The best time to have friends is before you need them

5 Jul

 

E and S

Tomorrow I am hosting a baby shower for my very best friend and so it got me thinking about friendship.  I’ve done a lot of reading about friendships over the years and what I’ve learned is extremely interesting.  Women who have close friends:

  • Live longer
  • Are happier
  • Have less stress
  • Cope better when traumatic events occur and have better outcomes as a result
  • Have better self confidence and self worth
  • If in a relationship have stronger relationships with their partner

Well, if all of this is true I should be setting a record in The Guinness Book of World Records for living the longest, happiest, carefree life because I have lots of really wonderful friendships. My mother has always been a terrific ‘stay-in-toucher’ and so I learned that from her. Friendships are extremely important to me.  In fact managing all of my friendships can be a cause of stress… hoping that doesn’t counteract the benefits of them!

Sarah (the mentioned pregnant best friend).  How do I even begin?  We are second cousins and so we’ve known each other our entire lives. We started grade primary together and the love affair we have with each other began somewhere along the way at HM MacDonald Elementary School.  How do I describe Sarah?  She is hilarious yet serious, she is wild yet disciplined, she is easygoing yet structured, she is loyal, kind, quirky, complex and she is beautiful yet extremely modest.  Over the years we’ve spent thousands of hours together and hundreds of hours on the phone.  In fact, one time we were having such a solid conversation (but Sarah needed to get ready to go somewhere) that she didn’t want to cut it off.  Instead she took the phone into the shower with her.  Suddenly she sounded like she was in a tunnel and the phone died.  The conversation was done and so was her phone.  Something else about Sarah is that she is extremely honest.  She went into Telus and when they asked what happened to the phone… she told them exactly what I just told you.  The guy at the phone store just burst out laughing, commended her for being honest, but he couldn’t replace the phone for free for being so.  There have been times when our conversations were so long that her cell phone was going to die so she switched to her landline, beeped into the conversation, hung up the original call, then my phone would be on the verge of dying so I would switch to my landline and beep into the conversation.  When we spend the night together we can talk and talk and talk.  In fact, Sarah has been known to say to me ‘Emilie, alright if I stop responding to you when you’re talking, it just means I am asleep, but feel free to keep talking.’  The single-handed biggest theme of our friendship is laughter.  We are 36 years old now and we still roar at the most foolish bits.   We were allowed to stay at each others houses on school nights, we’ve lived together and even worked together as adults.  Sarah got married about 6 years ago – poor Bobby and what he has been exposed to over the years.

When I was a kid my most favorite movie ever was Anne of Green Gables.  My mother had taped the television version of it for me and I would watch it over and over again (until my brothers taped over it in 2 minute increments of a hockey game).  Anne and Diana had a special friendship.  Anne called Diana her ‘Kindred Spirit’ her ‘Bosom Friend’.  Beaches is another favorite movie of mine.  I have probably watched it about 29 times and I still crrryyyyyyyyy every time I watch it.   C.C. Bloom and Hilary Whitney.  When I watch it I always envision me as C.C. and Sarah as Hilary.  The problem is Hilary dies.  I love the line where Hilary says she is forgetting things and C.C. says ‘Listen, I know everything there is to know about you and my memory is long.  Very long.’ Another great friendship I admire is Oprah and Gayle.  They too have been friends for over 30 years.  After working together for a week there was a snowstorm and Oprah couldn’t get home.  Gayle told her she could stay with her.  Oprah said ‘but I don’t have any clean underwear with me’ to which Gayle responded ‘don’t worry you can borrow a pair of mine’.  Oprah said she knew Gayle would be her long time friend in that moment.  Sarah and I have shared everything (other than a man) over the years – money, underwear, secrets, clothing, a bed and so much more.

Friendships (unlike marriages) have no set of rules or expectations attached to them. They are generally purely for enjoyment and enrichment. The one rule for any form of relationship is that it takes work – pick up the phone, type a text, make a plan and get together.  The hardest laughs I’ve ever had have been with friends and I have a lot of people who would be willing to share their underwear with me.  In the words of Oprah ‘what I know for sure is’ that your work will come and go, money will come and go, men will come and go and when they do it is your friends (and family) who will be there.

In September a whole new chapter is going to be written – Sarah is having a baby.  The plan is for me to go in with them to have the baby.  There are some pretty specific logistics which have to work in our favor for this to work (I live a 2 hour flight away), but here’s to hoping.  I am sure we will cry and then laugh about her pooping on the table or something like that.

 

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One Response to “The best time to have friends is before you need them”

  1. sarah July 7, 2016 at 6:17 am #

    wow thats really nice;)

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