Sunday, May 29, 2005

Friends.....What's the secret?

All my life I've been pretty much a loner.

I can get along with just about anyone, but, when it comes to having close friends- I don't. I have had a few who I THOUGHT were my friends over the years- but it seems that what I actually have is a knack for picking friends who are just posers. You know, the ones who act like your friend until the opportunity to stab you in the back comes along.

It has happened so often that I am actually leary now of making new friends. I sometimes meet someone new and think, "Wow, this person is fun to be around- seems like someone I could trust and have a bit of fun with." And then I remember the times before when I thought the same about someone else and then six months or a year later found myself in a situation where I found out differently- the hard way. It hurts and it hurts so much that I don't want to do it again.

I have four "best" girlfriends friends right now.
One,"R", I have been friends with for over thirty-five years; One,"L", I met in an online dieting chatroom about three years ago and have only been actually in her physical company twice for two days; One,"J", who I am somewhat related to but have never actually met face to face yet; and One,"M", whom I work with but don't see at all outside work.

"R" and I met in church when we were only seven years old. Then we lost touch because we went to different elementary schools. We met again when we changed schools to middle high school and became fast best friends after learning we were dating brothers. We have had our ups and downs- our disagreements and arguments over the years, but none of them over something we did that was an intentional hurt to the other. And certainly nothing so serious we couldn't reslove it. We have gone for several months and a couple times even for a year or more not seeing each other or even getting to talk to each other other than leave a message- but when we see each other or talk to each other again, it's like that time apart has never been- we are just as close as we were before the seperation and there are no hard feelings about it- we know we have our own lives and sometimes it veers off on unexpected courses and we deal with it knowing that if we need help, it will be there if we just let the fact be known. We would move mountains for each other if the need arose. We like to say we'll be friends forever because we know so much dirt on each other we could bury a sky-scraper. We have been thru some stuff together that no one would believe and sometimes we wonder how we survived it all. The simple truth is that we would -and have- trusted each other with our lives.

"L" I met in an online chatroom with a dieting group. I was drawn to her by her quick wit and sarcasm about certain situations we were dealing with at the time. Some we are STILL dealing with to this day. We call each other up and chat for an hour or more sometimes. She and her husband flew up from Florida twice for mine and Paulius' wedding. Yes, twice. (We had to change the date seven times because of the paperwork invloved and the time-frame we had to do it in- God knows if we hadn't loved each other like we do- we would have given up long ago.) Anyway- "L" & hubby came all the way up and helped us set up for the wedding, then basicly threw us the rehersal dinner since Paulius' family couldn't be here for the wedding and then to top it all off, took the photos and made the video of the wedding and reception. They took it home to Florida and then about two weeks later sent us a beautiful DVD of a slideshow of the preps before the ceremony- then the actual video of the ceremony, then a slideshow of the reception and get-away. It was set to music from our wedding and reception and it was absolutely beautiful. They sent all the photos in an album that had been engraved with our names and our wedding date and even sent some enlargements.We apperciate it and have watched it several times over the first yearof our marriage................. Back to my point tho.... I am almost as close to "L" as I am to "R" - the only difference being that "L" and I haven't been thru all the YEARS of stuff that "R" and I have. I can't figure it out- we can discuss all sorts of things with each other and the relationship is almost identical- "L" is a bit more reserved and I don't discuss the "intimate" things with her like I do with "R", but "R" and I grew up together and shared (discussed) the growing pains phase like all young girls do- But other than that ONE distinction- they are the same. I adore "L" and would move the same said mountains for her that I would for "R". She's like a sister to me.

"J" is an in-law whom I haven't met yet face to face. We chat on the phone and e-mail practically every single day. We started out on shaky ground, to be perfectly honest, but around the first of the year that situation changed drastically. We have sent lengthy posts to each other and I feel so close to her now. We have alot of the same aspects of our lives to share- and in a recent post she said that she didn't really feel like we were "related" but she felt more like she had found a new friend. And that is fine with me. I adore her and respect this newfound relationship with her-we also chat about some of the darndest things.....whenever we get chatting thru the mail our hubbies ask if we are writing a book. The answer is-Not yet but that may be a future project....Right, "J"? ;-)

"M" is a friend at my job. We are very direct and straight-forth with each other and she is the one of two persons there whom I know I could count on there if it hits the fan. I work in a very high pressure atmosphere and you learn very quickly who you would and would NOT be able to trust with your life should a "situation" arise. She is one of two people there to whom that applies. We joke and cut up and when I can't get out and the pressure is on- she brings me either a cup of coffee made just the way I like it- or she brings me a HUGE cup of ice so I don't get dehydrated.
She has been there cheering me on when things got rough and I was crying upset about the stress of the position- and she was there to almost literally hold me up when a situation got to be almost too much for me. If she reads this she will know which situations I am refering to....I could tell you all- but then I would have to shoot you.
Just kidding- suffice it to say we do work in an enviroment where privacy is imperitative.
Anyway- my point here is- that as close as we are at work- for some reason we don't get together outside work. We have been invited to some "functions" but one or the other of us has had things come up that prevented us from doing so. Maybe someday that will change.

The other situation I can't seem to grasp is "couples friends".

Never have I had couples friends who me and my significant other go out with. It has always been I have my friends- and they have theirs. I have never been able to find couple who are compatable with me and my S/O. I can't figure it out. Either they are friends with me or they are friends with him.........never both.

I see and hear about other friends who have couples friends who go out to dinner together- or get together for drinks and cards or maybe trivial pursuit or some other shared interest game- Or they take trips to the beach or mountains together- what is the SECRET?
Is there a book or manual I haven't read available?

If you know the secret to garnering "couples friends" or hear of one of those elusive manuals being available- let me know.......................


Vicarious Living said...

Hello Sunny!
Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day.

I know what you mean about friends. You're doing even better than I am. I've got one very close friend, then my best friend from way back when but now we only email occasionally, and then the work friends, but since I am their boss, that friendship really can't extend outside the premises, nor can it get as comfortable. Even when I find someone who would make a good friend, something always seems to happen, work, moving, time, etc.

My S/O and I have had only one set of couple friends, and they got divorced last year, which is a whole other world of awkward! And what seems odd to us is he and I are hanging out with the ex-husband, rather than the wife, which is who we knew first and spent more time with originally. Of course when I say hanging out, that's once a month max, with a few fwd emails about entertainment news thrown in between. Even when they were still a couple it was strictly a movie/dinner outing, never any sort of vacationing or bbq or anything like that!

Sorry to go on so long! But if someone tells you the secret, forward it on to me ok?

serendipity said...

I too am very choosy about my frinds these days. I've found in the past that those people who seem so cool and popular only ever seemed to want to be my friend in exxhange for something other than friendship. Whether it be the fact that I had a car, or they wanted me to introduce them to a guy I knew and that they secretly liked...etc etc.

I think as you get old you just get more discerning. I now have a few good close friends who I trust implicitly, and some of those people are from the other side of the world...I believe a friend is someone who is there for you and cares for you without expecting anything other than caring and friendship in return.