Friday, May 20, 2005

Friendship

Cris over at That Side Of The Moon asks:

• how do you choose your friends?
• how do you know someone is a friend?
• what are your expectations for those you consider friends?
• what do you give to friendships that make you a good friend?
• how do you define friend?
• where do you find friends?

I once was in a women's group where we were challenged to have an intentional relationship with another group member. It worked ok for about 6 months to a year and as it turned out, I had been paired with another lesbian close to my age so we had things in common, but it just wasn't sustained longer than 9 months to a year. I would not be surprised to get an email from her out of the blue, but it has been long enough to say the effort was not a success. In lieu of that I suppose I follow fate when it comes to friends and let fate choose them for me. It is a matter of instinct really. I meet someone and there is an instant recognition. One of my friends says this means you have found someone from your soul family, but that is a rather involved explanation for this entry.

My bestest friend Kimi and I met through mutual friends at a bar when I needed a new roommate at 20(omigod that's 20 years ago). We have known each other half our lives now and We lived near each other just those forst three years, but ours is a friendship that sustains itself unconditionally. I feel fortunate that she is in my life.

I have another best friend Trisha. She and I met while working in the salon at JC Penney, me as a stylist, she as a receptionist. I think we have known each other eight or nine years now and she also falls into the unconditional sustainability (maybe I am onto something here). For a while, It struck me as odd that Trisha and I had this bond because where Kim and I are just a week apart in age, Trisha is about 10 years younger than I am. There is just something there that makes it work.

Beth is another friend who I know falls into this pattern. I met her from an ad I placed on an email list for a Gossiping Goddesses dinner out. I put an ad out blindly saying the GGs were meeting at a local resaurant and any local women on the list were welcomed to join us. The more the merrier. Beth showed up with another friend and we had a nice time socializing. The GGs were just E and I wanting to meet other lesbians when I was new to Houston. We have been friends now close to 7 years. Beth has been there every time we have moved. The first move, about three "friends" said they would be there to help us pack and load the uhaul. Beth actually showed up. That is how she got into the club and earned the friend crown.

I guess next on the list is Paul. I met hime here in Texas again at JCP. He is near 60, so older by far, but there is something again unconditional involved. He does make it a chore at times, perhaps due to circumstances beyond his control, but we always pick up right where we left off.

As far as expectations, my number one rule in life is no expectations = no disappointments. I think the key to adopting to this is to not be attached to the outcome. It is where the unconditional comes in. I amnot sure I have the mind to explain this further at the moment, but any questions or comments left are always replied to.

I give to my friends unconditional love and support. I am a good listener. Anyone who knows me even as an aquaintance, knows I do not gossip visciously. I give confidence.

A friend is someone you call when you hit bottom or are in jail and need to be bailed out.

Friends seem to find me.

So of course I have more than these four friends, but true friends like these are a precious rarity and I appreciate them and am grateful.

I think a lot of people fall into the habit of confusing friends with aquaintances. Drama erupts eventually, Sometimes they learn, sometimes not. And for the most part. Your coworkers are just that, period. Sure, sometimes and aquaintance or friend emerges from the crowd, but please, no blind presumptions about coworkers being friends.

So what do you have to say about friendship?

1 comment:

bananie said...

maxine,

here's the short version of me:

you were right, i was in ireland when you first found me, and then i returned to nashville, my home.

now i'm living in austin with my partner, helen.