Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fr'i' your 'Friend' and that's the 'e'nd of them

I am a lucky kid.

I have a bunch of kick ass, wicked cool friends...and when I say 'friends', I mean 'friend' friends not 'Facebook' friends... but when I say 'friend' friends, I mean 'just friends' friends not like 'friend friend' friends.

To simplify: These are people that I really really like... but I don't necessarily really really like like them ...I just really really like them. A lot.

~An aside- Have you ever noticed that there are certain words that if you write/type a few too many times they stop looking like real words and start to look like more of a peculiarly random grouping of letters? I have.~

As much as I enjoy Facebook (mostly), I feel that its very existence has diminished the sanctity of the word 'friend'. However, even as I put that thought into words, I might have to contradict myself(weird)... Maybe, instead of taking away from the word 'friend', it actually adds a new dimension to the concept of Friendship...a whole new sub-category, I guess. Sorta like "Oh yeah, I know Flappy McHappypants. He's a 'Facebook' friend."

FYI-This post has just taken on a life of its own and I refuse to be held accountable for how much it might suck. The post I had originally planned on writing ...until half-way through that last paragraph ...was spectacular. We'll have to wait and see how this permutation shapes up...but I'm not promising's on its own from here on in...

I have all sorts of different friends who belong to all sorts of different categories.

Most friends would start off by fitting in some categories that are pretty typical and defined by life stage: ...'Childhood' Friends, 'Public School' Friends, 'High School' Friends, 'University' Friends, 'Teachers College' Friends(Don't blink!! Ah man, you missed 'em), 'Adult Life:Phase I' Friends, 'Adult Life:Phase II' Friends, 'Adult Life:Phase I/Phase II Combo' Friends ( nice that you guys stuck around), etc. etc...

Or, I can divvy everyone up into geographic groupings: 'Orillia' Friends, 'Whistler' Friends, 'Fenelon Falls' Friends, 'Toronto' Friends, 'World Wide Web' Friends, etc.etc...

Then there are the ever-evolving situational slots: 'Neighbour' Friends, 'Work' Friends, 'Our Kids are at the same Preschool' Friends, 'Our Kids Take Piano Lessons &/or Play Soccer &/or Wrestle &/or Go to Elementary School &/or Go to High School &/or Drink Watermelon Smirnoffs Swiped from My Cupboard Together' Friends, etc.etc.

Now, I'm getting closer to the heart of things (btw ...neither here nor there but I just had an super brief but super awesome Geddy Lee musical interlude in my brain)...The grouping of Friends that you really have no role in choosing: 'Family' Friends. They are people you are blessed/saddled with through either genetic or marital bonds...Lifelong emotional relationships/friendships that are solidified by the gift of unconditional love. No matter how often their quirks or actions may drive you bananas or how many dinner table discussions regarding current events/life philosophy/religion/child-rearing technique(ohhhh that's always a good one)end in tears or raised voices, these friendships remain intact ...

...'cause they have to.

The Universe kinda makes us be friends.

I'm referring, of course, to our sisters, brothers, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins...OR ... That sometimes tricky and convoluted/sometimes wonderful world of In-Laws . You have to deal with all the same quirks/actions/bullshit as you do with your own family but withOUT that Universe-decreed unconditional love.

Oh Beautiful Universe, why do you mess with us so??

So, in short, 'Family' Friends are like squirrels can't live with the bastards. You can't live without 'em.

*Disclaimer: I have a fantastic family... nuclear and extended ... current and erstwhile. I adore you ALL ... well, most of you all, anyway :)

O.K...Here we are!!!

Hello, Actual Whole Point of this Post!!

I made it!!

The pinnacle...The cream of the crop...The brass ring of friendships ...

The 'Best' Friend.

AND... (and this is what I've wanted to talk about from the very beginning) ... I am exquisitely fortunate to be able to lay claim to not one or two ...but, indeed, several 'Best' Friends.


Not bad for a hermit with raging Social Anxiety Disorder .

Now, I have to admit that several of these several 'Best' Friends may not rank me as one of their BFs...and I'm OK with that. (Need be, I can always create a new sub-category 'Unreciprocal Best' Friend. I'm flexible)

You see, in my advancing years, I have come to accept the fact that there exist only a few people on this planet who I can be my complete self with. Historically, I've not been a real superstar at forging ... and/or... maintaining new friendships. Actually, I really really suck at it, so when I meet someone who I can be at ease with it's cause for celebration.

WAHOOooOooOoooOoo !!!

I believe I probably cherish these rare 'connections' more than the average bear.

I absolutely adore the idea of 'kindred spirits'...(Thank You, Anne Shirley) and I think maybe in my case that's perhaps a more appropriate handle than 'Best' Friends. It's so magical and cool to meet someone for the first time and almost immediately enjoy that "Hey...I know you!! You're kinda just like me!" feeling.

