Going Deep On Friendships

Do you think about friendships often? I don’t. I think about my friends but the larger concept of friendships in general isn’t something I give much thought to. Until recently when I was asked to give a talk on friendships.

This resulted in me doing something I’m firmly not a fan of  – examining my feelings. Ugh. I like to keep my feelings where they belong – so thoroughly tamped down that I can’t remember them. Kidding, maybe.

Now, the reason I had to go deep on my feelings is because you can’t talk about friendships without examining how they’ve affected you. I also did some research and found a shocking, at least to me, study that almost half of Americans have only three or fewer close friends. 

I had a hard time believing that but then when I thought about who my really close friends are I came up with three people. So, I guess the study was accurate and maybe I needed a Kleenex because having only three close friends sounded really sad. 

But then I reminded myself that having three amazing close friends was better than 10 average close friends. Anyways – counting your friends sounds like something I did back in the fifth grade and it was making me uncomfortable so I moved on to thinking about the ebb and flow of friendships.

As a mother a lot of my friendships were made through my children. But when I did a fifteen year friendship look back (See, I wasn’t kidding when I said I went deep on this topic.) I discovered that friendships made around your kids are vulnerable to the test of time. 

I even came up with the “Top Three Friendship Killers for Moms.” Coming in at number one was when your kids don’t like each other anymore. A friendship founded on your kids being besties gets really awkward when your kids “break up.” Most especially if you’re the mom wondering why your friend’s kid doesn’t like your kid because seriously who wouldn’t like your kid?

Next up was when your friend’s kid is mean to your kid. It’s been a good ten years since a former friend’s daughter bullied my daughter in middle school and I’ve yet to let that go because here I am still talking about it. I had another friend tell me that adult friendships should “transcend kid stuff.” But to that I say no. I think it would have been disloyal to my daughter to remain friends with the mom of the kid who was bullying her. 

Lastly is when your friend’s bragging/one-upping starts to kill your friendship vibe. This usually happens when your kids are in high school. I finally had to remind one friend that I didn’t work in the admission’s department of an Ivy league school so she could quit telling me how amazing her kid was. It’s not that I’m not happy for other people’s genius children but even a non-genius like me doesn’t require daily reminders. 

The upside of my friendship deep dive was remembering all the wonderful friends I’ve had over the years. Some of these friendships faded away, others are consigned to me “hearting” their social media posts and then there is a contingent that’s still as strong as ever. 

I did get a little gloomy thinking about friendships that I might have worked harder to keep but then I gave myself the gift of a reality check. Life happens, you change, friendships evolve but what doesn’t change is our very human need for friends. It doesn’t matter how many you have. (Really, let’s quit counting.) What matters is that you’re always open to being a friend.

❤️While we’re on the topic of friendship – I’m asking you as a friend to go and check out my latest book FOUR SEASONS OF SNARKY. 😍 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BGYQ9GK2

Crazy is always in season, especially when you live in the burbs.

Epic yard wars (Because it’s always a good day when you call tell the HOA to suck it.), a PTA take down (Spoiler alert – lice is a great way to clear a room), bizarre goings on at a Parents Day Out program, Little League intrigue (Apparently, you don’t know real power until you become “Commissioner” of your local Little League.), a tale of Vacation Bible School taking an, ahem, rather unfortunate turn, how to get kicked out of the Junior League (It was harder than you might think), a science fair stalker and turning Christmas inflatables into a revenge plot

All this and more are in Four Seasons of Snarky featuring some of the greatest hits from Snarky in the Suburbs. Where schemes, payback, and retribution scenarios all tell the tale of a woman who will admit she might be crazy, but you know in a good way.