Sunday, June 1, 2014

Friends in low places?

This weekend has been an interesting one.  I moved from my place to a new place, and I found out that I value my friendships more than those on the other side.

Anyone who knows me knows that I will give you the shirt off my back to help you out.  I have gone to pick up friends because they put their car in a tree (no joke) 30 minutes away.  I have given friends money and bought them things, simply because they needed/wanted it.  I even help out complete strangers if I feel they need it.... and yet, I rarely see this act returned.

Some friends had valid reasons as to why they couldn't help me to move -- injuries, work, children.... but out of those that offered to help, three showed up (2 if you don't count my brother).  One of them was a girl that I rarely see, but she was willing to drive almost an hour to come to my old apartment, and then 20 minutes farther to my new apartment (twice). 

My friend, S., sent me a message yesterday, saying that if I was in NY, I would have had a ton of people show up, and we could've moved that place in one trip.  While I know that she would've shown, and maybe a couple others, I do not feel like that would have been entirely true.

Friendships, to me, are very important.  Being a middle child, I definitely want to be the center of attention, simply because I was starved for it as a child (just kidding... or am I?).  I am a social being, and need to have people around me on the regular.  Don't get me wrong, I love being alone, at my house, vegging out, but some nights, I just need a semi-busy place with people I adore.

Now, I'm wondering if I am just too friendly.... if people see me, and know that they can take advantage of me, because I say yes a lot.  Even as a teenager, I would take friends to the mall (even if I didn't want to go), or drive them to the swimming hole (shoving more than legally allowed in the car), just because they wanted to go.  I rarely asked for gas money, and when I did, suddenly, people didn't want to go. 

I know that I have some honestly true friends -- those that will let me call them at all hours of the night to cry (or scream); those that would come get me on the side of the road if my car broke down; those that I know no matter what I choose to do, they have my back, even if it is 3000 miles away. 

I just struggle with the idea that we, as a species, are becoming too individualized, and selfish.  Those same people who bailed on me this weekend, will be the same people pissed when I don't want to hang out with them.  But, friendships are two-way streets.  You gotta give to get.

"Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down." -- Oprah Winfrey

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