Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I've realized at the great age of 30-something that I am either not a very adept people person or I'm just not really very schooled in the way people establish friendships. I say this because when I look at my life, my very solitary life, I've realized that I can count on one hand the number of close friends that I have. When I say close friends, I mean people who know me, really know me. I also realized that when we are young, we easily attach labels to relationships, you get your best friends or bffs as they call them these days, friends, etc. But actually, when you think about it, it is the relationship that defines the friendship and not the labels we attach to them. It is how you grow together, how you nurture each other that defines your relationship with another person. I have a nominal best friend, we met in college when we were both wide-eyed naifs lost in the jungle that was UP. We had a common bond then, wishing to be part of something bigger than we were, to leave our mark in the world, her as a doctor and me as a lawyer. We have kept in touch over the years, doing things that best friends are wont to do. In the past few years however, our paths have diverged, allowing me to look at our friendship from the perspective of hindsight. I suppose that it is a sad testament to our relationship when I state that I've realized that in all the years of our friendship I don't think she ever understood me.

I do have other friends, friendships that I hesitate even now to paint and limit to labels. They are the people who I know, know me as much as I know them. And while it is unfair of me perhaps to expect L to get me and my idiosyncrasies the same way they do, I wish she had at least tried.

A few days back, I was chatting with my friend W ( yes, she's one of the few close friends I was talking about) and our conversation made me understand that the reason our friendship has thrived all these years, aside from the fact that we grew up together and have known each other since we were 8, was that we fed each other's insanities. In a way, we keep each other sane, grounded in some way. And despite not seeing each other or talking to each other for months, when we do, it's as if we just saw each other the day before and are picking up from where we left off in our conversation. I don't know, given the labels we give our friendships, isn't that supposed to be the kind of relationship that I should have with my nominal best friend? Or am I being unfair? I know that I have my own shortcomings, but during the active lifetime of my being L's best friend, you couldn't find a more devoted friend than me, which is why the events of the past year or so still stings so much that I can't let go of the hurt and allow our relationship to ease back into what we had before. Despite the fact that I feel the diminishing of that friendship acutely, I have resigned myself to feeling this way, still harboring some affection for her but largely resentful of how she has somehow discarded me and moved on.

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