Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Some things never change?

Actually, they change all the time. Remember old wise men telling us how change is inevitable, and how its the only constant thing in life? Well, they're right. *Sigh*

A friend came down from the U.S. yesterday, whose been there since the last 9 years. When he would come down initially, there was a lot of friction. U.S. returns always want one's entire attention when they're back for a brief vacation, and any and every social interactions not involving them must be postponed until their departure. While this isn't always possible, there would be a lot of misunderstandings at times, to understand that they leave behind the life they've made for a brief while, but are in the midst of our lives here..naturally some parts not involving them. After all, they're simultaneously making a new life, new friends as we're doing with ours.

I've had a lot of very close friends go to the U.S... and the case was same with each one. Albeit we were younger and much less mature, but the circumstances would remain the same. Ive seen them all feel a certain insecurity in moving to another country, living all by themselves, being deemed a resident alien, coupled with friends back home moving on with their lives, making new ones, closer ones, sometimes. A phone call not returned, an event forgotten assumes larger magnitude and is assigned greater significance ... friendships there seem different somehow.

A friend recently wrote to me saying "You know, I have a lot of friends here, but its difficult to understand what rights I have over them. For instance, I cant call someone up and yell at them for having forgotten my birthday or simply not calling back! It seems like charm school!"

And I got it. I got her. Small things like this mean a whole lot more. I love that I can call up my best friend, and be raving mad at her for something, and have the "right" to be angry, upset or happy with her, and tell her/him so. Its something we take for granted. Its something 'I' took for granted.
I can never be friends with a person if I don't know my "rights" or level of acquaintance. I need to understand where I stand in that persons life, and be on the same page. Let me explain what I mean by the help of the categories in my mind. (Please note all situations are vice versa!)

Category 1 -The Acquaintance If your someone I never share feelings with, but just meet socially your an acquaintance. I can never be mad at you, or expect anything from you - like call backs, informing me about developments in your life etc. and vice versa.
Category 2 - The Good friend- If your someone who I've had slightly personal conversations with, but are not someone I'd be comfortable telling everything to, or hang out with outside of a social gathering, then we're better than acquaintances, but not as good as best friends. In this case, your not someone I'd call up specifically and talk about life changes or things, but if we meet Id speak with you on a more personal level than I would an acquaintance. Expectations are at a minimal level.
Category 3 - The Best friends a.k.a the close inner circle - This is the best category to be. We can hang out alone together for hours, talk about the most personal of personal stuff, trust each other completely. Expectations and 'rights' are the highest here. Right to be mad, Right to demand an explanation, right to do something special, expect it back etc.

Its important for me to guage where my friendship with a person stands and which compartment he/she fits into. for e.g. I cannot imagine an 'expectationless' close friendship, one where I speak with someone only in good times, disappear for long durations, resurface and disappear again and expect not to be questioned. Cause if your someone close to me, your capable of hurting me by things you say and do, and if we cant talk about it and I dont have the 'right' to be mad at you, I'd downgrade that to an acquaintance and treat you accordingly then.

Im a saggitarian. A fire sign. An archer. I take my friendships and people who I love very seriously. Its in my blood. But yeah, I'm equally good at letting go (now). I'm done with the half hearted friendships, the being taken for granted and all that jazz.

What was I saying about Change? Everything changes. well yeah.
In yesterdays case, some waists were narrower, some hips wider, some one's hair longer, and another ones straighter, yet another's eyes de-spectacled. Conversations revolved around finding and losing jobs, impending marital ceremonies and insistent singlehood as opposed to crushes and fixing basketball matches of the past. So change there was plenty.

Still, together, we were the same loud, crazy, hysterical kids who went to college 9 years ago, looking back at pictures of our uglier days, wondering how we got here so soon. SO DARN SOON.
P.S - Appy if you ever read this, I missed you fool!

11 comments:

karmalove said...

i always believed some things would never change, especially when it comes to BFF or as u call it the close inner circle. But it has, and I still can't get to terms with it. It is important to me as well to gauge where my friendship with a person stands but more often than not I am not able to making it hard for me to understand what kind of rights I have on a person....

