The other day I found myself watching one of those chat shows that pride themselves on giving people ‘the space’ to confess to their loved one that secret, which is so awful they can only say it in front of millions of people. I am weak and easily seduced by such shows and sat waiting to see if Dave really was Jonny’s father and if Suki had lied to Dave about her one night stand. In the end the presenter had called out Suki’s best friend (Sharon) who towered over Dave screaming at him, while the presenter looked smugly into the camera and crooned ‘you see, men come and go but a friend is for life.’ As Suki left with Sharon, and Dave left with the DNA results in his hand, I was left trying to wipe out the image of the presenter’s satisfied face. However, I couldn’t help but think about his closing words.
We are often told that friends are for life and men come and go, but that is to assume that friendship is stagnant with no heart-ache, no development or movement. I have had friends who are no longer around and friends who still are. My first heart-break wasn’t from a man, but a friend who I spent every day with, eating junk food, watching movies and gossiping, until one day when she met the love of her life. And disappeared. I was left heart-broken, unable to even wave her goodbye from the Friendship port as she sailed the seas with her new Love. We’ve both grown apart and the gap is filled with far too much disappointment and hurt to reunite. We stand either side of the gap, me the jilted friend; she the one that got away. On the other hand, she married the love of her life; had children and lived out her happy ending. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t have been able to offer her all of that anyway.
And yet, I have friends who have celebrated life with me and danced into the night without a care for the men around them eagerly waiting for their numbers. Loyalty and Laughter: I must have learnt that first through friendships. Friendship is no different to relationships – you give and take, you learn, you compromise and feel annoyed with each other. You take a break sometimes and then speak to each other every day. The chances are that as Sharon booted Dave off the stage, she was also going to ditch Suki when the next drama called her. Friendships reflect our approach to relationships.
So, rather than ‘men come and go and friends are there for life’, I think friends also come and go but those that stay see more than you – they see your whole life fall into place with them woven into it.
After all,good friends are like good lovers: they never leave you feeling like you did something wrong.