do you value your friendships?
Whenever one of my guy friends asks me what the appeal is of Sex and the City, I tell them it’s the friendship. And the fashion. But mostly, the friendship. Big said it best in the series finale, ‘you’re the loves of her life, and a guy’s just lucky to get in fourth.’
I couldn’t help but wonder, do we place enough value on our own friendships?
Recently in a class, a discussion came up about the ethics of helping your best friend cover up a murder that was committed in self defense. Two people said that they would do it. The other twelve said that they would go to the police. I was one of the two that said they would cover it up, or at least keep the secret. The other would-be-accomplice was also a girl close to my age. The majority of the rest of the class were at least fifteen years older than us, and came equipped with partners and/or children. I was tempted to ask those that were married if they would make up a fake alibi for their spouse. I was itching to ask the parents if they would help their children mop up the blood.
I’m a twenty-something. I have no long-term boyfriend, and I have no children. The latter I’m incredibly thankful for, because the thought of having a child makes me nauseous – mostly because the thought of having to buy shoes for someone else before I buy a pair for myself terrifies me. And sure, a boyfriend might be nice. But not if it means I have to compromise on anything else than having red or yellow curry for dinner.
In short, at this stage of my life, I’m selfish. I want my twenties to be all about me, and I think that’s a valid lifestyle choice. I have many close girlfriends, some in relationships, and some not. I know that I have nine people (family exempted) that I could call and say anything to, and that they wouldn’t love me any less. Sure, they might hit me on the head and say ‘I-told-you-so’, but they’d still hug me afterward.
I’m not saying that as a mother and/or a partner you can’t be a wonderful friend. I have a friend who is both, and she would still help me move the Earth. But I also have many friends who tend to fall off the radar whenever a love interest is involved. It’s mostly just a time thing. When you don’t have a partner or children, you simply have more time to spend with your friends, and in turn, more time to forge a deeper connection.
Like relationships, friendship doesn’t come easy. And I think this is something that many of us forget. Friendship requires effort. It doesn’t mean that you have to see each other constantly, or tell each other every single thing. But friendship needs time, and you have to work at it. To use a lame analogy; friendship is a plant. You have to nurture it. If you don’t give it enough light and water, babe, it ain’t gonna grow.
Notice how there were always scenes with Carrie and the girls eating? One has to eat. You may as well do it with someone. You might have to wake up at 6AM to have breakfast before you start work. Sure, you’ll be cursing their name when the alarm goes off and will be praying that you’ll have a text from them cancelling, but trust me, once you get a coffee and see the face of someone you adore, it’s worth it.
Next month, my best-friend from high school and I are having our ten-year-anniversary. We’re going to go to get ridiculously dressed up, go out to a fancy restaurant overlooking the Harbour Bridge, and drink French champagne that costs more than what we earn in a week. And this friend? When I asked her if she would help me cover up a murder, she said, ‘Hell, yes. I would be there with bleach and a shovel.’ And I believe her.
It scares me that over time, I could become one of those people who forget how intense friendships can be. It scares me that I might not have any true friends. I know that I’ll never need to actually help a friend move a body, just like I know that they’d never have to give a false alibi for me. But, still, the thought that one day I might not have a friend that I would do anything for (and vice-versa) terrifies me.
Most of us love Sex and the City. And if you really think about it, it’s because of the connection the four women have. It’s the way they are so honest with each other; it’s the way they always see each other; it’s the way they put each other first; and it’s the way that even if they are in an argument they are still there for the other. They clearly value each other, and they don’t just say it, they show it.
So, if you are lucky enough to have close friendships: continue to work at it, don’t take it for granted, and don’t get complacent. If you have realised you don’t have close friendships: work at the friendships you do have, and in time, you will have some friends who are almost like extensions of yourself.
So, whether you are in a relationship or not, whether you have children or not, give a friend a call. See your friends. Celebrate your friendships. ‘Cause let’s face it ladies: men die first, our children are probably going to grow up and hate us, and we’re going to need someone to rant to about what the kids of today are wearing.
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