maybe friends, maybe not
We hugged as we parted on Friday night. Both a little drunk, but still sober enough to notice what we were actually doing. “We’ll evaluate the party on Monday,” we laughed. I think she saw it in my eyes that I wondered how we got to the hugging stage – I saw it in her eyes.
She wrote me an e-mail first thing Monday morning. ”I’ll join you when you go to get the flowers, then we can talk about Friday.” There was no “do you want me to join you?” just an “I’ll join you.”
We went to get flowers for the hostess of Friday night’s annual summer party with work. We got to work together planning the party a month ago. Before that I hardly knew her. Friday night we found out we’re the same age (born a month apart), have mutual acquaintances and as we got tipsier and tipsier we giggled like two teenage girls.
As we went to get the flowers, she let me in on her life, and as we walked side by side hiding under the umbrella, I wondered if she wondered whether we were becoming friends.
I don’t consider myself a very good friend maker. I have placed my bets on wrong people many times and been hurt. In the end you curl up and accept that friends come in all shapes and sizes. To me, there is no set of rules on how to be a friend. I consider people I rarely see my close friends and people I see all the time merely acquaintances. I have given up on really nice people because they didn’t seem willing to make an effort to keep in touch, and I hold on to people who never get in touch, but are more than willing to go for coffee when I asked them, and I do that simply because I can’t bear the thought of them disappearing from my life.
It’s been awhile since I was always on the lookout for new friends. Maybe at university? Maybe before that? I have settled down and even though I sometimes worry who will show up at my hen party, I am content where I am. I have stopped thinking the most important thing about friendships is the number of years you have known each other. I have friends I have lost touch with, people I would have absolutely nothing in common with if I saw them here and now, but who were great friends back in the days and whom I still consider great friends. And I have friends I have known for a very short time, friends I have yet to learn almost everything about, but who are the kind of people you know you’ll hold on to for years to come. And I have people I have placed bets on, people I shouldn’t be calling friends, but do, people who’ll hurt me, but it’s a risk you take because a real friendship will make up for it.
Under the umbrella I decided not to worry too much about the whole friendship thing. I am well aware that we might quickly go back to being just colleagues, that maybe we have little in common, that maybe she’ll annoy me or I her, but no matter what happens, today we were two girls under an umbrella sharing stories about who we are and what we do, and we both took the risk of letting another person know some more about us, because that’s what you’ve got to do on your way to finding out whether it’s a possible friendship or not.