so today . . . is going to be a busy day. wednesdays always are--that's why i stopped blogging on wednesdays. and then i had the brilliant idea of the bonus blogs, so now i still have to find time to post those--which wouldn't be so bad if i didn't feel the need to "introduce" them, and then add final thoughts at the end . . .
oh well, here goes . . .
this blog was originally posted on friday, june 6, 2008.
how can you tell if a person is your friend? there are a lot of people in my life, and while i like almost every single one, i wouldn't necessarily say they are all my friends. or maybe they are, but just at different stages of friendship.
first, there are those people that you are just getting to know. you may not see them often, but when you do you have short conversations with them. the silences are awkward though. you talk to them when your paths cross, but don't spend much time together, because what if you run out of things to talk about? you are learning a bit about each other, slowly, but you are careful about what you say. after all, you don't know them well enough yet to let them see who you really are. i call these people possible friends.
next there are those people that you have talked to enough that you now know what interests and viewpoints you share. you enjoy your interactions, partly because you kind of know what to expect and partly because there will still be some surprises in your conversations. you feel comfortable enough to maybe go to a movie or concert together--those activities that don't require much conversation--and afterward you talk about what you've just seen. you may let them see a little more of who you are. then, if they don't run away screaming, they become new friends.
then there are your everyday friends. these are the people you spend your day with. they know you pretty well. they may be your co-workers, the people you go to church with, your neighbors. they pretty much know what is going on in your life, but maybe not all the gory details. you are comfortable with them and might invite them to go out to lunch or to a ball game or the mall. your conversation is easy. this is where many of the people in our lives are. and this is a good place to be--a friendship without a lot of demands or expectations.
and then there are those friends that you know you can count on. some people call them their best friends, but i prefer to call them my real friends. these are the people who really know me. they know i'm not anywhere close to perfect, although i try to look like i have my act together. they know why i don't play sports, but love words. they know i probably have skeletons in my closet (along with suitcases, too many shoes, and the perfect hangers) but they choose to like me anyway. these are the ones i know i can call in the middle of the night if rollie is gone and my bathroom is flooding or my clothes dryer burns up. they are the ones who will listen to me whine or rant or fall apart without making any judgments. these are the people i trust.
i started thinking about all of this last week when we ran into problems with our internet. rollie is usually able to handle all of our electronic issues, but this time even he was stymied. so we asked our friend james for some help. without hesitation he agreed to come over and see what he could do. well, he worked on the problem for four hours that night with no success, and then came back the next night with another friend and worked for three more hours before they finally had our internet running properly again. they gave up two evenings just because we needed help! so i just wanted to say how grateful i am for friends like that. neither james nor walter (his friend) will read this--i'm fairly sure they are not on myspace--but i was inspired by them this week. i wish i was that kind of friend, but i am afraid that maybe i am not. i'm going to try harder though, because how we make people feel is important. and this week my friend james made me feel like somebody cared . . .
i'm not very good at the friend thing--i tend to be more of an alone person. given the choice between going somewhere with people and staying home by myself, i will almost always choose being by myself. once i get home from work, i do NOT want to go out again--unless i am lured with food. i find that most of the things i enjoy doing are solitary activities. it isn't that i don't like people--i do. it isn't that i can't function in a social situation--i can. and it isn't that i'm not thoughtful of others--i am. it just that that isn't where my natural personality lives. and sometimes i just seem to be immobilized by inertia. for example, i never forget a birthday! but everyone i know probably thinks i don't have a clue, because i cannot seem to get a birthday card or gift out on time (or even close to on time) to save me!
so i am very thankful for the few real friends that i do have, because they love me anyway . . .