As my daughter starts her second year of middle school, I find that I have to dispense friendship advice on an almost daily basis. We talk about how girls that she’s known her whole life are starting to make foolish choices, how some girls can be so flat out mean, and about the “popular girls” and how they pretend to act dumb so that . . . (I don’t really know the answer to this one).
“Don’t stress about it,” I tell her. “When you grow up you’ll find much better friends.” But I’m finding that friendships amongst women can still be incredibly complicated. Drama Queens and Backstabbers are still around, but there are also women who push friendship away; women who claim to be too tired or not that into having friendships anymore.
I am incredibly social. My husband has teased me for over twenty years about the large number of “best friends” that I have. My friends are a high priority in my life and once I am your friend I am loyal til my dying day,
Grown-up friendships can be strange and fickle and I find that I sometimes don’t understand them. My husband is great and I love to hang out with him, but having a conversation about how little boys always pee on the bathroom floor isn’t really a topic that comes up that much. Especially one that is accompanied by much laughter and head-nodding. But if you get a bunch of women together for more than an hour or two, there will always be laughter. Or maybe that’s just me. I do tend to laugh way too much.
I hate bringing Satan into the conversation because I always feel slightly kooky when I do, but if I were trying to discourage women and make their lives terrible (which is what I assume is the devil’s goal) I would try to make their marriages rocky and I would try to isolate them from their friends. Girlfriends can lighten a bad mood, give you advice without taking sides or being a nag, and ease your burdens. But it seems harder and harder to find a good friend and many times we’re just too tired to keep up the friendships we do have. I’m not telling you that Satan wants you to skip Girl’s Night Out, but maybe it’s time to remember just how essential friendships are to womenkind.
Have your friendships seemed to change and become less important? Maybe it’s the virtual internet world we live in or maybe it’s another victim of our overscheduled lives. Do you find it harder to make and maintain frienships? Do you not care as much as you used to? Are friendships more of a trial than a pleasure? Has friendship changed for you over the years?