Friend or Foe?

Five facts about good friends & friendships,

1)      As in the definition, really ‘support’ing a friend does not come at a cost to the other friend

2)      They endure the test of time, even if time has passed without interacting.

3)      They make you laugh, instead of cause stress at home or work.

4)      They strengthen over time, cups of tea, knowing one another’s spouses and children.

5)      They are stronger than blood, whether friends are family or not, friendship is a choice.  

Friendship is defined as; n: 1) a person who knows and likes another. 2) a person who favors and supports. 

I like the people I call friends. Even with all of their idiosyncrasies, misguided advice, and issues, I love them all. I do have to question their support though. After all, a friendly hello is only a text away, or an email, or an invitation for a cup of coffee or dinner. 

I have hosted dinners, emailed, mailed and texted countless hellos, in an effort to be a good friend. But I’m tired. I’m just tired of being the one everyone goes to when they need help. Now, I acknowledge my past need to be the person to help, to fix things, to go out of my way, even when it was uncomfortable and costly to me to fix things. But that me no longer exists.

As in romantic relationships, I seek, no wait, I need balance. 

I made my mind up a while ago not to be that person – the one who ran to everyone’s aid at the expense of my own well-being. I wasn’t as surprised to note how few of my good friends made the effort to maintain our  friendships. 

On the other hand, I was very happy to realize how many true good friends I do have who are willing and able and open to real conversation, genuine caring and not so needing of a one way highway of support that leads only in their direction.

The reality is, that sometimes in life women must re-evaluate the health of their friendships. If the living organism that is friendship does not breathe easily, laugh often, and find nourishment equally among the members, it will die an ugly death.

The following facts may come as a shock to some of my friends;

1)      I like spending time with my kiddo. Shocking, I know. Just because the kiddo is ‘old enough’ to be alone, does not mean that I want to leave home whenever I’m not working so I can spend time with you. Kiddo time and work are important in that order. Do not assume your priorities are more important than mine.

2)      I don’t get off on driving folks around the city in the constant bumper to bumper traffic that I deal with daily. Yep, it’s a fact. Expecting me to haul your ass around town during my time off is selfish.

3)      I do not exist to do favours for you. If you haven’t cared enough to ask how I’m doing this month, don’t ask me to spend my time off doing ‘stuff’ for you.

4)      I too have to work for a living. I don’t get paid if I don’t work, and if I take time off, I have to make it up – it’s not a free gift.  Again, do not assume your schedule is more important than mine.

5)      I actually like it when my friends come over for a cup of tea, or invite me over, or suggest we just hang out with our kids. I don’t like it when the only time I hear from you is so you can ask me to do something for and you expect me to drive all over hell’s half acre to meet you. All of my friends either have two income households or no kids or both. Give me a flipping break, and get off your lazy ass to make an effort to come  see us.

Where is all of this coming from?! Oh dear, the goddess of holding the sisterhood together must have gone mad! Help!!! 

RELAX -I haven’t gone mad. In fact, I’m just mad. Mad like angry, not mad like I’m sending a zillion spiders to infest your mattress and deliver a poisonous bite in the middle of the night, causing you a swollen limb and a trip to the doctor. I have done that before though, and it is, in a very primordial way, satisfying.

I have prided myself on the quality of my friendships throughout the years, but it seems that pride does in fact cometh before the fall. 

All five of the above irritants have been issued forth coutnless times throughout the past few months from my ‘friends’, which leave me to say a very sarcastic thank you.

Thank you. Thank you very much. The old friend you knew has left the building.

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