Tuesday, July 12, 2005

A friend by any other name

What’s your definition of friend? At what point does an acquaintance become a friend? What if you call someone a friend, or refer to them as one but they really only consider you an acquaintance?
I feel like I have a lot of friends, though admittedly I don’t always think I behave like a good friend. I also feel like I have intense friendships, by that I mean the people that I consider my real friends I’m very close to, better than family. I’d never say like family because with a few exceptions, I like my friends more than my family.
Being an army brat I don’t have those friends from kindergarten or junior high or the kid down the street that I grew up with. I don’t really keep in touch with those I considered my best friends in high school (except for the hubby). I lost touch with all but one of them over the years, and the one I hurt badly by not going to her wedding.
I also don’t keep in touch with my friends from college, though I did email back and forth with one earlier this year. Most of them stayed in WV and remained close to each other, and I drifted away.
(Is there a pattern here or is it just me?)
I’ve always thought that one of the pros (there ain’t many I can tell you that!) of being an army brat and moving around so much is that I sort of got the hang of making friends. I don’t really consider myself an extrovert, at least until I know people, but making friends is not a chore for me. However, I don’t think I necessarily have what it takes to form LASTING friendships.
After college I made all my friends through work. I don’t keep in touch with my friends from my first job—ok, I didn’t really like the job and my boss was my best friend and she died of cancer in 1998. Second job, once in a while I trade emails with my boss from that job, but not often. Third job—ditto, kept in touch with a co-worker for awhile then phffft. (That’s a tongue noise by the way.) Fourth, now I’m getting confused so I’ll stop. The point is the friends I have now are from the job I have now and my job right before this one. Does that mean in five years (or whenever I move on to another job) I’ll lose touch with another set of friends? God I hope not.
And then there are those people who I’ve met through work and consider friends though I might have only met in person once or only see once a year, or the people who I communicate with on a business level in one email and then on a personal level in another. In which category do those people fit? I feel like I know them better than an acquaintance, we email, I read their blogs, we talk on the phone, I know about their dogs, etc. I think if we lived closer we might hang out, they’re my kind of people. To me that makes them friends.


keri marion said...

a friend is someone you can trust regardless of how long you've known them.. that's what i think.

people with any kind of deep trust sensibility are tough to find. i mean, you can trust them to give you a hard time, or to be generally kind, but if you're in a bind, then how much can you trust them?

no matter how much you like them, or happened to be related to them if you can't trust them, then they're put on a scale of worthlessness, no? :) good blog!

will catch up soon!

Anonymous said...

I realize I am in the blessed minority in that I have had the same best friend my entire life. (That would be 44 years - oh my gosh!) From this friendship I have, I think, really learned what friends are...friends are people you can not talk to for 2 days or 2 weeks or 2 months or 2 years and when you talk to them again, you haven't missed a beat.