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Did you ever have to exorcise a friend from your soul for health reasons? I don’t mean those who fade out of your life as time progresses but those who require drastic action to maintain your sanity. Do you spend a lot of time, like me, making excuses for those cranky-pants who are continually critical because they have so many trials and tribulations in their lives? Do you suffer their illogical outbursts because you believe they’re a person of worth who has had a bad day?

I’ve had a couple of these in my life time and they’ve were painful lessons which I could have avoided if I’d been more circumspect and not embraced the concept of true friendship until I experienced a painful epiphany.

What I should have done is listened to Kim who told me at breakfast one day that she’d decided she’d let people choose what sort of friend they wanted to be. Of course that was too late when it came to Debbie.

Debbie! What a brilliant woman! She dazzled me with her ability to have total recall when it came to movie dialogue and could rattle off the whole script instead of just the zingers. Sadly, Debbie would choose obscure movies to prove her prowess. Debbie could get difficult tasks done in a jiffy where it would take me hours of struggling. That gave her lots of time to babble on about how she’d get it done later and after slagging off people who weren't in the general vicinity she'd toodle off to Starbucks to bask in the sunlight reserved for those who could afford the down time. Debbie and I traveled together on road trips which were a hoot because she had a quick wit and loved doing zany things. When I lost my head honcho position Debbie dumped me. When our mutual friend lost his the following year, Debbie dumped him which made me realize it wasn’t me who was lacking.

I could mention other lapsed friendships which required an excruciating extrication but I’ll just report I got better at sloughing off the impossible and improbable. However, I never gave up on the concept that it’s possible to make new friends.

So, be a friend, be a pal, be that go-to guy or gal; just understand that sometimes there’s a painful price to pay for having an open door to your heart.

[an]This opinion piece has nothing to do with affairs of the heart and how they often go amok. Those aren't worth agonizing over and I got good at coping decades ago.[an]

------
"Tigers bloom where there's oodles of room." Zodiac Zoo


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Comments

The following comments are for "Estranged Friends"
by Pen

True Friends.
Great piece Pen!

I've often told my daughter during her growing up years, that if you want to have a lifelong friend...not just one for the time frame you're in...notice how they treat their other friends.

Do they gossip about them when they are not around...spill secrets that they swore the'd never reveal...do they critize them often when asked for an opinion?

But most importantly...are they quick to support them unconditionaly when their world falls apart!

These are the things I value in a friend and time will never change that. My closest friends are from childhood and we always support each other even though many have moved away years ago...we are always there for each other...perhaps not physically...but emotionaly where it really counts!

True friends are angels sent from God to help us navigate this journey called life.

( Posted by: Beatrice Boyle [Member] On: April 21, 2012 )

dear Bea
I try very hard not to qualify or quantify a friend based on longevity or the circumstances in which I met them. It's never mattered to me if the person is face to face or far away. People are full of surprises even if they are up close and personal. I don't believe it's like romance where you need them to be in your company to know for sure.

One of my closer friends became that way because I put her wise to gossip that a 'dear' friend of hers had been circulating. What offended me the most about this was that she was an adult holding a position of influence where the woman she was slagging off didn't have the same power.

Another of my dear friends [who is on Facebook] I've known for 30 plus years and what is so delightful is she holds the same ideas about friendship that I do. True friends don't need validation, they don't need constant tending, they don't need a score card and they believe in loyalty.

Even though I've never met you Bea I believe you are who you are by what you say/write here. If I were in your general vicinity I'd look you up after e-mailing/calling first.

The people I've met in real time from the LitOrg lineup are like people anywhere. It's a mixed bag and some are so outrageously phony it's ... well ... it would be unbelievable if I hadn't witnessed it first-hand. Others are just as true to themselves as they are in print. While at LitOrg I've tried to present a reasonably accurate version of myself because I'd like to meet many of those who grace these pages.

