Frenemies Forever

March 12, 2013 at 10:59 am | Posted in Friends Then and Now | 1 Comment
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Females have very complicated relationships with one another.  While it is possible to have some really good true friendships, even sisterly relationships, there are complex emotions that often interfere with what some may think should be normal relationships.  Women are very in touch with their emotions and therefore are less likely to ignore them when they surface.  Women have the ability to immediately hate each other without ever even meeting each other, or hating each other for seemingly ridiculous reasons.  Women are jealous, envious, competitive creatures and any woman who says that this isn’t true is lying.

And it starts early, really early.  Little girls make friends, create cliques and leave other children out.  Little girls butt heads with others in their circle of friends, but there’s not much they can do.  They put on a fake smile and go on so as not to lose their place in the group.  This is when the frenemy concept first begins.A frenemy is someone who, for one reason or another, is in your circle of friends, but you don’t really like her, but you can’t kick her out.  For some reason somebody likes her, or alternately, she has some kind of connect that makes her valuable.  Maybe she has an “in” with the popular boys, or has wealthy parents that let her have parties on the family boat, or maybe she’s the only one with a car.  So you push her arrogance, braggart, manipulative, dramatic, backstabbing ways aside not to commit social suicide.

It is a strange practice among women that I’ve seen at every age from little children up to senior citizens, so while I’d love to say that it will or should come to an end, that’s just not realistic.  I, myself, have had a few frenemies in my life.  I have a strong personality and very specific traits that I do not like (and a hard time hiding that).  Some of my friends are a bit more lenient than I, so every so often, I have to cooperate with some ladies that aren’t my cup of tea.

The good thing about frenemies is that it means we are using some restraint.  It may seem like we are being untruthful, but the reality is that we are attempting to be respectful by not voicing our opinion, or taking the masculine approach of getting physical with people we don’t like.  Still, for someone like me who doesn’t hide my emotions very well, this is a challenge, but it’s part of girl code, and let’s face it, it’s really not worth it to get into it with someone you really don’t like.

At some point, the frenemy stage with a particular person can end.  But it always lives on in your memory of that person.

Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About

February 28, 2013 at 10:45 pm | Posted in Friends Then and Now, Relationship Woes | Leave a comment
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When I was younger, I remember looking at older couples, studying older couples, wanting so badly to understand how relationships worked.  What did they talk about all the time?  Where were they going when they drove around together?  What was it that they did together?  As a pre-teen and into your teenage years, you have a lot of time to think about things like this as you try to learn and understand the world.  When you aren’t in school or doing homework, there really isn’t all that much to worry about. At least, that’s how I see it in retrospect.  I spent a lot of my free time hanging out with my friends, talking on the phone with my friends, picking out cute outfits to wear, and painting my nails.  In terms of going out, options were fairly limited.  The world was small and the problems were even smaller.  Of course, back then, they were the end of the world, but now I know better.

I know that there is constantly so much going on, every day.  I know that I start my day with some excitement from the adventures with my dog, or the texts from my BFF about her date last night.  I know that there will be some drama going on at work that will be the gossip of the office.  I know that there will be something happening with my family that I’ll be looped in on.  I know there will be stories and situations involving my friends.  I know there will be plans being made and bills to worry about.  I know that every day will be different somehow, and my spouse and I will have plenty to talk about as we ride in the car together day after day.

It’s kind of funny when I think about the hours I spent on the phone as a young teen, having my own private line so I didn’t wrap up the family line and so my friends didn’t have to speak to my parents before reaching me.  Now on the other side of this, I wonder what I was talking about then?  In reading some of the journals I have found, it seems that a lot of my conversations were about my friends and crushes I had.  I had way too many crushes, that’s for sure!  When I have kids, I will reflect on my journals, look for answers to help me relate and remember.  I will try to keep my kids a bit busier with more stimulating activities.  I will probably tell my future daughter “boys can wait, you need to experience the world.”  I will try to help my children experience the world, so that when they get older they will have plenty to talk about.

Ghosts of Former Lives

February 26, 2013 at 11:20 pm | Posted in Friends Then and Now | 3 Comments
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This week I had the opportunity to catch up with another old friend – one from my hometown, who moved away a long time ago.  As is a typical move on my part, I always tried to keep in touch, and whenever she visited, I was her go-to person.  It’s a role I’ve played many times in my life to many good friends and I’m happy to keep playing that role.  It’s a part of who I am.

But as life would have it, it has been a good 12 years since we saw each other.  It’s still crazy to me how that can happen, but it can and does, and the sad truth is that I will probably go another long time without seeing her.  It’s not that I don’t want to see her, or that she doesn’t want to, it’s that we live in two very different worlds, very far apart from each other.  I recognized an opportunity to see her through a rare business trip and I jumped on it.  I don’t know when or if that will happen again, or if she’ll find a way to make it back home, or if that’s something she even really wants to do.

Because she took a different path, and her life would have been very different had she stayed. As we compared notes from our 20s we saw lots of parallels.  Had she stayed, we would have continued to hang out, and probably would have gotten in a lot of trouble and had a lot of fun.  Would it be better or worse than what she has now, who really knows, but what she has now is so much to be proud of and I am so happy to see the woman she became.

And it’s amazing that after all these years we still have nothing but love for each other.  I know in seeing me, the only person she has seen from our hometown, that I bring back a lot of memories for her, things she hasn’t thought about in a long time.  I am from a former life.  I represent the past, and since I’ve stayed so connected to it all, I’m able to bring it back for her.

And maybe that’s enough revisiting she needs.  Maybe she’ll come back to visit, but maybe not.  We will stay connected, I know, and I know I will see her again in due time.  In the meantime, I have great memories of our time together in adolescence and peace of mind in knowing that she is in a good place in her life.

I hope to see you again soon, dear friend.

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