The Doodlebug and I had another interesting conversation this afternoon driving back from the orthodontist's office. She asked me who was my best friend. My reply was that was a difficult question to answer because as we grow older we develop a lot of friendships that have 'best friend' potential.
Ever the one to question, she continued with her examination. She had overheard a conversation that The UIC and I were having recently about the different levels of friendships, specifically toxic friendships. You know what I mean...those friends that seem to always bring you down. They never have anything good to say. It's the person who complains, complains, complains. He had been telling me a story about something that had happened at work a few weeks ago and we just naturally started talking about how sometimes the people who you think are your friends really aren't. She wanted to know why I had told him that sometimes the people who we care the most about are the people who can hurt us the most in return.
She asked me then if I had any friendships that I considered to be 'toxic' - every time she'd say that Britney Spears and that song would pop into my head - but I digress. I told her that I do my best to avoid gaining those types of friends. To be completely honest, I feel like I'm hard enough on myself rather than to handle the sledgehammer to someone else to take a few swings at me. I did tell her that I learned early on that people are just different. And that different can be a good thing. After all, if everyone were just like me what fun would that be? And just to annoy her, because she hates it when I do this, I decided to describe friendships like shoes.
Like shoes? Come on... was the response I got from the back of the car. So this is basically the rundown that I gave her:
There are those friends that are like my slippers - they allow me to let my hair down and talk about things that really impact my life in a safe environment. These are the people who allow me to feel comfortable in letting my guard down and just being me and they love me for who I am.
Then there are the high heel friends. Those are my friends who remind me to strive to be the best that I can possibly be. These are my friends who encourage me to meet my personal goals in life. They are my cheerleaders rooting me along as I go back to school. They are the ones who want to see me shine.
The sneaker girlfriends are yet another group. These are the ones that will get in there and get down and dirty with you. These are the ones who want to see me be successful, not just achieve my dreams. They'll put on those sneakers and help me chase after that brass ring. They encourage me and challenge me to do my best. They want me to have it all. These are the ones that pitch in to help when you have a project that seems unbelievably overwhelming. No complaints and no regrets. They are there with you through the thick and thin.
Then there are the boot friends. The ones who will give you a swift kick in the buns when you need it. They don't have time for the 'hogwash'. Build a bridge and get over it is their mantra. We all need a few of these in our lives.
Then we have our flip flop friends. Now as much as I love flip flops,I think these are the fair weathered friends that come along. Just like flip flops are not a good choice of foot attire when it's storming, these are usually the friends that are only around when the getting is good and seldom there for you in a real crisis. They're seasonal to say the least. In other words, your friendship is their to serve their purpose. It's not mutual in the least.
I could tell I had really stumped her this time. Rarely is there a moment when this happens as of late. She's a chip off the old block, I can constantly see the wheels in motion. Then she said "Mom" and I caught her eye in the rear view mirror when she said "You've got to be kidding me, right?"
Oh well, Doodlebug 1 - Mom O.