I respect those who have the gumption to be who they are instead of masking their less palatable traits. I guess it's because I loved my mother unconditionally. Even though I had many valid reasons I never broke faith with her. I've never kicked anyone to the curb because they couldn't be who I wanted them to be ... just discarded those who expected me to conform to their ways of thinking. As if that's gonna happen!

Strong people don't require capitulation because true strength comes from diversity.

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: April 21, 2012 )

Desperate Ex Housewife
Pen, I once had a friend(?) who let me know I was her last choice to go out with...I was so desperate that I didn't care...Just hold my head under water!

( Posted by: Nitz Kitty [Member] On: April 21, 2012 )

oh Kaycee!
I once had a friend who told me that they really couldn't waste their valuable time on making new friends who might not be what they were expecting. I spent a long time thinking about that and wondering if I'd been put on notice and I better measure up or suffer the consequences ... whatever they might be. I didn't spend a lot of time fretting about the ... um ... er ... decree[?] Kind of thought it was sorta like being warned about purgatory if one sinned.

I can't imagine you taking that sort of guff from anyone!

I can remember telling a fellow who waited too long to call me that ... he'd past his 'sell by date'. I should remember it because it was very recently. Of course romance doesn't have longevity with me ... I figure if a guy makes me wait .. I'm not that important to him ... so .. perhaps it's low self-esteem instead of confidence.

Friends? I don't have a long list of them but know I can count on the ones I do have and ... they can count on me too!

When I do my USA road trip you'll be one of the people I'll touch base with before I'm within drop-in distance. Rest assured you can say no without feeling awkward. After all, ain't that what being a friend is all about?

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: April 21, 2012 )

Friends will be Friends





Friends should come with a health warning... haha

Maybe I am strange (probably like the rest of the world wide military) make friends easily and just as easily have to move on when the situation warrants.... never forgotten.... to take up the friendship years later with gaps of years between

Whats the difference between friends and lovers you $#$#$ them both at one time or another of course... if they dont die on you beforehand.

I smile at the people who say they have been happily married for XXX years to the best etc etc .... How the Hell Do they Know they wouldn't of been more happy elsewhere if they have never tried anyone else??? There might just be someone out there a thousand times better than their husband (or wife)

Friends who needs them? You can just go out and buy a dog ? (or cat Pen)

I never lie though I suppose I get close to the 5th Amendment... wonder how many draft dodgers are still up here. I was mentioning to someone about Canadians wearing the Maple Leaf on Holiday so people don't confuse them with being American.... An American then told me that some Americans do that too..... wear the Maple Leaf. They feel safer..... I would shoot them as spies...

I have met you Pen of course and can confirm you are honest to a T .......

I haven't met Bea....... Yet (as far as I know)

I have met Tina (Where are you Tina... whoops I know Google+)

I very nearly met Lucie on one of her visits to BC....

I feel as though I have met Renae who is more real than real

I have met Ivor of course

Ivor met the chap from India whose name escapes me but his love of America doesn't... Jaacob

Anyone that has the slightest interest in meeting me....... Next time you are at YVR or False Creek whatever let me know ... we can go for a drink/chat..... I aint holding my breath

Fairplay aka Seivadle aka Eric Lance Davies

( Posted by: Fairplay [Member] On: April 21, 2012 )

turnabout is Fairplay
Eric - yes we have met in real time and no regrets. I would vouch for you being very much as you are on the site and appreciate your affirmation of me being me.

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: April 21, 2012 )

Worms, guts and eyeballs
Pen,

you've opened a can of worms if I choose to jump in...which I won't. I could go on and on about such "friends", but years ago I realized they are just acquaintances.

I think friendship is pretty much for young people -- friendship is necessary then. We need some kind of social acceptance. Remember Dr. Maslow's Higherarchy of Needs? Social acceptance is somewhere in the middle between basic need to survive and self actualization....blah, blah blah.

Now I don't really need or desire friendship on a long term basis. I might invite an acquaintance over, or meet a group of people on a social basis; in that sense I have many "friends", but I do not expect anything from them.

