How do you make a friend? How do you keep a friend? How are you a good friend?
These are questions I've been asking my younger girls, because of some issues going on, and my answer to all of the three is
I've got no fucking idea.
Sorry for the language, Mom.
I am terrible at adult friendships. Terrible. Absolutely horrible.
See, the thing that makes kid friendships work is proximity. You have lunch with that person, you are in class and on projects with that person, you go to soccer and ballet and music lessons and you see the same faces all the time and you start to become friends with that person. And don't get me started on that - the entire friendship dance is so weird to me that honestly? The idea that you could even HAVE a friend is totally absurd! I mean, for real.
Friendship is when your weirdness doesn't make someone else run and hide, but it encourages them to show their weirdness.
Adult friendships often have the added drama of partner weirdness. You might very well like someone, and be good, even excellent, friends with that person - but then you meet his or her spouse and you just don't hit it off - or, maybe, your friend has told you things about her spouse that make you uncomfortable, and you've been vocal that you don't like this aspects - and then, when you meet the spouse, there is no way you might want to be friends with them - and so, your friendship slinks off into the night.
Friendships also require a level of support that can be difficult to maintain. Some people need to know that they are foremost front and center in your life, and if you can't supply that, you are finis. And, occasionally, well, more often for me - if you pull back on a relationship - the other person doesn't follow, for whatever reason, and the friendships just sails off into the night sky.
That has happened to me an awful lot in the past, say, year. People who I thought were friends just - stopped engaging. For whatever reason, for no reason at all, for time and distance and work and family
the relationships are no more.
When your friendships fall away, what does that say about you? What if you were trying to be someone else, and you got tired of it and just let the real you show, and the friends stopped being friends because they weren't interested in being friends with someone like you? What if, in your quest to be friends with someone, and to show them that you were indeed a good friend - you spent time and money doing things for the other, and devoted lots of attention to them - and then when you weren't able to spend the money, and your friendship stopped -
what then? Were you never a friend to that person, but a convenient source of fun and when the going got hard
it was all over? That's the part that sucks.
Being a friend to someone means I will show you my weird and you show me yours and neither one of us will run off screaming, but instead, cherish the weirdness we have in each other and vow to always make the other feel important and as if they are needed.
If people pull away, are they saying to you, "Your weird is too weird for me and I'm peacing out, homie!"
And how, exactly, do you handle it? How do you deal with the fact that you suddenly just - don't have anyone to talk to?
Are friendships really worth the effort? Real, true, honest to God friendships, not casual "hi in the parking lot" friends, but really deep and genuine friendships? has the world sold us a bill of goods, a la Thelma and Louise - is there really a deep friendship for everyone?