Sorry for the banter, just got carried away as I am presently facing a situation and this post just struck a chord... :)

Aniket said...

I am so with you on this post.... through and through! (ME agreeing with YOU, now that's a Change :) )But apparently am not so good at letting go. Have learnt it the the hard way. But yeah, I love the feeling that my best friend yells at me if I don't call back to her 'beep of a missed call' within 5 min.

But as we grow OLD (pun full-on intended :) )these loving moments somehow start fading away. I wish things remained same between me and my best friends but in my case job and marriages are bigger enemies to fight with than trips to US.

Aniket said...

I am so with you on this post.... through and through! (ME agreeing with YOU, now that's a Change :) )But apparently am not so good at letting go. Have learnt it the the hard way. But yeah, I love the feeling that my best friend yells at me if I don't call back to her 'beep of a missed call' within 5 min.

But as we grow OLD (pun full-on intended :) )these loving moments somehow start fading away. I wish things remained same between me and my best friends but in my case job and marriages are bigger enemies to fight with than trips to US.

snow said...

this post echoes my thoughts too.. i try to hold on to it as long as i can, sometimes it has taken me more than a year to realize i was holding onto a rope that was tied to a tree at the other end. (the friend had tied it to a tree and left).

but yes, thank God for those friends that stay with us forever, i feel blessed to still have them around :) and we wonder the same, how did we get here so damn soon! lol

Piper .. said...

Completely agree. The reason I cant call up,demand explanations or shout at 'friends' here is because they arent in my inner circle. Its not about being here in the US or back home. I can only expect this much from people who are out of the 'circle of trust'. Incidentally 'circle of trust' reminds me of the movie 'Meet the Fockers'! Have you seen it?
And btw, when I come back home, I DO EXPECT people to leave everything they`re doing, fall flat and worship the ground I set foot on! I`m entitled! I`m like the hero COMING BACK HOME! :):)

Jennifer said...

What a great post I think it is helpful to look at friendships in these ways--so if we are hurt by someone, we can take a step back and figure out if we really should be--to use your words, do we have the right to be. Could save some pain!

Aditya said...

I have the three-ring idea of friends too. Am currently trying to figure out who is in the outer ring and the middle ring, and not bothering with those in the outermost. It kinda hurts me to do so but I have to. Can't waste my life on hangers-on.

Serendipity said...

Hi Karmalove! - Totally apologize for the unsolicited advice i left on your blog after reading this comment. :) and no apologies reqd for rambling on, cos this post was one long rant too! Hope things get better soon..

Aniket! - whats up? your competing with jobs and marriages eh? U know the saying - if you cant beat 'em, join 'em. :D

Holla Snow! Yep, the ones that stand the test of time are the best...and the ones u need to hold on to for dear life.

Yello Piper! yEP, Seen MTF, but dontrememebr much of it :) w.r.t your last line, yep. I know the feeling. A friend is down for 2 weeks, and dosent understand the concept of me having work the next day. Lets just say Ive been eating/partying out monday, tues, wed, thurs. :(
And coming in to work the next day. Today Im on 4 hours of sleep. GAH.

Thanks Jen, i love the wedding jewellery pictures!

Hi Ad - absolutely, I cant waste time on people who dont deserve it either. This is a tried tested and validated formula. Should I write a book? :D

Aniket said...

Oh yes, I wanna join'em soon... but for all the right reasons! :-D

Have to put up a post too. Will write it over the weekend. Last 2 days se mere likhe hue sare code phat rahe the.... not a nice thing to happen in current scenario of s/w firms. :P So was pretty occupied. Thankfully all is fine now. :)

Farcenal said...

Do you really believe in Astrology? I'm a Sagittarius too but does it actually mean anything?

Anyways, I'm nit-picking. This was a good post. You seem like someone who has a table/list for everything.

Serendipity said...

I pretty much love Bullet points and Monicas organiser :D