Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Friends

I have been having a certain thought a lot lately. One of my better "friends" seems to be having it a lot recently too. Does our perception of what a real friend is change as we get older? Who are our "real" friends? I know as we get older our needs (I'm fighting to not use "" around all these words, lol) change and so do our personalities, so it's probably natural that friends we had as we were younger probably either outgrow us or we outgrow them.

Here's what I am talking about. It seems to me that I have no real true honest friends as I thought the term friend meant. I don't have someone that I can lean on any time I need anything and talk to about everything. I suppose my husband is my only real friend, but then he kind of has to be, lol. Anymore, to me the term friend seems to mean an acquaintance that you can tolerate and that you have anything in common with. A common interest or a hobby or heck, even something as minuet as how many siblings you have. I am talking about this now because a recently acquired "friend" has been down and a little depressed about how she has no real friends and actually thinks of my husband and I as the most normal (HAHA, you can tell she doesn't really know us yet) and friendly people she knows. She is having trouble with people asking her for everything and expecting her to do stuff, but then getting mad if she can't or won't for any reason at all, even good reasons, as if she had to have one to begin with. Or she gives and gives to them, but the first time she's in a pinch and needs something, no one is around. They just treat her like crap. It's sad really. But then I think about my situation. I have a few closer acquaintances who I think I care about, but really we never talk or hang out. After having kids and getting married, it seems they are even sparser (is that a word?) yet. We have no one to change babysitting duties with to have a date night. I don't have anyone that I just call up and say hey, how's it going, how's your life? Of course, I suppose I could at any time just do that, call them up. One of my "friends" seems to like to make arrangements with me and then something inevitably comes up (or should I say something better comes up) and we have to reschedule. Well, I made a rule for myself that after three reschedules, if they are not on my part, I kind of give up. It's obvious that whatever it is we are trying to do isn't important to them or they just aren't really wanting to do something and just keep trying for my benefit.

But then I wonder if it's me. Maybe I'M the one who isn't being a good friend. I'll ask sometimes when someone is sick how they are feeling, but do I really care? Honestly? Not always. And sometimes I hate to ask in case they actually do want to talk. If it's serious enough, yeah, I do care. But sometimes I just find it difficult to actually care when someone has migraines (or whatever ailment) and has to call off work twice a month. Obviously they are not dying from these or they would be going to the doctor to get it under control or fixed. So I stop asking. Then I seem like a horrible person when the same someone asks me how I'm doing after a day off, even if I wasn't off sick. So do you gain "friends" by being phony and just going through the motions of caring? And if so, are they really friends?

I realize this post makes me sound like a mean, uncaring, drab person, but I'm really not. I really do initially care when people are sick or hurt or something happens to someone in their family or when they get a new job/car/house/kid. And if someone asks me to help them move/feed animals/house sit/babysit, I will say yes. Unless I'm going to be gone of course. But even if I have something planned, I will still make arrangements to do whatever it is they need. I have two friends, who I've known for a long time, who keep asking to go out to lunch. Each and every time I tell them I'd love to, and that I work every single week of my life M-F, 8-5, and to tell me when THEY have time for lunch and we'll go. Then I never hear from them. Every time. Then they claim I didn't get back with them. Uh, I do believe every time you I ask I tell you what my schedule's like and to tell me when's good for you, but whatever. I want to ask them why bother asking me because it's obviously on their end that something isn't connecting, but yet I keep saying yes and I keep not hearing anything. When do you give up trying to be someone's friend. I kind of do, but then they contact me again and again I try to make some sort of relationship with them work. Can you be friends with someone who is just there? You don't really talk, you don't go anywhere, you don't.......relate anymore.

On the flip side, I have "friends" on internet space, like people I converse with on blogs and read about their lives. My little email group started getting together (through emails) about 2 1/2 - 3 years ago. It's interesting because we all were getting online to play a t.v. trivia game and we started collecting each other's email addresses so that we could contact one another to play with the online game at the same times. Then the game became defunct, I'd say about 2 years ago, and here we are still conversing almost every day on email about tv, politics, sending jokes and whatever else floats our boats. We are a really diverse group ranging in ages like 29ish (I'm one of the youngest) to I'd say mid 60's. Men and women. Single and married people. People with kids, people with grand kids, people without either. I'm actually close enough with a few of them to talk about really personal things. I'm almost closer to them than I am with my real life "friends." It's one of my many wonders.

So to all my "friends" in the world (real life and internet), I really do care about you (usually) and as I try to do, try to make it work if you really want to be friends. And to my friend that is down about her own "friends," don't give up, it will either get better, they will just fade away and you will make new friends or they will realize how crappy they are being to you and will clean up their act. I hope I am being a good friend to everyone.

