Friendship’s a tricky business.
Just last week, in a prelude to a story, someone said ‘ well, you know how we have friends for different reasons?’ and I nodded yes, yes, and they launched into their tale. I missed the whole first minute, though, because I was thinking: what was I nodding along for? To say: yes, of course, we do, and that’s the way it should be?
It might be generally accepted, but a little part of me’s always been annoyed by it. Always. I just never had whatever it takes to figure it out (and if I had, I’m not sure what I’d have done with it.)
The older I get, though, the more I’m willing to be clear: I’ll take my friends being friends for all of me. The playful, the reckless, the adventurous, the political, the seriously, I’m just up for laughing, the angry, the what the hell’s wrong with the world, the … oh. You probably understood many examples ago.
I’ve offered that kind of friendship to others – or at least I believe I have – but there’s not a lot you can do about friends who’ve got you compartmentalized. If someone calls to brainstorm their project (and there’s always a project), they don’t have any interest at all in hearing about what I’m doing. The friend who calls for philosophical therapy is utterly disinterested in a side discussion about keeping the creative flowing. In fact, that friend is utterly disinterested in a side discussion about anything. And my favorite least favorite is the friend who has me targeted for the latest romantic disaster. Friend doesn’t realize the latest romantic disaster’s been going on for ten years.
I’m tempted to concede that I might be very wrong and that we’re supposed to have friends for different reasons. Except that I have friends who ARE full on up-for-all-parts. They keep doors open for everything and no one stops anyone from running wild with their wit. No one bats an eye when things suddenly stop and get serious. There’s room for dreaminess and irritability and – OH NO! Another list!!
It’s a great kind of friendship. And all it takes is doing it.