Tuesday, August 24, 2010

You gotta have friends...

I am supposed to be doing kitchen related activities, but this has been swirling in my head for sometime now. I recently embarked on a girls weekend with some old friends. It's a tradition of ours to hang out and spend time just the three of us - sharing wine, drinking, talking. We have been friends for many years. We don't always get along, but we have a great time when we do. The dynamics of our threesome can be tricky - threesomes always are.

I noticed on our last excursion that one of the girls continually talked about all of her fun times with her "BFF". I was a little surprised that she even used that term as she does not present herself as the type of woman who would, but I think she was saying it sort of ironically. Even so, she said it a lot. And it started to bother me on some level. Partially, I suppose it's the idea of having a "best" friend. A friend who is held above all other friends or is considered better than any other friends. But also, I was thinking about what it might feel like to have a best friend.

It seems like every book I read, there is a main character with some conflict and, inevitably, her best girl friend to lean on. Some woman that she has known all of her life since 6th grade or their first job together or their college days. Some person who knows her better than anyone else. I have never really been very successful at cultivating friendships with women. I can't explain why. In grade school, I had a best friend from 2nd grade until 5th grade when she decided she wanted to be another girl's best friend instead. In High School, I had a best friend who stopped being my friend in a very aggressive manner and instead became my worst enemy and I still don't really know why. Prior to leaving for college, I had a best friend who I spent a lot of time with but never really felt fully connected to, so it was no big surprise that our friendship dissolved during the four years I was away.

When I met my husband, I found my best friend. He is the person who gets me the way no one else does. He understands my jokes and tolerates my crabbiness. I am grateful that I have the kind of marriage that other people envy. I know that has a lot more to do with God's grace than any actual skill on my part. Still, there is a part of me that wishes I could have a close, long term relationship with another woman. Someone I could call my closest friend. Someone that I would count on to tell me when I am unreasonable or not being genuine. Someone that would make me laugh and who I would feel comfortable crying in front of.

This may be one of the reasons I continue to pursue my" meet-up" group, in the hopes that at one of the scheduled play dates or Mom's night outs, I will find a kindred spirit. That there will be some other mother in the group who feels the way that I do about things, who wants to go have coffee on occasion or browse a bookstore together. Who is an extrovert and has a great sense of humor. (Why does it sound like I am writing a personal ad?) Maybe it's not possible to have all those things. Maybe having children and a husband and some casual friendships are all some women can really handle at a given time.

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