A friend asked me a question of my feelings on a certain matter then if it was affecting my friends or my relationships with them. My first response was “ I don’t have friends.” The two friends with me, responded with the “yes you do’s” etc. I kept responding with “ No not really.” I think now that was pretty rude of me. To them and all of my dear coveted friends. The two sitting before me I was trying to convince that I did not, ARE definitely friends.
When I said I did not have friends I was not saying in a pitiful way “ No one likes me.” Plenty of people like me, and I them. I probably like more people than like me and more people like me than I know. It is not that I do not consider many people my friends, I do I really do. I do apologize to the friends I looked in the eye and said ” I have no friends.” to, how RUDE of me! I apologize to all my friends,my friends of past, and present, my internet blog friends, my ‘family’ friends, those who will read this and those who may never read this, ‘Ode to Friends’, I am sorry I do not appreciate you!
My explanation: I do refer to just about everyone I know as a ‘friend’. If speaking of So And So, who I have not seen or spoken to for 20 years, I will say “ My friend So And So did….” If anyone has reciprocated any kindness to me, a returned phone call, an email response, clicked ACCEPTED or FOLLOW on Facebook, or Pinterest, they ARE my friend. I consider many my friends, even if they may not me, being my friend is not conditional on your liking me, but me liking you. This I learned from my youngest son, Evan.
When Evan was about 12 he came home from a gathering at church saying his friends that he had known for about 8 years, had treated him badly. Evan has some learning disabilities, just enough to make him ‘different’. At the age of 12 the boys are all coming to a place where they are all a bit odd, and Evan’s oddness was just something they did not want to include in the mix, anymore. Well, he told me of the cruel things these friends for years spoke to him, Momma Bear got PISSED. I explained to Evan how wrong they were, and that I was sorry for the cruelty he had endured and that they were not his friends, friends did not do that. Evan’s face became very stern and he said ‘NO’, I thought to say no he would not endure such cruelty again. He said “ NO, they are my friends” I thought he did not understand what I had explained, and started again to tell him people who are friends do not treat their friends as such. He interrupted to say “ No Mom , They MY friends, not like me but me like them.” He literally shrugged his shoulders and went on about the day. Lesson learned, by Mom.
I don’t have a friend that comes and see’s me unannounced, and walks in the front door and makes herself a cup of coffee and chats with me while I shower. I don’t have a friend that I call, and go paint the town with. instead of with husband. I don’t have friends who call me or I call to tell of the upcoming Pap, or mammogram, or the worry of the bad results of. I don’t clothes shop with friends, I will wander shop, like antique mall, gift shop ,flea market, malling, but not a real ‘mission’ shop. My friends, local and out of townies, I will have one on one times with maybe 3 times a year, maybe. What I meant by my “ I don’t have friends” is complicated. I suppose I am comparing to the T.V. ‘Friends’ and my gleaned idea of friendship relationships from what I think they are suppose to look like, and I don’t have that.
When my friend, an out of townie, was asking what my friends thought of… “I have no friends that I relate to that way, other than you.” would have been a better response. And I do not think this a bad thing. I don’t feel comfortable presenting all my life events, my problems, with my friends. I blog about it, but don’t call up and talk about it. I welcome their knowing, asking what’s up, and telling me their life events. I, if they are interested, will disclose way more than anyone wants to hear. Complicated
Somewhere in the past I got the idea that I am pretty damn boring and unimportant and for me to call or talk to people about ‘me things’ is just a waste of their time. So I pulled back, stopped calling, stopped approaching, started waiting for my friends to make the first move. This has, I believe, limited the depth of my relationships with my friends. I am not a very ‘good’ friend to others, by my trying to be a good friend and not subject them to my mundane life. Complicated
I am not an initiator, I don’t like to make decisions that involve other people, ask Keith. I am a loner,an introvert. I love to be with other people, to chat about mundane, to share life’s joys and sorrows. I open my heart and home to my friends at any time they have a need or need a drink a shoulder a pillow a meal… I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE interaction with my friends, I treasure those times. Yet, I do not feel comfortable calling same friends up on a boring afternoon just to chat, I do not want to interfere with their goings on. Complicated
I hear my friends speak of goings on in their lives, interactions with their friends, even my husbands recent ski trip with guys. I hear of the antics, it sounds like episodes of Friends. I have never experienced that. This is where I come up with “ I don’t have friends.” Not like that. I assume THAT is what people mean by having a friend. And we know what ASSUME does, it makes and ASS out of U and ME. This time I believe I am the only ASS. I should never compare such a treasure as a friendship to a television show, or an idea, I should look at all of them for what they are, blessings from God.