Thursday, November 13, 2008
A Friendly Blog
I haven’t been blogging for a while. I suppose you’ve noticed. Or am I just not that important enough… sniff?
Anyhoos, hallo hallo. Been some time no? Sorry child. I have been so busy no meya…. with the show and all. (Sound of Music… did you watch it? You didn’t? Bastard.) Now that it’s over, I am suffering the most heinous case of withdrawal syndrome. Didn’t think I would, given that the whole experience involved…dare I say it… children. But I have to admit they grew on me. Shockingly. As did the wonderfully quirky bunch of girls I had the pleasure of sharing a dressing room with. Aiyo I miss the excited babble and drama in that room, men. I’ve never been in a production that has had this much unity and camaraderie across the entire cast… there’s always been the ‘clique’ factor happening… until now. It was quite nice to get along with everyone for a change and have nothing but laughs with each other. Look ma, I made new friends.
Which brings me to the post of the day. The Pal Factor. And this one's gonna be long, so brace yourselves darlings.
Everybody and their next door neighbour has one. Big ones, small ones, clingy ones, weird ones, ones who live to please you, ones you live to please… what’s life without a friend? They know you at your very worst and they still believe in you.
Me…. I’ve never been one for having many friends. Never did. In school I was always the odd nut job who skulked around in the recesses of a classroom while the others compared boyfriends and nail polish colours. I didn’t see the point, and preferred the company of my multiple personalities to the superficial ninny-talk I often eavesdropped into. I still can’t do the socialite thing and smooch every face I see and bump hips like I see it done around me. I’m not into that kind of friendship… the shallow variety that competes for the best outfit and shrieks ‘hey gurlfriend’ one second and ‘bitch’ the next. I prefer the brand of friend that I can share whatever silly notion of the day I have with, and the kind that I can not see for a decade and still be able to pick up where we left off without any signs of awkwardness. I like the kind of people who don’t balk when I speak my mind, and who appreciate me for who I am. Obviously, that means I don’t have that big a bunch of homies. Just a choice few, each more eccentric than the other, but who I’d happily give my life for should they ever need me. I can count them with my ten fingers, but each of them makes up for a whole army of people. I'm dedicating this post to the human pals in my life. The four-legged ones deserve an entire post to themselves, which I will save for later.
I’ve learnt along the way by clique-watching that a true friend is a rare thing to find. Everyone bonds for reasons beyond just liking each other’s personalities and the value they add to yours. Think about it… if you were to lose your job, you house, your family and be sent to jail, which one of your ‘friends’ would come bail you out or even come visit? Would YOU go visit a chum who’s been convicted of murder? It’s tough innit… suddenly the person we thought was good for us and complimented our social status no longer plays by the same rules, and is automatically a good candidate for the almighty boot. More often than not we tend to keep friends for more convenient purposes, such as getting something out of them. Don’t ‘tsk’ at me… you know you do it too. We’re all quite excited to have the odd contact in our lives that we go out of our way to get close to, just because later on, should we ever need their pull, we play the ‘connections’ trump card. If they can be of no help or emotional support to us, then they’re not worth our time, and they belong to the ‘acquaintance’ category and not the friend one. I hate that.
Honestly. It feels like I’m taking advantage of someone and for that reason even when I do need help, I don’t like asking my friends for it. Not that they wouldn’t come rushing to my aid if I ever called for it, but I usually like to take the hard route and call up general suppliers off the yellow pages and follow the rules instead of use someone I know and care for. It’s not pride or anything, so don’t get me wrong. I appreciate help just as much as the beggar on the street does when you give him your wallet, but I don’t like requesting it from people I call my friends, unless it comes voluntarily. I have the same issues with family too. Lord knows my family is pretty much like the mafia – everybody is someone and the connections I have could humble a politician, but I categorically refuse to ever go to them for assistance on things I should be doing myself. Call it obstinacy, but I just don’t, can’t and won’t go to the people I care about for anything more than their company.
