Saturday, August 24, 2013

Women and their friends...

Armchair philosophers and psychologists are quick to generalize the differences between  men and women, aren't they?

"Women are more social than men."
"Men are thinkers, women are emoters."
"Men don't talk about their private lives, women spill their guts to anyone who will listen"

Though there is probably a grain of truth in all of these statements, we are more alike than we think. It may be that our real differences are in the way we communicate and relate to each other as humans. Part of that difference stems from our genetics, but most of it from our environment, our upbringing and our life experiences.

For instance, I have noticed from my own experience, that most women have more friends than their male counterparts. Is it our female nature or is it that friendship is more important to us...i.e. we "need" people or we need what they give us? Or is it simply that men just define "friendship" differently?

One of my favorite lines from Tombstone is a classic about friendship...

Doc begins coughing violently.]
Jack Johnson: Doc, you ought to be in bed. What the hell you doin' this for, anyway?
Doc Holliday: Wyatt Earp is my friend.
Jack Johnson: Hell, I've got lots of friends.
Doc Holliday: I don't.

I have many friends that I have collected over the years. Some have come in and out of my life like feathers floating in the wind, landing on me just when I needed it. Others have hung in there for all the bad stuff, bringing healing and grace to my tired and hurting soul.  Others have popped in after a long absence bringing joy in their wake and it's as if we were never separated.

Most of my friends fall into groups that like the same things I like - go figure! I have known one group of gals since Dave and I got married.  We have a bond that sharing years of life experiences (marriage, births, deaths, kids, etc.) creates. I have made new friends through my love of knitting in the past couple of years.  I have a few close friends whom I met in my working years and with whom I stay in touch, some from as far back as my Berkeley days. And I have a small group of precious friends who would give their souls to help me if I were down and out - they know everything about me - stuff I DON"T write about!! 
My kid's are my friends (when I'm not trying to "mother" them), now that they are adults. Amazingly, they still like to be around us. My daughter painted a picture for me on Mother's day..."If I didn't have you as a Mom, I'd chose you as a friend."  It melted my heart - we'll see if she still feels that way when she has to change my diapers!  

Some friends are only friends for a season. I am okay with that. There was a time when I would bemoan a lost friendship, but in my wiser old age, I think about what they brought into my life at that time - even the short flickers of friendship over the years have left indelible markers in my memory. I have learned the hard way that even the closest friendships require periodic cultivation or they whither like grapes left on the vine too long.
What I really love is that we never lose the capacity to make new friends. Life is an evolving series of circumstances and experiences and if we reach out, friendships can spring from the most ordinary aspects of our lives.  I met my old friend Rommie trying on lab coats in my "things not to do with lab animals" days...I met Peg in an apartment laundry love of sewing and writing brought Suzan into my life...I hired Kerri...I saw Gayleen in a salon window, walked in, made an appointment and now we are friends...I struck up a conversation with a neighbor which turned into an invitation to a party...I love the people who follow my blog and leave their kind words...and so on and so on, etcetera, etcetera.

And today, I will be golfing with my hubby's friends and their wives - who knows what new friendship might be lurking in the sand traps (cause that's where I'll be!!)

and so many more....

"Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies" Aristotle.

Laurel. Cherish your friends. 

1 comment:

  1. Do they serve drinks in sand traps? If not you might want to bring a flask.


Thanks for visiting my blog. I appreciate all those who share and leave their comments very much. Laurel

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