And by the way.....
American Heritage Dictionary states that a friend is:
A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.
A person whom one knows; an acquaintance.
A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade.
One who supports, sympathizes with, or patronizes a group, cause, or
movement: friends of the clean air movement.
So I guess everyone I've described in this blog actually ARE friends.

5 comments:

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

I think the whole world craves a good friend, but that doesn't seem to happen too terrible much anymore. People are busy, people don't really have to work together anymore, people think they have to "protect" themselves from other people.

I started blogging because I missed my friends in Arizona after I moved back to South Dakota. I found a wonderful world of people who's lives I enjoy reading about...their humor, their talents, their families, their horses. These are people who for some reason, I feel like are my friends even though I will probably never meet any of them. The blogs are for conversation-the PM's are for "personal" issues. Myself-I am guilty of not keeping up with friends I have made. I'm not much of a letter writer, not much of a phone caller, but I really enjoy popping into blogs and seeing and hearing what my friend's are up too. It's strange, but I like it.;)

Also, I am sorry I didn't get back to your last comment about the Chiro stuff. I don't have a good network for finding a reputable chiro in your area. It's frustrating because there are so many "practicing" people out there who are willing to take your money and not do much to actually help your horse. The only good thing I can say about this wrecked horse market is that farrier's and chiro' and vet's are going to have to re-evaluate their pricing methods. A lot of the "so-so's" are going to disappear.

And BTW-thanks for stopping by my blog-I enjoy your comments and questions. Always, feel free to email me if you ask a question and I don't answer it.;)

ezra_pandora said...

Thanks for stopping in, friend. :)

It's funny how friends have become more of a convenience, but in some way your world still revolves around them. (I know I have my list and little ritual of viewing everyone else's blogs too)Otherwise what would you have? I have my husband and kids, but you see them everyday and I have to admit, there's only so much you can sit and talk about, so you need someone new with different perspectives to make things interesting.

I think I have more virtual friends than I do in real live local friends.

Thanks for the chiro info too. I actually got a hold of one that is highly recommended by our ferrier and the girl I go to shows with (she shows, I don't) He's apparently so good he's booked solid all the time. Now that he's finished with the horses for Quarter Horse Congress, he'll be back up our way (in OH, he's from PA) and sometime in the next few weeks he'll be making his round around my barn and will be able to stop in. I enjoyed reading about that in your blog too. Our barn owner thinks that because it's unconventional that it's a bunch of fooey and that he can sell me a can of "Eddy's Miracle Cure All Ointment." He's a dork. But it's my horse and last time it worked, so I'm definitely willing to give it another shot if it helps again.

Mrs Mom said...

Ezra, you and I sound a lot alike here. I have two people in my life (real world) that I count as True Blue Be With You To The End, Friends. My amazing Dear Husband, and my Very Best Friend that I grew up with. I miss her like crazy- but we do connect via phone calls (gotta love free long distance,) and emails. Sucks notbeing able to ride with her though.

We have been here in the Southland for just shy of 3 years. There is no one here I pick up the phone to call just for the heck of it. No one I want to have lunch with. I have become content with my life- staying home,being a mom, and a wife. I get very uncomfortable around people, and really feel no desire to "get to know" folks.

Blogging has been a blast- and I have been able to "meet" some really terrific folks on here. Reading other's tales and life stories helps me realize that I am not alone out here, and that there are other folks who think along the same lines! ;)

ezra_pandora said...

Well, Mom and BC, the sad difference between the two of you and me is that I live directly behind where I grew up, and almost all my old friends are still around. You guys moved away and are far from your friends so you/they have a little bit of an excuse. With mine, we just kind of grew apart. I don't make (female) friends that easily either, so that's why there's no new to replace the old. But we are slowly finding each other :) That's a good thing. Thanks for stopping by :)

Sully said...

I can totally relate to your post. I do still have a friend from Texas (I lived there from birth to age 9). We only talk once a year or so.

I have my friend since 4th grade, but we never hang out or do anything together...she and her mom do everything together. I always take my mom or my husband along with me or go alone.

I also have my best friend from college who lives in Japan now...I am in Tennessee. We talk online and when she comes to visit the states I see her, but it isn't the same as when we were in college.

It would be nice to have a walking/exercise buddy besides my mom or to have someone to have lunch with once in a while. I really don't miss the drama of having a group of friends to hang out with all the time.

I do have a wonderful group of online friends that all went through a divorce at the same time as me. If you can tell them anything when you are going through something as terrible as a divorce and that wild roller coaster then you can depend on them to support you no matter what life throws at you. I have been fortunate enough to meet some of them in real life.

BTW, nice to meet you, Friend!!

Sully

 

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