Friendship, Social Barriers, & All That Crap!

In the last few weeks, I've had some interesting conversations with various people, regarding friendship. Not one to give it too much thought, since I've always applied the theory "either someone is your friend, or they're not" when it comes to all the friendships I've ever had or continue to have. Now, I can't help but ponder about it, as my kids have both reached the age where they've begun to choose their own friends, without my encouragement.  I've always chosen my friends wisely, or rather chosen them with what I consider some wisdom after a few nasty experiences in my youth. 

Some people can be strange about friendship, and the views I received recently left me a bit disconcerted. Class, standard, religion and money seem so important. I watched my husband get ignored and treated like less than nothing in the company of "friends" I was reunited with after five or six years. A lot of them probably deemed him unworthy of their time, and respect because.... He's a teacher by profession? And, chooses to work and support his family, instead of jumping from one business venture to the next with lightning speed, and no purpose? Yet, they fawned over me, like I was the prodigal daughter returning home. 

I don't take offense to that, because people are what they are. But, there will be no more reunions.

And, I can't stand "in your face" friends. With their constant need for interaction, get-togethers, fun, fun, and more fun. It simply bores me. I was once firmly fixed into those types of friendships, and I found them shallow. Then, there are the one sided friendships, I for some reason have mainly had with women... I look back on those with quite a bit of disgust, because my goodness, did they waste a ton of my time, incessantly talking about themselves, their problems (of which they had plenty each day), and never giving the slightest heed to the advice they begged me for. I was honored with a few seconds of their interest in me, and my life, before being completely dismissed as unimportant. It amused me, and built in me an aversion to women who never seem to have a grip on their lives. 

Last night, I found I have much in common regarding friendship with someone, who from our first meeting over a year ago, I clicked with almost effortlessly. It didn't matter that we met up after months of planning to meet up, even though the distance between our homes is probably not more than 11/2 mile. It didn't matter that her two kids were running in circles around us, while we enjoyed a long awaited Margarita night, husbands and all, because it wouldn't occur to us to exclude them, and opt for "Coffee at Espresso" instead. 

I stopped after only two (but pretty strong) ritas, because I felt a happy buzz I haven't felt in years. The buzz which comes when you are your most relaxed self. I ate like a pig, and I eat like a bird in public otherwise. 

A few hours before that, I sat on the floor of the home of a person, who doesn't own a couch, or any other furniture besides two metal cupboards. They served us food which they could ill afford... I couldn't stand to see the gratitude in their eyes, that we felt they were worthy of a visit from us. I don't see why my children shouldn't visit and play with their kids out in the compound, with sticks and an old rubber ball. 

They're not ready for me to withhold encouragement, and my opinion on their choice of friends, which at present is nothing more than what is acceptable in the little society they're a part of in school. 

They will not be encouraged to only have "Christian friends" because "that's what they come from." It was how I watched people raise their kids in the small community I belonged to. I found it ridiculous from the start, and hypocritical that they still boasted about having friends "from all walks of life" while never having the slightest bit of respect for them on the inside.

I don't refer to my Muslim friends as "Mozzies." Neither do I "keep them at a distance." Diwali is not celebrated by "a bunch of people who are crazy enough to worship thousands of gods." Neither are Parsis' "weird about their burials." Or, Urdu speaking Christians "not acceptable to attend Christmas midnight mass with us English speaking folk."

Yes, fuck the barriers, is what I intend to teach my kids. 


Fareen said...

A! Poignantly written, my friend. Loved hearing about your personal journey through the shallow bullshit and to a far better place! Am sooo glad in that far better place, right there with you.

Love you - always

Renée Neary said...

So happy to see you posted a new blog entry, Anne!
Loved the final line... succinctly simple!

KD said...

Well said sis!... you do have a way with words. Excellent piece of work.

Love - Your bro Kenny :)