Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Girls and Their Friends

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.


zoeyjane said...

This is exactly what blogging should be about. Friends, not enemies, yes?

THopgood said...

Great post Kori!

I do think it's a gender boys "hang" with anyone and everyone. There's no drama. There's no fighting. When they get into an arguement they quickly get over it and move on.

My daughter...who is only 5 already starting with the drama in pre-school. *sigh*

I feel the same way you do. I have 2 (possibly 3) that I would consider my true best friends IRL...they've been friends since school days....and then I have another set of friends/neighbors/acquaintances that I see and talk to and go out with on occasion but I tend to keep an arms length distance to them.

The friends I've met through blogging brings on a whole other dimension to friendship. I'm still learning those dimensions but I'm having fun with you gals in the process.

FreedomFirst said...

Would it freak you out to know that I had a dream about you? Lol.

Not a weird dream, just a typical Stephanie dream where I went to visit you, and never got to actually see you because things kept going annoyingly, ridiculously wrong. Most of my dreams are like that. I think it ended with us (Mark and I) having to leave to catch our plane just as you were getting home from work, and all we could do was wave to you on the way by. Grrr!

I can't comment on the whole girl friendships thing, but I'm glad you feel the support from people you don't really "know". The internet will never be a substitute for social interaction, but it's still nice to know there are people out there who relate to you on some level.

Anonymous said...

The modern day pen pal. That is how I look at blogging. I'm glad you are ok.

Melissa said...

that's true. Blogging is a place to meet people and like them. If you don't like a blog, just don't go. :)

Your daughter's behavior is pretty typical though. I didn't do it, but it seems like most girls do/did. Thank God I have boys.

Single Working Mommy said...

In regards to Hanna, I think it is a girl thing. Well, a "some" girl thing. I saw girls at school that behaved like this, but I had a few close friends and stuck with them, mostly. I would never say I ever had a "best" friend. I have trust issues, mydear.

Is it sad that I consider my bloggy friends better friends than my IRL friends? I actually talk to you people more than I talk to my "real" friends. I connect with you more, I get you, you get me, we're a happy family.

Yeah, I guess I am sad. :)

Tara R. said...

The support and encouragement I've gotten from my blogging friends helped me end a toxic friendship. I realized that I deserved better. Love this post. I'm glad we met too.

Anonymous said...

HAHA I totally laughed out loud at both the "energetic spider monkey" and "taking your teeth out and licking them" descriptions. Well done ! I'm so glad I've found you and your blog in this awesome community.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

I know when you write about 'girls & their friends' you mean their girlfriends, but I have to agree with you on the blogging thing.

I've been introduced to a lot of good out there, and I'm glad.

jt said...

My oldest girl has a group of friends and some are in and some are out on a weekly basis. I can't keep up! I'll tell her "Go hang out with so and so" and she rolls her eyes and tells me " I hate her, she is so retarded around boys, and have you seen how she dresses?"
That was last week. This week she wants to know if she can go do a sleepover at the friends house.
I give up!

April said...

Yep, I can relate! Sylvia has girl friend drama every other day! And Riley's started in on it, too. While my friend's son, the same age as Sylvia, has no problems with his best friend, and they've spent more time together than most siblings this past year. Women!