Thursday, December 09, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ For Being a Friend

How do you define the word "friend?"

The word friend can be defined as many ways as there are people. So here's my definition.

A friend is someone I don't talk to every day, nor do I need to see that person on a regular basis. Our connection is one where we are able to pick up where we left off after we catch up on the details of life. Our relationship is based on mutual respect and warm feelings. Not on needs.

My friends are unique in lots of ways, but they all have this in common, they love to learn, grow and stretch, seeking ways to live a vivid life. No matter the circumstances, they persevere and move forward. I guess that would be resilient, the ability to be knocked down, yes, but then get back up again.

Honesty and reality based. No flattery, no game playing, no manipulations. Those are the best kind of friends. I can know where I stand, don't have to guess at expectations or do the dance of dysfunction with a needy Nell. A friend can and will tell me that I have spinach in my teeth, a bat in my cave or toilet paper on my shoe. Then, since we are talking about my definition of friend, she'll (or he'll) mock me.

What a friend isn't.... (suffice it to say that the examples below are folks who don't read the blog and if they perchance stumbled upon it wouldn't recognize that they are an example.)

I had a friend once who looked at me and said. "You are really a disappointment to me. I wanted you to be a real girlfriend, one who I hung out with every day." Honest. Check. She was honest. However, her expectations were intense. We both were married and both worked and had children to deal with. I couldn't even guess what her scenario looked like. And she tried every trick in the book to manipulate me to be "that" girlfriend.

Someone who sucks the life out of me and then kicks the dried up shell looking for just a bit more. I had another friend...her mom encouraged me to take her under my wing...(wonder why). This girl called me constantly, ran every last detail of her drama past me. She must have breathed through her eyes because I could never get a word in. Period. I would set the phone down and do things and come back and pick it up and she'd still be going. We lost touch about 15 years ago. And I recently ran into her and couldn't avoid her. I expected for her to ask me for a phone number etc.etc. She didn't even REMEMBER me. Seriously? How many victims has she gone through...are people just ears? Maybe. I'll NEVER forget her.

Someone who brings on palpitations, defensiveness or guilt when we connect. The game player, the hinter, the "gosh, I never see you anymore, you and your crazy life, but I still love you." when she was the one who canceled our last get together.

And that is the long answer to the short Plinky question. Now. How about you. How do you define a friend?