My Grandmother maintained that she didn't like having friends because they were such a pain in the butt. They required too much work and they held her back. She'd be late to events because she had to wait for a friend, she didn't do what she really wanted to do because she had to take into account someone else's feelings, and she had to talk about her feelings and 'work through' things. Granted, my Grandma lived on a tiny little island that was very, very remote.....there weren't too many friends available. (I realized later in life that maybe that was some of the appeal for her.) I have been extraordinarily blessed in my life to have amazing friends. Truly amazing friends - the kind that you can call in the middle of the night because you're sitting in a field drunk....and sobbing (thanks Jimmy J). My friends have been beside me through every single one of my rough patches. My friendships have always felt effortless - not calling for 3 months was no biggie because the next time I picked up the phone it was like nothing had changed. This is no longer true...I'm starting to figure out what my Grandma was talking about...my friendships are starting to require a little work.
I now have to make an effort to call, not only do I have to call but, I have to return calls. I don't like returning calls! I have to consider that friends already have plans - I have to consider that friends have husbands and babies - I have to consider that friends have jobs (while when I'm home I'm jobless).
What I've found is that all of these 'considerations' lead to hurt feelings - for both parties. While I'm considering that someone has a husband I expect them to consider that I don't have a husband (or whatever the situation might be). Time and distance have become bigger considerations - most of my friends are now in a position where they could fly to Hawai'i to visit if they so desire....and I can also fly to Maine...
Here's the conundrum: What do you do when you're 28 and your feelings get hurt?
It isn't the same as being 16 with hurt feelings...or 22 for that matter. When I was in college I got in a tiff with my bestie. She had sent me some bath and body works sweet pea lotion (before the tiff) - when it arrived in the mail I got onto instant messenger and we resumed our friendship. (That may have just illustrated that I can be bought...but it was simply meant to illustrate that things were easier!)
Grandma Joan knew what was up.....friends can be work. Except, that I don't want to be friendless! I also recognize that my friends reading this are rolling their eyes thinking, 'if a friend ever required work it would be you Miss Megan'!
Nautie Friends, the question of the day: How do you maintain your friendships and, what do you do when you have hurt feelings?