True friends, old frenemies, and very little middle ground

“Have you ever been stabbed in the back by someone you thought was really cool?” Jody Watley with Eric B., “Friends”

“My friends are real I know, true self you have shown you’re alright with me” Janet Jackson, “Alright”

By the time I became thirtysomething, I thought I had friendship down to an art and/or science. But friendships are relationships which involve imperfect humans, patience, compassion, and that quality some people fear more than hair loss, erectile dysfunction, or spiders, commitment. Sooner or later, I have been known to strike up a friendship that is lacking in a strong foundation or one that may compromise my values. Even as I get closer to 40, disappointment with so-called friends still happens from time to time.

In 2007, my loyalty was tested to its limit. Some friends proved not so true: judgmental or absent or just plain cruel. I ultimately surrendered to my own weakness and proved unreliable, burdensome, and vindictive right back. But health promotes health. My longtime friendships have survived and strengthened. My relationship with my mother has deepened to the point where she can accept my part-time shacking up with only one retort. When I have offered kindness, acceptance, and selflessness, it has been returned tenfold. Now, as I undergo a major life shift, I know I will be surrounded by genuine friends.

And what of those who have deleted me from their cyber and cel phone address books? I hope they find what they seek in themselves and others. I wish them well.

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