My yoga teacher likes to share quotes with the class.
Yesterday, hers was about friendship, about choosing wisely who you let in as a friend. Be careful, the quote said. But once you decide to friend someone, open up. Tell them things you would only tell yourself. Be real about it all. Be genuine. Be true.
I’ve been thinking about that. About the notion of friends and acquaintances and Facebook “friends.” About all the people we know and how many of them we actually know.
Not very many.
And I think that’s OK. A friend of mine a few months ago over lunch told me that she’d read somewhere we could only ever have two true friends.
I might argue the number could fit on one hand because I do feel I’m lucky enough to have at least five good, true friends, if not a few more. But I definitely agree with the notion.
People are afraid of opening up. That’s why the social circle of friends at the bar or the gym or work or our kid’s school is big – and safe. Usually, you’re not expected to talk about your insecurities or your failures or your bad skin or bad relationships or any of that. You just show up and make small talk and drink and laugh or sweat or watch the girls chase your son around.
And I know that not everyone is lucky enough to have a close friend who’s known you since you were someone else (a kid, literally or figuratively) or a friend who’s known you a much shorter time but gets you just the same. A friend you trust and love.
I know I’m lucky to have a few of those. Definitely on my list of things I’m thankful for.
I’m meeting one of those friends this afternoon. Another of those friends just booked a flight to Omaha for my wedding in April. Yet another one is planning to make the 11-hour drive from Western Colorado. I’m hopeful another one will be able to fly in from the East Coast. The few others live here already and will be there, too. I hope they know how much that means.
I can’t talk about friendship without thinking of my best friend growing up. We had countless sleepovers, camp experiences, Ouija board freakouts, first kisses (with boys!) … and so much more. I can’t do the relationship justice in words.
The time since I’ve seen her last is far too long, and I’m fairly sure I’m long overdue returning an e-mail. But I think about her everyday.
And last night, while driving back from dropping my babies off with their grandparents for the weekend, this song came on the radio. I turned it up.
“Pink Houses” – John Mellencamp
This one always makes me think of my childhood true friend and all the others I’m lucky to have now.
Funny… that song always reminds of someone that is dear to us both… and also lived in a little pink house.
Love you, dear friend. And you too, Cindy!
Yes you have been blessed with very true friends! I am one of those who have only work friends, whom you don’t ready have the trust with to share much of anything personal. But I treasure my family and pet friends. They get me.
Pink Houses is one of the most depressing songs ever! It’s about dreams slipping away and having to give up. Every time he says ain’t that America it’s something bad! I’m so sorry that makes you think of your childhod friend but I’m glad people are coming to your wedding!
Don’t be sorry for me, Patty. I’m perfectly fine with my memory of childhood and the song(s) I associate with it! Of course, that’s the beauty of music (and art, in general) – it can mean different things to each of us!
Thanks for reading and commenting!
I disagree about the meaning of the song. It’s totally opposite of what the above person said. Its about having dreams and the possibility of them coming true living in America. Like a little pink, or yellow, house for everyone. That’s why they play it at every July 4th celebration! Unlike Sprimgsteen’s Born to Run, which
I agree, Mom. And who doesn’t want something to remind them that dreams can come true, even if they come in the form of a little pink (or yellow) house?
That song has always felt real to me. Yes, dreams don’t always come true, but that possibility is there, always, if we choose to let it be.
Confused with being patriotic. That one is so not.
Sorry…correction…I meant to write Springsteen’s, Born in the USA. Anyway, I know the characters in Pink Houses had dreams but let
Them slip away. I prefer to think the song is about the possibility and opportunity of dreams coming true.
Ok forget the song for a second, and think about the message of the blog. I’ve thought about this before. You know there are people out there who do not have one true friend…not one. They don’t have someone who would drive across town for them let alone fly across the country. I think it’s pretty close to true that you can only nurture a couple to a few close friendships. Life just doesn’t give you time to foster too many. I can find friendship in many people but I’m not going to show you all of my “warts” until I know you are my true friend. Finding a good friend is almost like finding a love connection…you have to click. Unfortunately like love relationships, you have to have a few friend break-ups and maybe make-ups before you know who is who.
Love you, friend. Miss you. Let’s not let too much time go by before we meet again.
Love you and miss you, too, Chris.