ON FRIENDSHIP

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
Anais Nin

I’ve always had a bit of a problem with the concept of a ‘Best Friend’. So many people pass through our lives at different times, in different circumstances, and each fulfills a unique and memorable role in the constantly changing ‘who’ that we are at any given moment.

There are those jealously guarded school attachments, shared secrets of crushes and the dizzy excitement of preparing for dances. Heartbreaks, disdain of fuddy-duddy parents and overindulgence in chocolates which necessitates hours of shared face packs. Despite heartfelt promises on the last day of school to write every day, new university friends are made and the school pals are eventually relegated to a clutch of fading polaroids.

Then comes the real world and the workplace; you’re flung in amongst people you’d perhaps not have in your home. But there is the common field of reference and you find that you side with someone against the tyrant who is your boss, that you both laugh at the silliness of pompous language. A memo containing ‘paradigm shift’ or ‘intrinsic strategic positioning’ can have you both rolling on the floor with laughter, to the bemused stares of others in the office. When you leave the company, this friend will handmake a card for you that you will frame and keep on your wall for ever, because it speaks volumes about the many years of private jokes between the two of you:

Your honesty, integrity and commitment to staying at the leading edge of marketing communication could put you in line to win an XXX Raising The Bar Award.
But your sluttish behaviour, habitual substance abuse and persistent use of expletives has earned you a Raising The BRA Award.
Jolly well done, we’ll miss you Luvvie!

 

With a successful marriage comes years of accrued observations and events; the physical proximity leads to a relationship in which so many things can be left unsaid. It’s an unparalleled concord and probably the closest one I would consider for the term ‘Best Friend’.

Mature friendships, gained and grown in later life are truly above rubies. The wealth of accumulated knowledge and experience that can be enjoyed over a cup of coffee or a bottle (or six) of wine is joyful beyond words. Shared parenthood trials and tribulations, love of the arts; literature, music and humour, these are the rewards that come with the advance of age.

Enriching? Hell yes, I’ve been – and continue to be – incredibly lucky.

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32 thoughts on “ON FRIENDSHIP

  1. Your writing made me smile…we have all been there, lived through it..and have so many stories to tell. I think it’s a part of life and getting older and wiser, losing friends but gain truer ones in the process. There’s also a moment in life that you snap out of the haze and realize this is all for a good reason and you can only become better as a result. Now more than ever I value life and all it has to offer…… As is a tale, so is life~not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters….hell yes….I join you girlfriend!! Brilliant post!! xx

  2. each example you stated, brought flashes into my head.. yes, it’s all very true.
    I too have wondered about the term ‘best friend’ .. to me, a friend is automatically a best friend. And if not that, they are people I’ve come across, greeted with an Hi occasionally, a fleeting experience, just like the other bitter/sweet memories that we accumulate over time.
    Labeling relationships is really an overkill.. they are so meaningful by themselves, just the way they are… there’s always something to learn from every relationship! And yet, we tag…and then come in definitions, and then…well… expectations, disappointments…bla bla..the list goes on..
    “Share with whoever you can share with, cuz you never know a thing about tomorrow anyway” – my philosophy

    Your post was a refreshing read… made me smile and think of a couple of posts I had put up on similar lines 🙂

  3. How true, friendships are always evolving and changing depending on the stage of life we’re in. I met up at a school reunion with my BFF’s (which I never saw once after my final exam) and after 2 minutes I realized that they no longer were what I needed in my life. Each person helps us on the road we travel and we leave them behind or they leave us behind – it’s only the memories we keep.

  4. I have realised that you become different things to different people, depending on time and space. Lovely post Cin.

  5. I have never seen my schoolfriends since schooldays; we were never really that close. My ‘best friend’ was a neighbour’s daughter and we crossed paths at certain points throughout our lives and remained spiritually close until she died. I have a few ‘mature’ friendships now, some from my KZN days and a couple of Gautengers. It is true that as we age we change, as do our needs. Thought-provoking post, Cin.

  6. Expletives? Substance Abuse? Sluttish Behavior?

    You rock! : )

    Like you, friends have come and gone, but the warmth of their friendship lingers in framed mementos and photographs bearing silly smiles.

  7. okay
    I said I would be gone and I am gone but I really like what you say here.
    Here is an unfinished/filed poem with some best friend thoughts. (my wife is mine for sure!)

    Death of a best friend

    I couldn’t cry the day my best friend died
    Cause I never liked the sound of best friend
    And if I had one no one told me
    and if I thought it it couldn’t be
    I don’t want to hear it
    It sounds like
    an animal crying in a trap
    And the cruel laughter of two trappers

    It sounds like
    Siamese twins in 4 legged Levis
    Stumbling over corpses
    Cursing as one bumbling idiot

    I’m not always sure what’s best
    But I know
    my friends are plural

  8. I’ve almost always differentiated between ‘friends’ and ‘associates’….friends are forever and associates weave in and out of your life…enough said on that…so enjoyed your post…sorry about being so late on commenting but went to the coast for the day. 😉

  9. Hi Cin,

    Am playing catch-up after two weeks leave and getting back to work yesterday. This was a post that really tugged at my heartstrings today – it has made me reflect on friendships gone by, and made me smile at the great memories. Thank you for that xxx

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