The older I get, the fussier I am about making friends. This is not because I am unsociable, far from it. I absolutely love making new acquaintances. I love the feeling of meeting someone new -and if they interest me- finding out about their lives, what makes them tick, what qualities attract me. Occasionally they become a friend. And there is no tried and tested formula. You do get natural wastage. Friends who were once mainstays in my life no longer feature. Through no fault of their own, or mine, just through circumstances or fate or environmental factors they have dropped off the radar, relegated to acquaintances. #WOTW Word of the week is Friends.
And in the spirit of Halloween I have categorized them in three groups: The ‘Witches’, the ‘Bitches’, and the ‘Climb out of Ditches’.
There’s something spookily fascinating about the Witch friend. Mainly found in youthful circles, you can also find them in the MaFia groups on which I have written before. She beguiles you from the start, she could be very attractive both in looks and personality. There is nothing that she wouldn’t do for you, initially. She is very persuasive, and you find yourself arguing on her behalf, without question. She invites you to everything, you become part of her coven. You plot and plan and travel in the pack.
And then you find that the comforting silky spiders’ web of friendship that she has woven over you is actually made of very fine steel. It’s incredibly difficult to escape. You find that instead of having an opinion, your voice has turned to a mere froglike croaking. You look in the mirror and you see a weak reflection of yourself staring back.
And you realise that you don’t like what you see. And you break free before your get the life sucked out of you, and then get thrown on the pile of carcasses that you have just noticed in the corner of the room.
These friends are your ‘Yes’ / ‘No’ mates. They give fully of themselves in the quest for tidbits of gossip, can always be relied on for a laugh, and would cheerfully stab you in the back. However, they are enormous fun. These tend to be the mid term friends, but can and do appear at any time of your life.
They could be mummies at school that you befriend because little Johnny likes little Freddie. They could be work colleagues who become mates through a mutual hatred of your boss. You could go on holiday with them, live in each others pockets, and for a time you would, in the spirit of friendship, do anything for them.
Until you realise that that is what you are doing – everything for them. And their favourite mantra becomes ‘I owe you one’, as they disappear off with someone else. When that time comes, and you see that the mutual support structure is based on golden sunny sand, then it’s time to shift. Either to firmer foundations with the same structure, or you knock the sandcastle down in your memory as one glorious sundowner fuelled holiday romance.
Climbing out of Ditches
These are your best friends. They come from all walks of life, and at every stage of life. These are the ones who pick you up, dust you down and set you back on your feet. They are the people that you would do anything for, no matter how unreliable/irritating/frustrating they can be at that moment in time, because you know that they would absolutely do the same for you.
They are the ones who understand what is precious to you, and what you hold dear. They may be late, but they would never let you down. And you can have a bitch and a giggle over a glass of wine. And you can drunkenly cast spells over those witches that gave you such a hard time.
And frankly, if you fall in the ditch, they will make you laugh trying to pull you out.
And hell, if you’re too stuck in the mud of despair, they won’t leave you. They’ll get right there in with you. And hug you tight.