What About Your Friends

TLC was perfection. I loved them way back in the day when they wore boyish clothes and Left Eye (RIP) would walk around with condoms over her left eye. She always had some sort of braided pigtail, if I’m not mistaken.

Yes, that’s the era I’m referring to. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved when they got all femme and started wearing more form-fitting outfits and exposed more of their midriffs. “What About Your Friends” was one of my favorite songs. It has a great beat, the lyrics were awesome, back when rap rhymed and every other word wasn’t B@tch or N*gga.

I’ve been thinking about friends for a long time. Mirs’ friends more specifically. Do you know that only one of her friends has come over to be with her in the almost four weeks she’s been injured. One. It’s got her thinking about who her friends are and making her depressed because reality, it seems, is that she has none.

We’re different in that I made this discovery a while ago and realized that I didn’t have friends but that I had acquaintances. My “real” friends sort of drifted off and there are only a handful of people that I can call and have real conversations with. I can not talk to my real friends for days, weeks, months, or a year but when I pick up the phone, or we happen to be in the same place at the same time we fall back into our friendship right where we left off. This is a real friend.

One of my real friends that I know I can always count on is my friend Matthew. He’s a great guy still living back home so I never see him. He’s just out of law school and working for the father of a famous actress so he’s always busy and I can never get him on the phone. Every once in a while, though, we’ll connect via phone, text message, facebook, whatever and I know that I can spill my guts on him and he I and it’s good.

I consider my ex roommates, the Sisters Gordon, to be my friends, too. Working and living with someone can put a strain on a friendship. It’s also kind of stressful to be friends with sisters without making it seem to them that you prefer one over the other. That’s just how sisters are. I get to see one of them almost every day and we sneak away at work to have quick chats about our lives. We share confessions and secrets that we know are safe with the other.

I’d be lying if I said that I don’t wish there was still a larger circle of friends that I had to lean on. I’ve found through age that friendships are harder than they appear. I know a few people who have retained friendships forged in grammar school and I wonder what became of my grammar school friends. I know what happened, I’m a social butterfly. I flit from friend to friend day in and day out of my grammar school, high school, and college life. I’ve dropped so many friends without giving it a second thought when the friendship failed to suit me or if the drama became to much to handle. I didn’t feel like I needed to deal with those things, therefore was never really invested in any friendship I felt was a bad deal. Friendships with high interest rates and poor yields weren’t worth my time. I can see a bad deal friendship from a mile away. They’re always fun, the fun times seem to roll on effortlessly but there’s no substance. You ride it out until the it stops and you part ways.

Feelings have been hurt but it’s mostly one sided. I never really let people in all that much if I’m not sure about them. I take a lot from them, though. I’ve mentioned that before. Not in a vampire sucking the life out of them way, but in that you can tell me all of your problems and I’ll listen to you, therefore you think I’m a good friend yet you have no time to listen to my problems sort of way. When I find that they’re doing all the taking, I’m doing all of the giving and there’s no space in between I bail. And when I bail I dump you for good. It’s harsh but it’s the way that it has to be.

I’ve never had a break up that’s dragged on and on and on. When we break up, we’re done. It’s over. Don’t call me, I’ll call you. I’m friends with one of my exes and that friendship developed a good year after we broke up.

It’s a defense mechanism to protect me from getting hurt by too many people. It’s allowed me to be really selective with my friendships which is why I’ve clung so tightly to my Friend Crush. I told her last night that she was officially stuck with me and she seemed pretty good with that. It makes me happy that I can add one more friend to the handful I already have.

Mirs is quite different than me in this respect. She has friends that she’s kept since her time in college. She depends on her friends for a lot of her life’s happiness. They define her and make her who she is as a person. She counts on them for support and love.

It’s a hard pill to swallow to find out that the people you depend on most outside of your family aren’t really there for you at all. That they’re selfish and too wrapped up in their own worlds to pick up the phone or make a house visit in your time of need.

This ankle injury, seemingly simple at first, has proved to be so difficult for her on so many different levels. It’s no big surprise that it’s been difficult for me as well, and on our relationship. It’s a sprain, according to her doctor, a severe,sprain/strain on her.me.us.

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