Friday, December 2, 2011
OMG Will You Totally Be My BFF?? No? Hmmm.. SMH...
I’m very much looking forward to Christmas this year. Although it’s likely that I’ll have to work, I am anxious to spend time with the family again. We had a really great Thanksgiving and it’s been super sweet to see my nephew become more and more familiar with me. Pretty soon, he may even acknowledge me with a hug and a kiss. That will be nice.
The last few years have been really rocky with the family which makes it that much nicer to spend time with them now. I really feel like my brother and I are genuinely getting along and, even more so, enjoying each other’s company. My mom and I are connecting on a level that I don’t think we ever have before and my dad is making some big changes in his life that is allowing his energy to be more relaxed and comfortable. It seems like after so long, the four of us finally have things figured out. This pleases me immensely.
Having this revitalized relationship with my family has had me thinking of my other relationships lately. In the past, being so disconnected from my family, I found myself spending many holidays with my friends. Just last year, I spent a little over a week driving all over Southern California visiting my friends right before Thanksgiving and spent the holiday itself with a bunch of my old friends from Chili’s. Christmas wasn’t exactly... uncomfortable with my family... but after the presents were opened and the gifts were unwrapped, I excused myself to spend the night hanging out with my friend James, singing karaoke and drinking Guinness into the wee hours of the morning.
My friends really helped me out during those times. It was so great to feel like I still belonged somewhere even when I felt like an outsider with my family. It was wonderful to feel like I wasn’t completely alone.
Now, though, I reflect on my friendships that I had in the past and the ones I have now and can’t help but wish I was as satisfied with them as I once was. I’ve never really been the kind of person that needs to be surrounded by hundreds of friends in order to feel fulfilled; I’ve always just kind of wanted that one. One best friend. The BFF, if you will. This is something that I truly don’t feel like I’ve ever had.
I remember having “best friends” in school. Kristy and Jennifer come to mind. And while the time we spent together was fun and we had our moments of being inseparable, in the end, Kristy made out with my ex-boyfriend of four years just days after we broke up and Jennifer always had other friends and hobbies to turn to when she got bored with me. Superficial best-friendshipism at it’s best (yeah, that’s right).
I guess in my mind, I always had high expectations for the BFF title. As an adult, the closest thing I’ve had to what I consider a “best friend” is my friend, Nancy. However, it never felt all the way complete as I have definitely always felt like I took more from her than she ever needed from me. Somehow, I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to work.
I’m no victim here. I know that I am the reason why I haven’t had the kind of solid, unbreakable, Sex In The City type of camaraderie with my female counterparts. I haven’t exactly figured out why, though. The “lack of willingness to be vulnerable” explanation is usually my go to. But I dunno... sure feels like I’ve been vulnerable with my friends in the past to no avail.
Men, however. Men are easy to be friends with. In fact, there was a period of time where pretty much all of my friends were either ex-boyfriends or male friends that I worked with, slept with or smoked with. I even remember thinking about my future wedding and that instead of four or five beautiful bridesmaids standing next to me, I would have four or five handsome men in off-white suits as part of my “bridal party”.
I have historically connected easier with men, but only because I think, for me, it’s a LOT easier to connect through sexual chemistry and flirtation. Even now, at my new job, there are a few girls that I have become friendly with, but it’s a handful of guys there that I genuinely look forward to seeing because of their warm welcome, easy attitudes and willingness to help out.
I used to inform my boyfriends about my relationships and more or less “warn” them that I spent a lot of time with my ex boyfriends and other male friends. I was very adamant about it not being a problem. And it never was. And honestly, in retrospect, I’m not sure that was a good thing. Especially in the case of Jeremy, I needed to spend time with my ex-boyfriends and male friends to get the time, attention and affection that I wasn’t getting in my relationship with him. It almost seems like a completely different kind of infidelity now that I reflect on it.
Things are different now. Tim showers me with love, affection, attention, gratitude and is completely devoted to the success of our relationship. He puts me first and makes my happiness a priority. These are things that I think are imperative in a partnership with a loved one. These are the things I’ve always looked for in past relationships. Not having these things are the reason I left so many times.
It’s strange though... I guess part of me felt that when I found the person that gave me all the things I wanted in a union, I would automatically feel like I not only gained a boyfriend, fiance, husband, etc., but that just like that, BAM! I’d have a best friend too. As it turns out, this is not exactly the case.
I’ve noticed that when Tim and I have disagreements or miscommunications (sounds so much more pleasant than “fighting”, doesn’t it?) it’s almost always because one simply doesn’t understand where the other one is coming from. Different parenting, different childhoods, different schooling and even different drugs made us very different people. More so than anyone I’ve ever been in love with, I find it challenging to find our way back when we’ve gotten really off track about something. However, when we do find our way (and we always do), we bring along with us a stronger bond and larger respect for one another. I am confident that is why we both continue to do what it takes to build the relationship we see possible with each other.
On December 17th, my parents will have been married for 34 years. I’m pretty sure they consider themselves to be each other’s best friend. I think maybe my brother and sister-in-law feel the same way about each other, although I’m really not sure. Is it required in order for a relationship to work? If I haven’t been able to form the kind of tight friendship bond with people in my past, will I ever be able to form one with Tim? Will being in love and wanting to share the future with each other be enough for us? Do I need to re-learn the ancient art of the friendship bracelet?
Facebook has always been comforting to me... it makes me feel like I have lots of friends. But even lately, Facebook has been letting me down. What used to be cute, funny and random status updates and YouTube links has turned into endless pictures of “Look at how cute my baby is when he’s sleeping”, “Oh, she’s so adorable when she spits up everywhere” and “Look! He blinked! So precious!”
It’s so frustrating... now that I finally feel connected with my family, I have discovered a disconnect with everyone else. Do I just need to find new friends? Should I just stop worrying about it? Isn’t it much easier to just be happy with what I have?
Should I just have a baby already?
In the end, I suppose I just want to be understood and that’s what I think a best friend represents. A best friend is someone who “gets you”. The older I get, the less possible I think that is for me.
All is not lost, though. Because I am loved. Very much so, in fact.
Maybe it’s time to let that be enough.
Posted by Tina V at 1:26 PM