You wanna know who your true friends are? Screw up and see who’s still there!
I don’t know who said that first, but I believe they know the full truth of friendship. True friends don’t leave you when you are down and out. They don’t forget you if you move away. They don’t ignore you when you need them most. And they laugh with you and often at you!
Hubby and I have friends that have stood the test of time, of heartache, and of moving away. If you haven’t moved more than 100 miles from your friends, it is one of the sure-fire tests of that friendship!
A few things about friends when you live in close proximity to them:
- You can pop in to see them at any time. It won’t matter if the house is dirty. If someone else shows up to see them, you will be the one madly stashing dirty pots and pans in the oven and the pantry to “clean up before company arrives!”
- You go out to eat on a regular basis. Hey, I’m not talking 5-star. I’m talking Dairy Queen on the corner. That counts with best friends.
- You talk. Not just that superficial “How are you?” “How are the kids?” I mean TALK. About everything! Your spouse. Your haircut. How bloated you are. The last time you pooped. Sex, not raunchy, the truth of the matter. Your family, both immediate and extended. The stupid things that make your life funny or irritating or both. There are basically no “off-limits” conversations with true friends.
- You “share” kids. Their kids act like they live at your house and your kids act like they live at theirs. No one asks if they can get a drink from the fridge or snacks from the pantry. They just do it, no matter which home they are in.
- Also on “sharing kids:” The kids also know that if they step out of line, any of the “other” parents will set them straight. That duty falls to the one closest to the perpetrator! No questions asked. Generally the offending kid’s parents don’t even have to know unless it was seriously egregious. Or if there was blood or visible body damage.
- Kid sharing is also a duty to be performed if kids/adults have to be in 3 or more places at the same time. It is not possible for little boy 1 to be taken to the football field if dad is in a late meeting and mom already taking little girl 1 to ballet 20 minutes away. In steps one of the shared parents. It is not a question of “will one of you?” it is phrased as “Who is going to take him?” One, or all will answer and they will work out the logistics. Always happens.
- If your spouse is out of town, the spouse of one of the friends is surrogate material. (Not THAT kind of surrogate! This is a G-Rated blog, people!) Wives: If your car breaks down, another husband has to come over and shake his head at it and tell you he has no idea what is wrong. Just like your own husband would do. Then he gets it to the mechanic somehow. Husbands: If your daughter has one of “those issues” while the wife is away, one of the other mothers is responsible, and will be there in 5 minutes. Even if she is 30 minutes away.
- You laugh. Long, loud and often! This is the biggest one. You laugh at everything. You laugh when all 8 of you need to shower and there is no hot water. NONE. You laugh when one of you falls into a pond. You laugh (once you know everyone is OK) when fireworks go really wrong and shoot at you. You laugh with each other. You laugh at each other. You laugh.
- You cry. You cry with each other. You cry for each other. You cry when things are really, really good. You cry when things are slightly bad. You cry, and maybe scream a little, when things are really, really bad. You cry.
- You pray. You pray for each other and you pray with each other. You pray when things are really, really good. You pray when things are really, really bad. You pray.
A note to those of you who have been blessed by God with these types of friends: Those who have not been so blessed, will not understand and they will talk about you. Don’t take it personally. If you are from the South, just say “Bless his/her heart!” and move on. They will never understand.
Stay tuned for the friendship that stands the test of living far away…