Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Friends and Friendship

Following a post by Mr Zig about friends, I have decided to share a few thoughts of my own.

I am not a person to have lots of friends. My main circle revolves around wargaming, and we meet up each week for a chat, beer and a game. These friends range from what I would call "very good friends", the sort that I would really go out of my way to help, to "just people I play toy soldiers with", and this sort has drifted in and out of our group over the years.

Then there are the "old mates". These are people that I was very close to a long time ago, but have more or less lost contact with over the years due to moving houses, etc. Meeting up with an "old mate" is great - these are the people that you know so well (inside, even if you do not know their current job/girlfriend/etc) that when you start chatting it is as though you only saw each other last night for a beer. The years melt away and the 2 of us are soon in our own little bubble, chatting away.

A rather odd group are the "people I vaguely remember from school". Usually these are people who wanted nothing to do with me or gave me trouble at school, but want to chat as though we were "old mates". I usually try to escape at the first opportunity...

I also have email (and now blog) friends, again often initially met through wargames discussion groups. A few of these have developed into really great friendships lasting for years, even entering the category of "old mates"! Some of these have been a source of great support and encouragement over the last couple of years. Please accept my thanks if you are one of them!

As a family we do not have many friends at the moment. We used to have a number of people we thought of as good friends, we would have barbeques together, look after their kids, help each other out with odd stuff, etc, you know the sort of thing. My daughter's illness changed all that. We soon found that a lot of people that we had helped out in times of need were nowhere to be found - they were happy to leave their kids with us, etc, but returning the favour was clearly not part of the deal! It was a bitter lesson.

One thing that did strike us, though, was that this was when the "old mates" seemed to step in, one group travelling hundreds of miles to be with us when we needed them - it was wonderful to see.

Friends? Yes we need them, but I wish we knew what sort they were going to be from the beginning!


Logziella said...

I agree with you on just about everything you said there John!

We have had MUCH the same experiences with friends.

I too try to escape the old high school 'friends' for the exact same reasons.

I don't think I was ever as disappointed as I was when we moved back to Michigan to find that ALL of our friends just had other things to do now and being our friend was simply not part of that anymore! Devistated!

Then, yes, there are those 'friends' that 'say' a lot but don't 'do' much at all.

But for me, I think the one that takes the cake are the ones that show up every 6 months or so and bug you to re arrange your schedule to 'get together' and then you hear nothing from them again until about months later and then it's the one time thing again. Who's got time for that?

John said...

Yep, if anyone wants to "get together" they can fit in with what *I* have got going on, not the other way round!

Ali said...

Too true - I find that I have particular friends for particular activities. And others still for certain topics of discussion. Not everyone fits in with everything I enjoy doing.
But, I hope that even though we only know each other over the net(for now) that we can stay friends for a very long time.

Terri said...

I've read something to the effect of friends being in your life when you need them, but sometimes they drift out, and then someone else comes along. It's hard to let go sometimes though.

mr zig said...

Yeah - knowing in advance what kind of friends people would be would be nice... then you wouldn't have to "over-invest" in that relationship.

Alyssa said...

But don't you think it's kind of good NOT to know what type of friend they'll turn out to be? Because then you can enjoy the friendship that it seems like at the moment - even if you are to be later dissapointed.

I think (that I think) that certain friendships are only meant for certain times in our lives, and when they fade away, even though it's bittersweet, we're still left with something of value from that friendship that we can take away with us. At least, that's the conclusion I draw when I'm looking at old pictures and wondering what happened.

krista said...

I think that lives change so quickly sometimes that it catches some people off guard. It is very interesting who steps up to the plate when something goes wrong. It's often not the ones you expect. I think sometimes people do not know the right things to say or do so they back off. When in reality all they have to do is say hi. Or they don't want to deal with the reality of what is happening. I know we had some issues with friends and family revolving around Ricky's heart attack.Some of the people we truly expected to step up to the plate were not there. And there were quite a few unexpected people who stepped up to the plate that really were greatly appreciated. I think Ricky and I maybe learned alot ourselves about what to do in those kind of situations through the mistakes of others. I guess you just have to go along and enjoy life and friends as they come and decide along the way whether their plate is worth juggling or not.