There are lots of quotes about friends.
Friends tell you the ugly truth, not pretty lies.
It’s more important to have friends than fans. Fans tell you what you want to hear. Friends tell you the truth.
So, a true friend is meant to say whatever they want to you, at any time, and that’s okay? That’s allowed, it means they care?
What the fuck?
Oh, I get the intention behind these sayings – a true friend steps in when you are royally cocking up your life, and gives you the verbal equivalent of a slap round the face with a fresh mackerel.
But I sometimes wonder if I found the friends who misunderstood this concept. Just a little. Apparently some of my friends think this means they should blurt out whatever thought pops into their heads at the time.
Thoughts such as, after a day spent together,
Right, I’ve had enough of you now. I’ve reached my limit for the day.
Or, when you mention not seeing them much anymore,
Well, it’s difficult making sure I give all of my friends some attention, it’s like having to timetable them in so no one gets left out. I try and fit you in during the mornings.
Or, when you apparently have a habit that annoys them,
God, do you have to do that now. It’s bad enough I had to put up with it all day yesterday.
So, what do we take from this kind of comment?
Clearly, I’m a bloody irritating person to be around. Well, maybe I am. I, like everyone, have my faults. My friends have their faults too.
But here’s the thing. I don’t poke my friends in the eye with theirs. Because – we’re friends, right? So, I like being with them, despite the personality traits that sometimes make me want to scream. And, I don’t like making them feel like a period – a bloody annoyance and irritation we have to put upon a regular basis.
So, I shut up.
A friendship is much like a relationship. It needs care, and nurturing, and effort. When the time you spend together becomes routine, and the nights out together have become a thing of distant memory; when every call is necessary and no longer just for fun; when gatherings are a duty, and the laughter is about past memories more than new, then is it still a friendship or more of a marriage that has shrivelled and dried?
Do I sound peeved? I am, a little. And hurt? A little. What I mostly feel is tired. Fed up of holding my tongue while being told how awful and rude I am. These aren’t the kind of comments a friend makes – it’s the kind of shit family throws.
I’m fed up of being considered a bloody period.
So from my grouchy, and somewhat grim post, some things that we can be thankful for.
Good times, fond memories and years of laughter.
Friendships that come into our lives briefly, but bring help in times of need.
Friendships that grow from childhood and gain strength like fine wine.
Friends that may not speak for months, but the very next call will be long and easy.
Friendships with understanding – that wax and wane, and still can be refreshed.
And, the many more friends yet to make.