Thursday, January 23, 2014

How Many of Us Have Them?

In light of my impending girls trip to Vegas with some of favorite ladies *insert happy "shake your shimmy girl" dance*, a recent conversation with my sister, and a growing closeness with my newest favorite lady, I have been thinking about friendship a lot lately. As an adult, what really makes a good friend? If you have a spouse, children, or hell, just a decent job, getting all of your people together for a meal, mani/pedi, or strip club Saturdays (I mean I don't know what you people do with your life) can be a real challenge. Out of five people, you may get three, and then one cancels an hour prior to the event. Does it mean your friendships have been reduced to weddings and funerals? Is it worse than special occasion familiarity? Are you destined to live a lonely existence that leads to dying in front of a television, only to have your body found 3 years post mortem? I highly doubt it.

Friendship is not necessarily about frequency. I truly believe the key to maintaining friendship, is allowing others to be exactly whomever it is they may be. Will you love all of who that person is? Probably not. But, you have to be able to accept someone in their entirety or your circle WILL dwindle to next to no one. I absolutely do and say things my friends do not like or appreciate, however, they take the good with the bad, because for them the good is dominant. We are all adults, and as the years continue to fly by, adults become more and more comfortable with their personal truth. You will not find many people at 60 attempting to please those around them. It's why Great Aunt Grace is the one telling every one they're fat, and outing gay family members by forcing them to answer questions like "Do you have sugar in your shoe?" At the ripe old age of 34 *gasp*, I have already found it comfortable to let go of those who can not accept the reality that I do not always agree with them, and they do not always agree with me. Pleasantly enough, I have found, it made room for some of the most interesting, caring, and amazing people I have had the luxury to encounter. I do not only love my close friends, but I am proud of them. I mean these are some truly extraordinary people, they hail from all over the world and possess unbelievable talents. I learn from all of them daily. Plus, they make me laugh.

Now, I actually have lost as many friends as I have maintained, which actually is quite a few. The losses, casualties of insecurities, different lifestyles, men, and sometimes, just the reality smacking someone in the face, that I am not a super sickeningly sweet person. But, friendships are not fluff, and those people for the most part, were about the fluff, and being honest, I would rather the cake than the whipped cream any day. Friendships are not about getting your nails done together, buying you the best baby gift, or having a bunch of memories of drunken nights. Friendship is showing up at someone's father's funeral, when they didn't even ask. Friendship is sending a care package to a grown woman including new CD's (when you know music makes her super happy), because you know she is starting over in life and is just not able to buy it anymore. Friendship is sending a card to say simply how much you care, helping a damn near stranger move all of her belongings across town, or even just being able to tell someone they hurt your feelings, but it's OK because they love you still. As grownups, friendship may not be a daily occurrence. The rapport feels worlds apart from the days when you lived down the hall from one another in the dorm, but it should now have a lifelong existence. The kind of existence that can withstand a little literal or figurative distance. After a little contemplating, I realize lifelong of course is yet to be seen, but I would say the few decades that have elapsed with this pact of folks I adore does affirm, we are off to a pretty good start.

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