Defining Friendship

My mom used to tell me I had no friends. Okay, that might be making it sound harsh. Let’s try this again…when I would come home from school and talk about my friends, there would be times where my mom would tell me that they were not my friends. This wouldn’t be a daily occurrence  but would be used when I wanted to something with my friends that conflicted with some family event or when my plans would fall through and I’d be upset. She would tell me that they were my “acquaintances” which was a rather large word for my middle-school-self to grasp. Basically, I wasn’t friends with all twenty five kids in my language arts class.

Now that I am older, I am DEFINITELY not friends with all twenty five kids that were in my language arts class. Even thinking back to my “close” friends from the K-12 days, I’m not friends with most of them anymore. I was reminded of this when I was visiting Manhattan during the holidays…on the train back, I saw a girl that looked familiar. She called out my name and it turned out it was one of my friends from my Girl Scout troop. We had been especially close early on in high school. I sat with her for the hour long train ride and I had imagined that we would have talked non-stop and pissed off the other passengers. Instead, we quickly caught each other up on major life details (she went to grad school out west and now works for a non-profit back home, her sister is doing well up in Boston) and then ran out of things to talk about. It was strange that we used to have sleepovers that lasted for DAYS and now we had  nothing to say to each other.

Even before leaving home for college, I grouped my friends based on how I knew them. Cheerleading friends, camp friends, music friends. This continued into college with sorority friends and dorm friends. Now, I lump them into broader groups.

Home Friends

Whenever I go home, there’s a handful of people that I always see. I’ve actually been friends with the majority of them since elementary school. What’s interesting is that I was friends with each one of them separately and later on they all became friends with each other. When I moved back home for an extended period of time, we would do EVERYTHING as a group. There are also some people that I was close with in high school that I will definitely make time for, but it’s not like I see them EVERY time I go home.

Undergrad U Friends

From my freshman floor, I talk to one person on a regular basis and it’s my ex-boyfriend. Not even my roommates. I don’t talk to anybody from my classes (maybe that’s because I took my career in a completely different direction). The people I still talk to from college can be lumped into “music friends” and “sorority friends” but I feel like as the years go on, there are less I talk to from each group. I do still try to go back for large events sponsored by each group and it’s great to see my fellow alum when I head back. Also, a lot of my friends from these groups both stayed close to our college town, so sometimes I will head up there even when there’s no big event!

Grad School State Friends

My cohort was rather close, but I haven’t seen any of them since we graduated. I chat online with them every so often. What’s nice is that we all have similar jobs, so we can toss ideas back and forth. Several of us are from the same area originally and we tried to plan something for over break, but the snow decided to ruin those plans. I would love to get together with them sometime! We kept joking about going to ACPA in Vegas…but let’s be serious, we’re all poor.

New Friends

Now that I have lived here for over six months, I’m starting to make new friends, including some that don’t work at PDFM U! I know someday I will leave this place and I’m curious to see which friends stick around for the long haul.

How do you like to stay in touch with all your friends from the past? Any fun traditions?

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