friend chooses, or the mindset they continue to live in, and we have to get out. Other times, a friend’s unwillingness to seek help, or to change his or her own life for the better, can turn us off. In life, so the meme says, people should be radiators, not drains.
All of the above apply to people in my life over the years. I’ve had that massive argument, I’ve drifted away, I’ve felt unable to continue a friendship, and I’ve been ghosted – that was a particularly bizarre one.
Shall I tell you about the blogger who seemed almost obsessively interested in my friendship, to the point it became slightly claustrophobic? She was a nice girl though, and I enjoyed her company – we drank wine and offloaded to each other. Then I disagreed with her over a really stupid incident, and that was it. It was done. I was in her life one day, ghosted out of it the next. She stopped responding to messages, blocked me on social media, and, literally, disappeared.
I saw her in the John Lewis cafe once in town, with her baby (who knew she had a baby?!), and our eyes locked. She then reversed the pram, about turned, and actually ran away from me!
I mourn the good times in other friendships, just like you do after a break-up of a romance. I ended one friendship after many years. There was no ill-will, but I couldn’t be around her anymore. I couldn’t understand the choices she had made, and I realised I didn’t want to. But I do sometimes miss the laughs, the nights out, and the fun we had.
I had a friend refuse to come to my wedding because she couldn’t bring her child. We had a no kids rule – it was our wedding, and we wanted it that way. But she told me weekends were her and her daughter’s time, and she wouldn’t sacrifice it. A couple of months later I saw her at a glamorous Saturday night event in Glasgow – sans kid… We haven’t spoken since. I shared a hospital room with this friend on a foreign holiday – I watched her have a bed bath for fuck’s sake! But what can you do?
I have hooked up with old school friends, only to find that in adult life we have little in common, and whilst we won’t fall out, we will never again be those bosom buddies, hanging out in the playground, sharing secrets and sweets.
I shared a hospital room with this friend on a foreign holiday – I watched her have a bed bath for fuck’s sake! But what can you do?
I’ve fallen out spectacularly with one friend. She was selfish, self-absorbed, patronising, etc, etc, and was also having her strings pulled like a puppet from a mutual friend. It was the nasty side of the school playground all over again. Needless to say I have no time for either of them, and feel all the brighter, and lighter, for it.I am sure she does too, and I am glad. We were not meant for each other.
My personality is direct. I can’t help it – when something needs said, I’ll generally say it. I’ve told friends I don’t agree with what they have said, and there has been a definite frostiness that followed.
And then there’s that thing, you know, when you just want to see someone, and you try for months, and they just refuse at every turn. I get that life is busy, plans get made, plans get cancelled, but, girlfriend, when I see you out all the time, just not with me, then I’m going to get a little paranoid! Maybe I bored her the last time we saw each other? Maybe sounding off about my dad’s illness, and the effect it’s having on our family is too much for her? Maybe she just doesn’t like me anymore?!
And please, friends, don’t ignore my emails for days, even weeks, and expect it not to bother – and hurt me. Don’t constantly invite me out, but never actually follow through – it’s like the friendship equivalent of a c***-tease, and it’s BLOODY ANNOYING.
I know that I am not some people’s cup of tea – I can be too much, I can be grumpy, and I will snap at you if you annoy me – sometimes too quickly, mea culpa and all that. I, too, don’t make plans to see some people who I really should be seeing.
I am not a perfect friend.
But I am kind, and generous and, I think, pretty good fun, and always here to share sweets (or the adult alternative, wine) and secrets with!
Let’s be friends!