Monday, August 11, 2008

"You're the best friend in the whole planet"

Honey I Shrunk the Audience at Disneyland in April 2001 -- Monica in white, some chick in pink, Richard in back, Suzy in red, Janae in the corner, Emly in front, Susannah in grey, Abby in dark blue friends

I've been thinking about something Lisa wrote a few days ago about friendships and when it was time to just let them go...
I wish I could say I am a great friend to each person I've ever considered a friend, but I'm really not. I am very inconsistent with my friendship, as well.

I am very shy and unsure about new friendships, and won't claim it as such until I'm pretty sure it's reciprocated. There are several people in my life that I would love to consider friends, but they are acquaintances until further notice, haha.
Social networking sites like Facebook have such an odd quality to them-- You have to request someone to be your friend. What freakish power that holds for me! Every single time I click that little "Add as a Friend" link I get nervous. "I enjoy you and I'd like to have your name and little picture listed amongst those others I've claimed a teeny ownership over. Please accept this plea." Because I have clicked that little reject button before! I REJECTED YOUR FRIENDSHIP!

But out of my 128 Facebook friends I have several I have not spoken to/seen/emailed/IMed/written on the same message board as (haha) in YEARS! Like SIX, SEVEN YEARS! And when their little faces popped up next to the generic "wants to be your friend" message I was confused. Why have you chosen to add me to your little posse of avatars? Because we had a math class together in 9th grade? Because you recognize my name as someone you may have once met? Padding your numbers, eh? ...but after talking with some I'm surprised to find they've considered me their friend all these years. Whoa.

I am horribly inconsistent with my frienship! There are a handful of people (sometimes as small of a group as just Sarah, Ryan, and Tashina) I will keep in touch with on a regular basis, with "regular" changing definition sometimes. But what is necessary to keep a friendship intact?

I think that is the real question.

Do you need to keep in contact often? Do you need to know the goings on in their lives?

Thats where most of my inconsistencies come to play. Sometimes I'm so laid-back in a relationship that I don't realize I've ostracized the other person by taking the friendship for granted. Sometimes I keep a good interest in their lives, keep in contact every few months. Sometimes I'm freakishly needy and convinced if I don't keep myself at the forefront of their minds they will surely forget about me. Oh my.

Some people I feel I've lost all friend-like connection with because I have NO CLUE where they live, what they're up to, how they are. But there are others that I am just as ignorant about, but I know we are still as good of friends as ever.

Like Kelly. I've known Kelly since 1996, when we took a summer orchestra class together. We didn't get to talk much during class (she being a violinist and me a cellist), but we got to know eachother. I used to selfishly use Kelly as my fallback all the time. If I wanted to hang out with someone, but my usuals were busy, I'd call Kelly and she'd never say no. I loved that as much as I loved hanging out with her. I finally realized how much I was using her and realized she deserved a real friend, and started calling her as my first choice. Her family even invited me to go to Lagoon (an amusement park near Salt Lake) with them, just the family and me. :) I really enjoyed hanging out with them. And then pretty suddenly I never hung out with Kelly again. We both got jobs and got busy. The last time I saw Kelly was at the mall, she told me she was bridesmaid dress shopping with her sisters because she was getting married soon. That was about four years ago.
I like to think that if I knew how to contact her things would be the same as they were in 2003.

I found out that in high school and a bit after a few people considered me somewhat of social leader. The go-to for goings on. And that some therefore considered me above them in some invisible social rankings. It surprised shocked me. Are you kidding me?! ME?!
I made a new friend acquaintance (haha) this week, Sydney. I'd met her a few times, but it was the first time we'd worked an entire shift together. After basically laughing together for several hours, I told her I was sorry we weren't better friends earlier. She said before that day she'd thought I was "prissy and standoffish" Wow. She said "with your hair all like that" (curled) "and your clothes" (umm, skirt and a blouse) "and all, I thought you were like 'Don't Talk To Me' prissy." Wow. I replied, "Well, I'm pleased my true nature shows through well." ;)

Me? Prissy? Dude, I'm the one wearing the Super Mario shirt and track pants, with my hair being held by a pencil, listening to Weird Al, eating oatmeal. I'm kinda far from prissy. Now, I know I can be a brat and standoffish at times (my family thinks I'm a lot ruder to people than I actually am), but in a general sense of it all, I am not like that! I'm the biggest dork around.

But I digress...

What is required for a friendship to be a friendship?

Common interests?
Sure, we had that whole "enjoys SpaghettiOs, older siblings are friends, same 1st grade class" stuff in common, but I don't think that applies much anymore. (hahaha, hi, Amy.)

I guess it all boils down to a general respect for another. You are you, and I like that. I am me ...and you can handle that.


Elizabeth said...

What is boils down to is this: Your sisters are your true friends and will be to the end of your life. No matter what.

lisapants said...

Wow, to think I inspired all this thought on friendship. I really liked the last sentence. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

lisapants said...

Come to think of it, I don't think I ever really introduced myself. Hi, I'm Lisa. Nice to meet you. I hope we can eventually go from being imaginary acquaintances to being imaginary friends. It sounds like we are similar in the way we make friends, though, so it might take a while :)

jacquelynkollar said...

I hope that we are considered friends.

If you've read my blog in the last day or so I also posted a blog about friendships and hope that none of you are offended by it.

I do consider you guys more than just people I know. You are friends and I'm super happy to have friends out here who will tolerate my shyness and quietness in general.

TDawgYo said...

We're friends?!?? Wow... um... that's cool.

Kidding. EFF!!!