The strange behavior of some so-called “close friends” has Carine Fabius rethinking the concept.
A very close friend of mine vanished out of my life without so much as a goodbye. That experience forever seared its mark into my “open to all newcomers” disposition. Another intimate of mine decided after 15 years that she no longer wanted to be friends, but she refused to tell me why. She tried the silent treatment, but I kept hounding her until she finally sent me a cryptic email that said, “Give me some time to sort it out.” That was in 2002. I stopped waiting a long time ago.
A woman I was friends with went through a difficult time, economically, and no matter how much I helped (by referring business contacts her way) it was never enough, and she never stopped reminding me of it. I walked away from her, but I let her know why. Read more
Connie Stetson muses on friends and relations, relatively speaking.
Not to speak ill of relatives, of course, but Euripedes got that right. I’m grateful that my sister and have become good friends, and I’m glad I only have one sister to work my shit out with, but we never had a choice. It’s the combo-pack with family. For good or ill, with deeper issues to work out, old wounds to mend; we’re all so invested in the story we made up about when we were kids that it’s nearly impossible to show up as changed, or better, or over that, ya know?
Ah, but our friends… To be able to say to someone, “I absolutely support your change and growth, but you never have to change for me to love you.” Knowing that there are a select few out there who hear your truth and your inconsistencies, and you theirs, is a mighty, mighty force indeed. To allow a dear friend, in all loving honesty to say, “your ass looks like a giant bag of potatoes in those pants, take them off now!” To stand with a friend as she walks through loss, illness, change and all of the boundless joyful stuff too—well, this is what helps keeps me anchored. Read more
Christie Healey reflects on true friendships and “china plate” mates.
Just as I started to think about this blog, an old friend from New York sent me a long email. Barbara is one of the most energetic women I have ever met. She has 13 grandchildren, plays tennis and golf and keeps well abreast of the political scene (her opening line was to congratulate me, as a Minnesotan, on the seating of our second senator after eight months of legal whining). I have not seen Barbara in over five years, but every six months or so we correspond. She comes from a nearly extinct breed, the letter writer, but now I see she has discovered email.
I have friendships of over 30 years and of less then three. All of them stroll into my mind at unexpected times and are in my most oft-visited memories.
What brought me together with my friends is still a little mysterious to me, sometimes there is an instant connection and sometimes it takes longer. Read more
For Christie Healey, family is chosen and distance is a state of mind.
I have moved many times in my life. Perhaps the most significant was the move from my home village to London in the late Sixties. Looking back it seems that this tearing away from my family and the small world I had known for 17 years set me on the path of the wanderer. The wanderer becomes part of a very different family.
My family is now made up of those I left behind: a sister, two nephews, a great-niece and a great-nephew; a son born in the U.S. and friends I have made over the years. My son has taken up my wandering lifestyle. He now lives in Hawaii. I live in Minnesota.
I have close friends, old and new, in Minnesota, but the rest of my magically selected family live in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, New Mexico and many other places. We come together whenever time and money permit, and sometimes when it doesn’t. Just because I need to see their faces, hear their voices and feel their presence wholly and completely. Read more
The uniquely American celebration of Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. When I started to write this blog I was trying to list all of the things I am thankful for. Then it occurred to me how simple this annual celebration is. Just before winter comes we are prompted to reflect on the all the wonderful stuff we have been given that blesses us physically and spiritually.
Times are tough, but we can choose not to dwell on the difficulties for a little while and simply enjoy and be thankful. Let’s gather with our “families”—the definition is as broad and diverse as the world we inhabit—get out the board games, play cards, talk, laugh and share with everyone, youngest to oldest, and simply enjoy this precious time we have together.
I am thankful that this blog gave me the opportunity to think about the meaning of my favorite holiday.