Quite a few years ago I wrote a friendship manifesto. I had been thinking of friendships a bit at the time and had just gone to my 30 year school reunion and so I was reflecting on life long friendships and those that I had that were more recent and those that had evolved.
Today I got a text message from a girlfriend (reminding me that it was a mercury retrograde which is why I was suddenly teary and feeling a bit misplaced.) Anyway, as soon as I got this message I rang another friend, who happens to be a client to tell her about mercury. We’d had a conversation (work related) earlier that morning but somehow got on to some personal stuff and I know she would have appreciated the mercury update. Shortly after this exchange I got an email from a girlfriend (I was doing work – honest!) and she was cancelling dinner plans we had tonight because she was unwell. I was really looking forward to seeing her and to sharing a wine and a whine, but since she’s feeling shabby my response was completely supportive of her need to go home to nurofen and bed. No drama.
So just this afternoon I thought about how friendships sometimes surprise you and that with everything we have to deal with, what we need, more than anything, is friendships without the fuss. So I’ve decided to revise my friendship manifesto and without further ado here is the new and improved versions… for new friends and for old…
- I will always try to be one of those friends that is easy to be friends with.
- I won’t always succeed at this but we will still be friends.
- You won’t always be easy to be friends with but that’s okay, it just means we are even.
- If you ring me, and I can’t pick up it’s probably because I’m dealing with some work thing or dealing with some child thing. Both are legitimate reasons for not picking up.
- It might be because I’m on Instagram and I just don’t feel like talking. To anyone. This doesn’t make me a shit friend. It doesn’t mean I don’t care. It just means I need to check out for a bit.
- Sometimes you will do this and it won’t matter because I know you will ring me back whenever. You might actually forget to ring me back and I’ll probably forget that I rang you in the first place. None of this will mean anything. We are still friends.
- If I see a bunch of missed calls from you I will worry and so I will drop everything to ring you back.
- I will sometimes unload on you and act like a moron and then I will forget to ask you how you are. You won’t think I am a horrible person for being so self centred.
- When it all gets too real and something awful happens, I will be there regardless of the time or the circumstances. I will show up.
- I will never let anyone say anything bad about you. I will always back you.
- Even if you do something really bloody stupid, it’s because we all make mistakes, and I will still back you.
- The person who had the least amount of sleep the night before wins. The other person has to buy the coffee and provide the empathy.
- If I am dealing with some husband/client/staff/child crisis you will let me cry, confess, laugh or moan and you will take my side.
- Even when I’m wrong you will think that I am right.
- If I tell you that my child is driving me freaking crazy you will tell me that “this too shall pass” but you will also pour the wine whilst dishing out this useless, crappy (but true) advice.
- You will remind me that the days are long but the years are short and you will keep pouring.
- I will do #15 and #16 for you.
- We don’t have to talk every day, week or even every month and that is perfectly acceptable. But when we do it was like we were never apart.
- If I send you a Christmas card but you don’t send me one that’s also acceptable. My obsession with stationery knows no bounds.
- Wherever we are, we will always find our way back to each other.
- I might laugh at your parenting decisions but never will I judge. Vice versa.
- I couldn’t care less if you have children or not. This status does not define us.
- I will always talk you down from the ledge even if I have no clue what I’m doing either. I will then text you a hundred times to tell you everything is going to be okay.
- You won’t roll your eyes and mutter “FFS!!” when I suggest you listen to the latest podcast I’ve been listening to.
- You will politely accept the book I hand you and tell you “you have to read this” even when you have zero intention of doing so.
- You understand that I’m probably not ever EVER going to turn up on your doorstep with a lasagne and you don’t befriend me because of this. I will however bring always bring hope and cake.
- And wine. I will bring wine.
- If you don’t tag me on Facebook but tag another friend I won’t be offended.
Friendship is effortless and without drama. Friendship is joyous and lovely but it should also withstand the challenges that life throws us. Not only should it withstand them but should be the reason why we get through the grey days. When life is busy tossing you around like a salad you need your friends. It’s not about perfection, forget perfect, it’s about the ability to be your vulnerable self. Friends you can be yourself with and who accept you to the core of your being.
To friends, new and old. How damn lucky we are.