And what company it is. The tiny bunch of people I am honoured to call my true pals are individually some of the craziest, most intriguing people you could ever meet, with life-stories that could inspire the next Harry Potter collection. They’re scattered all over the place, so there’re very few times in an year that we do meet each other, but when we do…. boy oh boy… All it takes is a coffee and a chair and I end up having the time of my life.
It’s not always fun and games either. There’s something inexplicably amazing about the emotional connections you feel with true friends, that can propel you sky high when you feel at your lowest. It’s a nice feeling… to know someone truly cares and you don’t have to feel obligated in return. I’ve had the luck of experiencing it first hand, when I bawled my brains out over a break-up to a male friend I’m especially fond of, and within minutes an entire troupe of guy buddies had arrived from far and wide on his call just to hold my hand and watch me cry. They even drove me around town endlessly with no venue goal until I’d calmed down enough to go home and rest. These are the very friends who now live all over the world and who I know I’ll get a call at 3 am from if I so much as change my FaceBook status message, just to find out what’s up. That sort of attention and concern is rather nice, to say the least.
I have another extension to that bunch, who is my sounding board at any given time. The intellectual genius that she is (and I know she’s reading this because she said she likes my blog. :P), she always makes me feel like I make splendid sense, even when I know I don’t. She’s heard the worst confessions and shared the most horrible thoughts back, and we still manage to understand each other and giggle over it. To her special magic I add another two females who make it their duty to speak their minds, no matter how harsh the opinion. They won’t so much as blink between tongue lashings when they feel I am deserving of it. Only true friends would be that honest and not make me hate them for it.
Then there’s my retarded group of compatriots from the old office. A more united, crazier, lovelier bunch I have yet to meet. We knew nothing about each other when we first met, and it’s only been a couple of years at most but it seems like a lifetime… like we were there at each other’s birth. Granted, they’re closer to each other than they are to me since I was their ‘boss’, but it didn’t stop us from sharing the wildest times with each other and laughing together till we peed. So much so that I have become oddly, even possessively, fond of that crowd… almost feeling maternal and responsible for their lives. I need to see them happy, or I feel I’ve failed them. Even with the age differences, designation differences and professional relationships, I know I’d swim the seven seas for them and they for me should the time come. I managed to bring one of them over to the current office too (and I know SHE’S reading this as well. ;))… if I hadn’t I’d have died by now in the doldrums of the present office culture. I do enjoy the opportunity to often articulate the most horrible thoughts out to her and have her do the same, and not be judged for it. It’s a nice thing to know someone has your back through thick and thin. Even though you’re a first class weirdo.
Last but never the least there is the ultimate top spot in the friend’s list – the best friend. The usual norm is to have a bestie who’s been with you from the school ages and who’s giggled with you over sharing knickers and handbags. I do have one or two of those (close friends from school, not mutual panties and bags), but I took them out of the best friend section some time ago. Not that they’re not the coolest girls around and the comfort factor with them is glorious, ESPECIALLY when we giggle over common undies, but the definition of a TRUE best friend has changed drastically as of late. It’s an entirely different thing altogether from the usual close friend. It’s a mate you share more than common interests and war stories with, or even a history for that matter. To me, a best friend has become someone you just cannot imagine life without, and someone who’s become such an integral part of your life that without that person, you feel incomplete and useless. Someone you can feel elated about simply breathing at.
As my luck may have it, the one person I now do class as my best friend also happens to be the guy I date. I don’t know if that complicates things because if one fails, then the other surely will too. I know, I know… true love and friendship are both unconditional, but you have to accept the fact that one affects the other, however much you deny it. He has seen me at my very worst, and allowed himself to be used and taken for granted when any other man would have told me to go fly that kite that ol’ uncle Charlie built.… and he has held my hand through it all without flinching. He knows me at times that I don’t know myself and can read my thoughts long before I think them. In the few years I’ve known him he has willingly become my rock, my comfort zone, my punching bag, my comic relief, my point of pleasure, both my cause for nightmare as well as my dream and my hope.
I’m so gooey today. But that’s what friends do to you. Real friends.
And there it is, if you’ve managed to read this far. A snapshot of the nutters I am proud to call my one constant and link to sanity in this disastrous world we live in.
Friends are such a good thing, no?