I have had cause recently to re-evaluate a couple of friendships. Not that I'm getting cocky or anything, but you do have to wonder how deep and meaningful a relationship it is if they upset you or make you feel mediocre on a regular basis.
Take today for example. An old university friend was back in the area visiting her parents, and did the 'pop in for and hour and a half before going onto the next person on my list' thing. I perfectly understand that, God I've been in that situation myself. This (childless) friend of 12 years turned up late, mocked my parenting skills and choices, patronised my son, half-ate the cake that I had made especially for her (on her request!) and scooted off with a 'see you in a year' flippancy. I was left feeling aghast, with an untouched Victoria Sandwich and my unimpressed son for company.
Only last week in work, I sobbed my heart out on another 'friend' who was fabulous. Only for her to later completely ridicule me in a 'humorous' manner infront of the entire staffroom. What's that about?
Then at the other end of the spectrum is my oldest friend (not in an age sense). I'm two years older than her and have known her since her birth. My mum used to look after her, she lived opposite, her brothers and sisters were/are friends with mine. We were thrown together as a matter of course. At various points in our time we've been closer than others; the worse and greatest absence is when we got married (no, not to each other!). Her husband and I didn't like each other. 9 years down the line and we hadn't seen each other since her eldest (8yrs) was born. However when I texted her to tell her about dad's cancer, by the time I'd put the phone down, it was ringing. Last May she texted me to say her and hubby were splitting up & I rang straightaway. It was 11pm at night. Since she's moved back to the area we have a new-found friendship on a level like never before. And The Boy adores her.
Another friend pointed out to me earlier "Friends are meant to make you feel good, help, pick you up when you feel rubbish, etc. Not criticise condemn and complain!" She has a very good point. I know we can't always be there, but surely it's a questionable relationship if you get nothing positive from it?
And then you get the friend who does this to cheer you up:
Thank you for being so thoughtful and kind.