Friendship As We Age

As we grow older, many aspects of our lives change. We start to dress a little different, sleep patterns vary, and joints to start to make weird noises. One thing that I recently realized that also changes, is the types of friends you have compared to your age. Of course, certain friends, you have no matter what stage of life you’re in. But, if you really sit back and think about it, you can see a trail of friends that you only associated with, because of your phase in life at that time.

Your first friends are just about having someone to play with that you don’t hate. Pre-school kids aren’t very picky and decently tolerant. Sassy’s “best friend” changes daily, based on mood. Her friends are probably based on who follows her orders with the most enthusiasm and skill. I only have a couple of people I have remained friends with after this stage. We just don’t have standards as toddlers. Otherwise, I would have never hung out with the weird kid that glued a crayon inside his mouth. Yes, that really happened in my kindergarten class.

In middle school, your friends like the same people you do, are involved in the same activities, share the same classes. Your mortal enemy is anyone that has a crush on the same person as you. You can’t drive, still have to ask permission, and cooties are just now becoming a thing of the past. Middle school is where you start figuring out what it really means to be and have a friend.

As a teenager, you want your friends to be as excited to get out and see the world as you are. You want friends that are always wanting to go out and do something, meet new people, have an adventure. You also look for friends with similar curfews as you. Friends as a teenager are all about whoever you can have the most fun with, and not much else. It is highly unlikely you will remain friends with the guy who bought everyone beer, or the girl that lets you use her fake I.D., but you never know.

Once you enter your early twenties, it’s time to find your bar friends. You want the friends that you can go out and have a great time with. The friends that are “fun” drunk. Life, at this point, is all about being legal to drink and going to all of the places that involves. It’s also important to have at least one friend that is the nurturer. The one that takes of all the drunks and treats your hangover. This may be your most valuable friend at this stage in life. In my group of friends, I was the hangover fairy. I would leave bottled water, crackers, and B12 for everyone. This is also where you befriend some of your most questionable acquaintances like…

  • The guy who let random people tattoo him.
  • The girl who cried. EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.
  • The guy that only spoke in Greek when he drinks.
  • The guy that thought it was funny to pop out his fake teeth when you weren’t looking.
  • The guy that made a party trick out of his scrotum.

Your mid to late twenties, you start looking for friends that want to “go out” a similar amount to you. The new has worn off of being legal and getting older and  having a full-time job doesn’t mix as well with hangover as it used to. This stage is do or die for several friendships that survived the bar phase. Some friendships were born simply out of love for the same tequila, take that away and there’s not much else to talk about. This is the time you also start learning excuses as to why you can’t go out, that doesn’t involve the truth. The true excuse is being too comfortable to change out of your pajamas at 8 pm. Plus it’s not the day I wash my hair, rain check?

Sometime between our barfly days and our “somewhat” mature responsible adult days, something happens. We start to figure out who we really are. What we like as individuals, not as someone trying to fit in a group. You start to care less about fitting in, and more about loving yourself. That is the moment where lifelong friendships transform into being solid as a rock, and the convenient ones flicker out.

In your 30’s, and a parent, you want other parent friends. Parents have less than no time to go out. I’m canceling plans I haven’t even made yet, because I already know I’m going to be too tired. This is also the time in life when you’re starting to understand that there is a sudden realization of aging in your 30’s. All of these weird things like joint pain, fatigue, and adult responsibility. If anyone can honestly tell me they can still go out and drink all night like they did in their 20’s, they are either a dirty liar or Keith Richards. My friends now, are the people who I can have a fun dinner with, or enjoy hanging out at their house, because I don’t want to deal with the general public. I want tired, yet fun and entertaining friends now.

I’m not sure what sort of friends I’ll be looking for in my late 30’s or beyond, but I’m pretty certain the last level of friendship will be the best. What do I think the last level is? Matching old lady track suits and fanny-packs, and it’s going to be fantastic.

Fictional Friday

This weeks fictional Friday is the comparison of my best friend Andrea, to Lily Aldrin from How I Met Your Mother.

When I started watching the show, I was instantly drawn to Lily’s character. She made me feel like I knew her, could be friends with her, and then I figured out why. Lily reminds me of Andrea. Even Lily’s relationship with Marshall is eerily similar to Andrea and her husband Mikey. I don’t know of many relationships stronger than theirs.

Lily is one of those characters that has a lot of layers. She’s down to Earth, and sweet, but she will cut you with the shiv she probably has in her purse. She is the planner and organizer of the group. Andrea will start planning her daughters next birthday while the other one is happening.  They both have the answers to things, I don’t even know how. If I don’t know the answer to something I’m either calling Andrea or my mom.

Lily tells it like it is. Lily isn’t afraid to hit you with a truth bomb. Andrea will outright slap you with them. They know the truth is in your best interest, and that’s good enough. They also meddle. Not in a bad way, but out of love. If I’m making decisions that Andrea knows are ridiculous, she’ll let me have it for a minute, and then she will show me the light. I think it’s pretty important to have at least one friend in your life that won’t sit around and let you do dumb shit.

When Lily gets mad, it’s best to run for cover. Same can be said for Andrea. They have no problem letting you know how they feel, which is a great quality, considering some people hold it in and then it explodes.

They both love food, but I don’t think I could be friends with someone who didn’t. When Andrea and I get a girls day, there is always cupcakes. ALWAYS.

She is one of my favorite people to drive/ride with. She has no tolerance for slow drivers. We have things to do and places to go, get out-of-the-way.

Lily is loyal, kind, strong, and hilarious. There are so many reasons why Andrea is real life Lily and I just love it. I wouldn’t change a thing about Andrea’s personality, it’s kept us best friends since we were 17, we’re now in our thirties.

Monica Geller and Lily Aldrin best friends forever.

 

Fictional Friday

It’s Friday, it’s been a long week, so I figured comic relief is a must. Thus, this post. I’m going to start something I like to call “Fictional Friday”. Every Friday I will be writing a post about someone I know and the fictional character they remind of most. I will start this with myself.

Of all of the fictional characters I’ve encountered in books or on TV, I have always related the most to Monica Geller from Friends.

She’s slightly unstable. She needs everything neat and tidy, loves organization, has enormous amounts of anxiety, and once exposed to humidity, has really really big hair. I’m honestly not sure who is more high-strung, myself or Monica. We both have an uncontrollable need to please people, which probably contributes to some of the anxiety.

She’s the mother hen of the group, and I’m usually that person. I’m always trying to take care of everyone. Monica never turns away a friend in need. She never gives up on a friend. Like Monica, once you pick me, you’re stuck with me.If I’m not trying to take care of you, I’m probably trying to feed you. Sound familiar?

Competitiveness. If you’re not first, you’re last. I don’t even let my 4-year-old win at a board game unless she earned it. No participation trophies here.

Monica is controlling. I must admit, so am I. Not in the borderline psychopath extreme, but in the “I’ll just do it myself so I know it’s done right” kind of way. Doesn’t sound great when you say it out loud, but it’s the truth. At least I’m honest.

She has a really pretty friend named Rachel… Yep.

DRUNK MONICA! In its loud, without a care in the world, word vomit inducing glory. Ditto.

We hate our useless uterus and eggs, and we’re both blessed by adoption. (Me hopefully in a few weeks)

This post has no real meaning other than a fun read on a Friday. We made it through the week, I’m gonna celebrate it with a few laughs!

What fictional character do you relate more than others? Let me know in the comments! Happy Friday!