I really have no business writing about friendships because I struggle to maintain any. However, the other day I was mentally sifting through the list of people to invite to our Vow Renewal Ceremony (an update follows next week!) and I came up with a very short list! In fact most of the people on it were in South Africa. Most of them are old, old friends or college buds, and the rest are family. The same thing happened with hubby’s list.
Which led me to conclude two things:
- I am incredibly shit at making new friends, and
- I have a hidden superpower – keeping a few friends really close.
All of this was VERY surprising to say the least, since I can’t recall when I last spoke to any one of those on the SCF (Suddenly Close Friend) list. I bemoaned this fact to hubby and his take was that liked having them in my life, just not ALL the time.
I had to agree. I mean what do people talk about when they see each other all the time? Who leads such an exciting life that they have to be in touch with their friends all the time? I don’t. In fact I can go a year without calling, texting or messaging my friends, but when we do get together its WILD. We can’t stop talking! All the catch ups have to be done, because one, or all of us have lives to live. The same applies to family. In fact, it’s been a while (and I mean a very long while) since I spoke to either one of my parents. They do their thing, I do mine. My siblings are on FB. That’s enough right there! Another blog post, another time!
Back to the SCFs. I asked around. It seemed I was not the only one. Of the people I asked, more than one mentioned that their friends list was a short one. So what does that say about our Social Media presence? At last count, I had more than 2,900 friends on FB. People I actually like and interact with. But my IRL list is very different. I count 5!
How did that happen and what did I do to maintain those 5 friendships through marriage, childbirth, job loss, moving home, and moving continents?
Here’s my 5 for 5 list of things to do:
- Don’t follow them on SM. I had three on FB and then one got really religious and I unfriended her. The other two are there but I have turned off notifications on their posts. What would we talk about if I already knew everything they did?
- Don’t remember birthdays, anniversaries and children’s birth dates. I don’t even remember their children’s names. That way it’s like I meet them anew every time and they get excited to share all the pics and whatnot when they see me.
- Don’t buy them anything unless you’re actually sure they’ll like it. It makes shopping trips great when you can go the malls and shop for them, with them. Same applies to their kids.
- Don’t go on holiday or family road trips together. I never have. It has sounded the death knell on many a friendship. Let’s face it, once you’ve seen their SO in his sleep shorts, the friendship is over anyway.
- Do catch up with a braai. It is the best way to get the menfolk, the kiddies and you and your girl squad together after a long time apart. The last time I had a braai I got so rip-roaring drunk at a friend’s house, I climbed a tree. Me! Climbed a tree! We will laugh about that the next time I see them.
This is how adults do friendships. I am not a 19-year-old needing to sob into the phone every time life hands me some travesty or another. I do not need constant consolation. I do not need to crow each time my offspring farts in tune!
But I do want my SCF around. Because when we do connect, it’s epic and like we never left.
How do you connect with friends? Do you have any long distance relationships you’re currently maintaining? What do you do?
Until next I blog,