Cheers

BW

( Posted by: BWOz [Member] On: April 22, 2012 )

No Regrets ????
Huh what no regrets Pen

I taught you all I know about Gibraltar where I was the Senior Army Military Engineer for some years in the late eighties and adviser to the Naval Dockyard Repair workshops.. though not involved in the shipping/submarine side. I once had the pleasure of authorizing the closure of part of the "Round the Rock" tunnels system during my tenancy..That #$#$#$ getting around for the locals..When they asked me to fly in a rock expert from UK I thought "You lot have lived on a Rock All Your Lives WTF". another time I took part in the annual round the rock race finishing in the top 10% of runners... also ... whoops shut up Eric before you put your foot in it.... Anyway as you know its a Rock with lots of holes in it and some apes on it !!! If you walk round it too much you end up like a Welshman.... one leg shorter than the other.....Almost felt like the last days of the British Empire....

I did think you regretted how my motorcycle could flash between Big trucks at some speed... but you need to have some excitement and watch life flash before your eyes... remember how nice I was when you smashed my shiny Mercedes Benz into the kerb... Nerves of Steel.... Haha

Life after all is for having fun..... Far too many people take themselves too seriously and before they know it become OAPs.

I have decided when I get old and put in a home I am going to pinch the nurses bottoms.... but only the good looking lady ones.... males watch out for my size ten boots.....

I am still working on the touch paper you have lit regarding friends I looked it up on Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friendship

What a load of drivel... Friends are a personal thing and what one person calls a friend is a totally individual assessment and impossible to quantify in general terms..... or otherwise I would have No Friends at all....

There are of course quite a few people that I know even better than they know themselves... or maybe I can just read (some) peoples minds.

I reckon if you have a very best friend then you should be married to and or living with him/her.... What else is there in life... Self Love Maybe or just Billy No Mates

Eric

( Posted by: Fairplay [Member] On: April 22, 2012 )

friends & acquaintances
Hello Brian and thanks for your thoughts. I've known the difference between the two for many years and I consider both valuable assets no matter what age one happens to be. Acquaintances validate the worth of friends which, to me, don't lose value as one matures. When I was young I had fewer friends than I have now and never required them to establish my position in the social network because .. well .. I'm not sure why but ... way back then .. I had little use for what passed for 'acceptance' within the 'pecking' order. I loathed the cliques which operated like gaggles of geese pecking at each other depending on who was alpha female at that second. I despised how they ganged up on other girls in a frenzy and the one time they tried to take a swipe at me .. well ... it wasn't violent but it wasn't pretty either. I can pretty much guarantee the longevity of their friendship didn't go much further than graduation unless they were destined to live the rest of their lives in the small isolated pond where I spent my childhood. My close friendships developed when I reached my thirties and have continued expanding into a very small number. I have less of a need for acquaintances but can manage to exercise rudimentary social skills on good days.

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: April 22, 2012 )

@ Fairplay
Nope .. no regrets. I believe you took that in the wrong context.

BTW - it was a scooter .. not a motorcycle.

I still don't believe the weather in northern England in April is agreeable for scooter touring.

I still reject driving in the UK but am considering renting a car when I go to NZ. There's less traffic there.

The highlight of my time in your company was visiting Gibraltar. I'll keep the low points to myself. Eric, you do make an excellent acquaintance.

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: April 22, 2012 )

Likewise





Though my Mother was brought up (for a time) in Ontario 1920s and I was deployed in Batus (1976) Near the Hat and had chance to visit Calgary and parts of Montana it wasn't until your invite to visit BBC that I discovered Vancouver is really the best place in the world..... or maybe I am just .... Biased.....

On the other hand I have been Very Happy living in many many other places around the world... and have friends (acquaintances ?)in those places... including NZ who can also vouch for my integrity.... I could arrange free accommodation transport C/W tour guide in Perth Australia should you wish....... to pop over.

( Posted by: Fairplay [Member] On: April 22, 2012 )





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