My daughter changed friends like she changes her underwear. She has this constantly rotating cycle of friends, and I can no more keep track of them than I can keep track of, I don't know, an energetic spider monkey. If I had one. There seems to be endless drama, drama which I cannot understand. About a week ago, we saw her friend B. walking down the sidewalk to Summer School, so I honked and waved; Hannah looked at me as if I had grown a third head and said, very disgustedly, "What did you do that for?" Jesus, you would have thought I did something really horrid like take out my false teeth and lick them off in a restaurant (I don't HAVE false teeth, but you get my drift). "Um, I thought she was your friend?" "That was SO last week, mom. That was before I found out she was a skanky slut." While my head was still reeling from hearing my daughter use the words skanky and slut in the same sentence (correctly), she proceeded to give me a minute by minute playback of all of the occurrences that led up to this falling out. Believe me, by the time she finished, I was not only sure that I hated her as well, but thought maybe I needed to go slash her mom's tires just for good measure. She is THAT skanky.
But I went home for lunch and Hannah asked if she and Sam could meet up with B. in the park this afternoon. "What happened? I thought you hated her," I said, very casually. "Oh. Well. It was a misunderstanding. We are fine now." I just shook my head, because this stuff happens ALL of the time. Next week or month it will be someone else, some new problem, and they will eventually come back around to being friends again. I should be used to it.
I still don't get it, though. Is this a typical teenage girl thing? Because Eli is 14, he has had the same friends for the past 5 years, and shows none of this kind of behavior. In fact, he loved his friends so much the three years ago or so, one of his best friends (who was actually more part of the household than friend) moved to Maine and they STILL talk on the phone regularly. The main pack stays the same, and every once in awhile a new person gets added, but for the most part, Eli's friends hang pretty close. It appears to be shaping up the same way for Sam; this little nine year old was reduced to tears when his best friend "all the way since kindergarten, mom!" moved to a town 40 miles away. They talk on the phone daily, and I am sure that next time we go to Costco, I will have to make arrangements for a play date or he will never live through it. So is this a gender thing, or does it simply have more to do with individual personalities?
I said on someone else's post this morning that I didn't have any friends in high school, but that isn't strictly true. I had two really good friends, and a lot of people who thought I was their best friend. and that seems to be the pattern in my adult life as well, and always has been. I have two "best" friends IRL (I don't include April in that, though she is definitely my best Internet friend), and I have always had two best friends. That's it. When my friend Angie died, I actually only had ONE, her, and I now have two again, but it has taken me three years to get this many. And none of us have to have each other in order to traipse through a restaurant to get to the bathroom, I might add. So I wonder what made me immune to the same dramas of teenage female friendships, or the running in a pack mentality of teen boys? I seem to be lacking in something, because I only have enough emotional stability or generosity or whatever you want to call it for two people. That's it; that is my friendship threshold.
Or has been until the last year or so, anyway. I seem to have so MANY people in my life now that the mind boggles, it really does. I still have my two BEST friends, but there is a whole other cast of supporting characters whom I can still call friend that it never fails to amaze me. Crazy Stalker Guy and the support and caring-in practical AND emotional ways-I have gotten from people has reminded me again of how blessed I really am in the "people who love me" department. I don't have the drama of Hannah's friendships-in fact, I cannot honestly recall the last time I got into a fight with a friend, beyond a minor annoyance. I don't run in groups-I have several distinct groups of friends, and they do stay pretty much separate due to different beliefs and lifestyles. But what I have is something amazing.
You bloggy people, you people who have been reading and commenting and emailing me to check on me-you are part of it. You are part of this wonderful, messy thing which is my life, for better or worse. Mr. Lady made a comment about being emotionally invested in me, and I snickered but at the same time I get that. I think about you people when I am at home; I remember something you've written, I have had similar experiences and thought of you, I have worried for and about different circumstances. This whole blogging thing has opened my eyes up to so many different people, different thoughts, has expanded my world. So this is, I guess, a half-assed thank to all of you. It really does help.