Shout out to Whodini for that song title as it depicts true life. Friends was the topic at church on Sunday (Proverbs 18:24), and coincidentally I had written a draft of this blog topic the week prior but wasn't ready to post. The sermon was reassurance for me to proceed.
We grow up gaining a number of friends. From school, the neighborhood, and sometimes even from work. I recall, in one of my classes from middle school, a student described another student as “my best friend”. The teacher replied “you’re not old enough to have a best friend. You have to know each and be friends for over 10 years before they get to that status. That’s your associate”. Do you agree? I’ve had so many people come and go throughout my lifetime, it becomes harder to keep some in that category. A friend, in my definition, is someone you can confide in. Someone that is there to support you. Someone who is in favor of you winning in life. Someone who enjoys your company. The pastor used an example saying a true friend is the one who would answer you call at 3am if you needed help or if you just needed an ear to listen. I have a friend who lives out of town but when we reconnect, it’s like picking up right where we left off. She is that 3am answer-call friend. She would probably be like "what in the h*** you want", but would be down for whatever. I also have a crew of friends, who I call my Villagers, that will step in when we need support with the kids and vice-versa, we have gatherings together, and even take family trips. It’s quite awesome!
But I often wonder, what happens to some other friends? Have you noticed that things change with life milestones? When you get boo’d up or married, it’s like the partner whisked you away into a new life. You may keep in touch with certain friends and/or gain new ones. Then there’s having kids. The more children you have, the more it seems like your friends are harder to reach.
Which leads me to my next question: if they consider you a friend, what kind of friend do they classify you as? I ask this because I have witnessed some scenarios where I’ll see people have Girls’ Night Out or other activities and I’m like “where was my invite?” Maybe I’m just what I refer to as the Red Couch friend. The one that’s like a counselor to listen to people’s concerns, give advice, and be there for support. Think about it. You wouldn’t call your therapist to go out for drinks or fun events would you? Maybe I’m lame and folks think I’m corny and boring. Cool, makes sense.
My next thought is: maybe I’m the Mother Goose friend. You know, the one that has “all dem kids” (no grammatical error). People often assume, just because you have more than 1 child, you don’t have time to enjoy yourself. Or the older generation would probably say “she ain’t got no business being away from them kids”. Who says? I am a hard-working nurse/business woman who tries to give my kids the world (and hubby too) but can’t spare a Saturday night to spend time with friends? People often assume that moms are too busy to hang out anymore. Of course, we can’t go clubbing every night and twice on weekends but don’t judge. Just ask. That’s the courteous thing to do. Some may use it as an excuse just to not invite you like “oh girl I know you got them kids so I didn’t bother”, knowing good and well they didn’t want to invite you along in the first place cause you might cramp their style or feel like they have to calm down their turn-up in front of you. Do you boo-boo (clap clap) lol.
And last, I wouldn’t call myself this one, but there’s the Hamster friend. The friend that’s always “at work”. Anytime you ask if they want to hang out or attend something, they’re like “I can’t go, I gotta work.” Their job doesn’t allow any PTO except when you see their nightclub pics on social media. That must’ve won the employee of the month lucky prize of a night off.
The best thing you can do for a friend is to keep it real and let me know where they stand. Let them know what category they fall in cause they would hate to be led on to believe otherwise. Life is too short with too much to do for people to waste time on someone who’s not willing to spend time with you. Am I being irrational?
This is Yo! Mama and I approve this message. lol