It's all about being able to share...To share a twisted goofy sense of humour, likes/dislikes, life philosophies, a love of books/movies/music/food/nature/dogs. To share a name. To share dreams both a figurative sense and a literal sense. To share your deepest/darkests without hesitation...or fear of judgement. To share DNA.

I was 16 when I first became consciously aware of the remarkable existence of  Kindred Spirits. I had been blessed with 3 beautiful childhood friendships but this was the first time I experienced that aforementioned "Hey...I know you!!" lightning bolt. She is still, to this day, my most Fravourite Friend.

I'm exceptionally pleased and, truth be told, happily surprised, that I've made the vast majority of these wonderful connections just in the past few years. I had a bit of a dry spell through the ages of 16 to, let's say, ohhhh ... 35 or so, acquiring only one more, so my  KS count held steady at a whopping 2. But then a funny thing started happening...these really cool, really neat people who seemed to really "get" me started cropping up, sometimes out of the most interesting of scenarios(and when I say 'interesting', I really really mean 'interesting". Really really. You'll just have to take my word on this) and my KS count jumped from 2 to the "several" that it is today. YAY ME!!

(I know I've used the word 'really' a whole bunch of times in this post but I wanted to 'really' emphasize a whole bunch of things ... so please bear with me and my temporary  lapse into redundancy)

My Kindred Spirits come in all shapes and sizes. I've known one nearly my whole entire life (minus 26.5 months)...One, I've known only a few months. I have KSs I'm able to see on a weekly basis ...  A few I see every few months .... and  the Internet has allowed me to have connections with one KS who I haven't seen or spoken to since high school and one KS I haven't seen or spoken to ...ever. I'm even lucky enough to wake up with one - each and every morning  :)

I find it absolutely amazing how beautifully powerful the energy of this "kinship" really is. It manifests instantly and lasts a lifetime. It transmits through cables and through signals in air. It defies time and distance.

It's really really wicked cool.


To wrap this up on a supremely cheesy note, here's a blast from the past and I'm sending it out to all my 'Friends' ...and when I say 'friends', I mean 'friend' friends.

p.s. I f#@king LOVE Elton John's voice. BAM!!

p.p.s. And, in case anyone is wondering what the hell the title of this post is all about ... It's the "How to Spell Friend" trick my Grade 4 teacher taught me ... it kinda stuck with me

p.p.p.s. And his hat. His voice and his hat.

p.p.p.p.s. And his mullet. His voice and his hat and his mullet. All are awesome.

Important Update #1 (May 26, 2011): Last night, my sweetie and I went to see the uproariously hilarious "Bridesmaids" ... Loved it!! I was absolutely tickled when the girls started to sing "That's What Friends Are For" as a weapon in their fantastic "I'm better friends with the bride than you are" battle ... and in light of my recent post regarding Intellectual Property Theft ... and to stave off any possible jeers or cries of  "Hypocrite!!!" aimed my way,  I checked the Canadian release date of the movie and compared it with the Global publishing date of my post and ... I was here first!!! I didn't inadvertently (or advertently for that matter) copycat the crazy women in the movie... Phew!!  :)


M said...

Fantabulous! I mean really fantabulous. Really, really. (oh and by the way I just had to ask my youngest if that's how you spell "really", really!)



J said...

This is great Karen!!! I get it "really"!

And I can't believe that was 1985...I love that song!!!


Karen said...

AMIGA! (that's 'amiga' amiga)
No really! I love his hat and bolo tie and the weird way he seems to be channelling Stevie Wonder right in the same video.
And what a relief that you finally dropped the F-bomb right there at the end. Phew!
I am going to go waaaaaay out on a limb (hey, hi there little squirrel) and say that I hope that *I* am one of your KSs... you are CERTAINLY one of mine:-) (No pressure, though)
(PS - I have always adored Dionne W)

squirrel_e_girl said...

Thank you so much M,J&K!! You guys are really nice and I really appreciate you taking the time to leave some really nice words. Really, really :)

Kris said...

This is a fantastic piece. You really hit the nail on the head as far as FB and the new dimensions it has added to the word "friendship".
I don't know you ALL that well, but I do find you to be a kindred spirit. (Ok, that was me going out on a limb...scary!)
I'm always reminded of the "reason, season, lifetime" quote about friendship... it seems to hold true, and it's easier to feel less guilt about your friendship duties when you think of it that way.
Hope you have a wonderful day!

squirrel_e_girl said...

Kris, My kindred spirits seem to be inching out to join me on my limb :) YAY!! You just happen to be the "one KS I haven't seen or spoken to ...ever." I'm very happy that you liked this post AND that you commented AND that you're out here on my squirrelly limb ... you're in some pretty awesome company. Like I said... I am a lucky kid :) Wishing a wonderful day right back atcha!!

Kris said...

Ha! That is awesome! YAY!! <3