Maybe it is all the SATC hype or the fact I was reading Oprah’s interview with Maria Shriver, a friend of hers for 30 years, on the bus ride in this morning. Or maybe it’s the fact for the first time in my life I don’t have any friends (you know REAL friends) in the city of my residence. I’m not sure what the reason is but I do know lately I have been feeling quite reflective and nostalgic of my friendships. Or maybe it's that Zack just wrote about having NO male friends or that Keith wrote about two of his close male friends...who knows? Or maybe its because of Obama I mean he does have happy feelings in the air Maze style all up and through America these days!
I take friendship seriously and to me giving friendship, REAL friendship, is me extending myself to you. My whole world, everything I have you have when you are my Main Dammie, my heart, my soul, my family, my loyalty and whatever else you need from me. I have always measured friendship to others as leaving no doubt in the friend's mind that you are that person’s friend. I would like to think that when my friends are asked about me as a friend I meet all those qualities of being a true and good friend and there is no doubt or hesitation in their mind when they answer yes to the question "Is OG a good friend?"
I want them they know if they are down and out or in need they know that I will help them in whatever way I can. If they are on top of the world doing the damn thing I am right there holding the pom poms and leading the cheers. Come on everybody U-G-L-Y... I always try to help and cheer in a way that will not hurt their growth but will help them be a better person. I want them to know that not by these empty words I may say or type but by my actions!! I have always been a woman that speaks through ACTION!
Sure this type of commitment to friendship has backfired on me a time or two, I have enabled a friend here and there along the way, but as I grow, as we grow I always look back and think for the most part my decisions to be a good friend have been the right ones at the time. And even when there is nothing left but bittersweet memories of a friendship that went awry or was one sided I have no regrets for what I put into the friendship.
I don’t make a lot of friends, real friends. I have to say that because the word is thrown around so lightly, I'm talking about my main dammie, meet you at the retirement home in Boca kinda friends. The kind of friends that are with you for life, you know like an STD, not always able to be detectable by the human eye but secretly lurking in your spine waiting to break out and appear when you are stressed! You know in a good way though...hmm note to self maybe I should find another analogy for my friendship besides that.
I know a lot of people and people like being around me, but as far as real friend friends I don’t have a lot. Maybe because my brand of friendship involves sometime pointing out the things that many are uncomfortable hearing. I view friendship as a safe space. A space where you can tell your friend that make-up makes you look sallow or are you sure he loves you or you need a flat screen job. It’s a space where those things that might seem like they are hurtful are the things that you need to hear someone else say to confirm your inner most feelings or maybe you need to hear them to shake you back into reality. And after they are all said and done they are just that said and done and the friendship love fest resumes only stronger for having said those things that needed to be put in the air.
Friendships are not an easy road to travel and most people are happy with surface friendships. You know the typical friendships we have laughing and giggling deep into the night, idle chatter over who is giving you the business and how well he is or isn’t doing that, the I wanna be phenomenal when I grow up, I wish my hair were more and my waist was less conversations in a fitting room or a salon chair. Most friendships never go past that level and I am led to believe that some women are comfortable with living on that level. A level that seems somewhat surface, but hey not everybody needs soul altering, growth inducing, life enriching friendships. Some people just need someone to laugh and talk with and pass the time.
The energy and emotion it takes to be a friend is tantamount to the same energy it takes being a good mother, daughter, or sister. However friendship should be easier because unlike family, we chose our friends, we chose those who are important enough to our life to make time for those chosen ones IN our life. I guess that's why it is the perfect kinship because you are not born into it you are chosen to be a part of it.
When I think of my three best friends, the women who I rely on in a jam or look to for inspiration and feel extreme dedication to, I feel the same way I do about the rest of my charmed and unorthodox life, extremely blessedand humbled beyond belief.
My mother’s friends were her four sisters, so I guess that may be why my interactions with the women I call my friends look a lot like sisterhood. They don’t require a lot of hoops and heirs to be put on, if you are my friend then you are, not a lot of revoking going on. In my old age I have learned there are levels of friendship. There are people in my life who have shown me that they aren’t worthy or don’t really want what it is to be my friend in its full blown glory. There are people who have thrown my friendship back in my face because they were suspicious, insecure, or immature.
I have stopped some friendships from progressing because I know what kind of friend I am and I either knew they would not live up to my expectations of a friend or vice versa. I think that is the one of the real things I have learned growing up, in order to be a good friend you MUST know who you are. Sure there are women who are plenty nice enough but if you see you can’t meet or they can't meet what a friendship for you two would require, why even go to the next level with them. Stay at a level that is comfortable, after all there is nothing wrong with acquaintances and keeping things light. A lunch here a chat there only enriches life, but the gut wrenching soul stirring come to Jesus moments, save them for your GIRLFRIENDS, Sisterfriends (and sometimes brotherfriends).
The sharing of your soul, save that for someone that you KNOW will go to bat for you when you are too tired, weak, or depressed to even get up and stand at home plate. Save that friendship for someone who, when you are old and gray (well if you decide you wanna show your gray), wil laugh and cry with you as you talk about this thing called life. ANd you both can revel in how much you two have made each other life better and brigther.
There’s your inner circle of friends the one’s that will walk with you to the ER in the middle of the night in Boston, the ones that will walk with you in the hot humid Houston sun to go work out, and that will drive you home from the clinic after the unthinkable and never judge you one minute for your decision. The inner-circle of friends, the framily (friends who are like family) as I call them, those are the friendships that life is about. The girlfriends that you know will be in your life forever, the Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda to your Carrie (or Carrie, Charlotte, and Miranda to your Samantha or Carrie, Samantha, and Miranda to your Charlotte or Carrie, Samantha, and Charlotte to your Miranda).
I often wonder is everyone as blessed as I am to have such a great supporting cast of friends in his/her life. People that have known you when you weren't who you were today and know you better than you know yourself sometimes. I often don’t try to make any more of those relationships because I feel greedy adding one more extremely meaningful and life changing friend to my flock, when there are people out there who have none.
There are people that view a friend as nothing more than rack to hang their hat for a time until they move on to another rack or house with a nicer rack or find a better place to hang their stuff. My friends are more like that comfy couch that you keep reupholstering because you know if you threw it out you would never find another like it, sure the outside changes and you may even add a few colorful throw pillows to it, but the couch and the stuff inside that’s makes the couch so comfortable, that never changes, it may shift around a few times, but it never changes.
My friends, I love them so. I don’t always need to see them or hear them but I feel them. I hear them rooting for my "movie", also known as life, to turn out with a happy ending. I know they want the best for me and I want the same for them. I agonize with them as they make life’s choices and I rejoice when those choices are indeed the right one baby. In the next few post, only because what was going to introduction to my friends has turned into a complete post, I am going to tell you about my three best friends. I am not sure why this is what I’m writing but, hey it’s what I’m writing about... so deal! I hope you enjoy it and I hope you have at least one friend who is as equally spectacular as these women are to me.
I often have wondered what my detour here in Boston is for, you know in the bigger picture of life what will this tangent teach me and how it will grow me. I think at this early point I would say appreciation. So in my exercise of appreciation please enjoy the next few posts about friendship and my three best friends! I’m not sure if they will come back to back to back or just pop up mixed among the other foolish things I blog about, but that’s the glory of being a woman…it’s my prerogative!