The circle of life

Friendship is a complicated beast. It takes many shapes and forms. Female friendship, I’m told, is especially fraught with anxieties. I don’t know; maybe bitch fights are just par for the course for some. The more intense a relationship, the more likely you are to clash at times, so maybe that’s not so surprising. Like I’ve said before, I don’t really have close female friends. I don’t like to spill everything that I’m thinking and feeling. Youknow how they say women don’t share their misery because they want answers, they just want to wallow? When others share their problems, my first instinct is to try and think of a solution, not commiserate.

Two of my oldest friends are in a crisis. One has had enough of the other and is ready to cut ties. C says Z just doesn’t seem to care enough, to respond to messages, to make the effort to see her, to keep the friendship moving forward. While I am happy enough just to catch Z a couple times a year – she’s an insanely busy person, and I’m not going to kill myself chasing her shadow – that doesn’t seem to be enough for C.

Sure, she can be frustrating. Things usually have to be done on her terms, but to her credit, she’s not quite as tardy or flaky as some of the others in our circle. She may not usually make it to my birthday parties, but when we do meet up, we reconnect instantly. That’s so rare, so invaluable, and maybe that’s why I give her leeway.

We’re kindred spirits. Old souls with a dark sense of humour; she’s the one I sat next to in classes, whom I called as soon as I got home, who listened to me overanalyse every sideways glance from the boy I liked or offhand comment, who always had time to lend me her shoulder. I leaned on her and she never asked for anything in return. She understood me unlike anyone else I knew. She’s so smart that I never even contemplating competing with her, and I’m so proud of how successful she’s been and how much she’s bloomed since we escaped the microcosm of high school.

The possibility of a rift between the two saddens me to no end. Will it weaken (or worse, break) the circle?

But ultimately, this is a matter between them. As I told C, it comes down to this: Are you getting out what you put in? And if not, are you happy with it? All friendships ebb and flow. We take turns pushing and pulling. Sometimes we’re the ones making the effort to keep the flame alive, sometimes the dynamic reverses. And sometimes, that discrepancy becomes too big to handle.

2 thoughts on “The circle of life

  • Reply The Everyday Minimalist September 16, 2010 at 12:13

    I feel that way. I don’t come back home enough to really get back the kind of closeness I had with my friends that I had in college, but I try to keep in touch and see them as much as possible

  • Reply danablair September 17, 2010 at 00:44

    I had a similar situation with one of my bests. She was unknowingly not giving me enough attention, especially in comparison o our other close friend, but I’m the one who lives far away. I spoke to her about it, and it confirmed that we are still as close as ever.

    It’s hard to sit on the sidelines and watch as our close friends grow apart. All you can really do is not choose sides and try to remind them of why they were friends to begin with.

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