I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship lately. Before I left New Mexico, I considered myself to have one friend and a little under 100 friendly acquaintances (and about double that of byte-sized acquaintances). Now that I’ve been here in Australia for 2 months or so, I consider myself to have 1+3+2+1+1+1+3 (12) good friends and a buncha-buncha friendly acquaintances.
I strongly suspect my definition of ‘friend’ changed, but I don’t see how. Here is my personal hierarchy of friendship:
- True friends who know everything about you, who you talk to regularly, and who you could say absolutely anything to (the test: get arrested and see if they bail you out of jail).
- Good friends who you spend a lot of time with, you could talk to if you had problems (the test: avoid them for a week, and see if they seek you out).
- Buddies who are a blast to be around, but you would likely not ask them to help you paint a barn if the situation came up (the test: you hang out with them, but they cringe or avoid talking about serious topics with you).
- Friendly Acquaintances who you talk to if you run into them, but don’t do much outside of your usual sphere of connectivity (the test: You stop to chat and you’re genuinely interested in them, but plans just never seem to materialise when you’re together).
- Byte-Sized Acquaintances who you say hi to when you walk by but not much else (the test: they know your name, but not both your phone number and address).
Perhaps I’ve been thinking about this a lot because I have a paper on it due tomorrow, but more than likely it was something a friend of mine said a few weeks ago whilst we were driving in circles around the Uni together. I’d commented on how my particular frame of mind would not work for most people, because it’s depression taken to the absurdity (where it’s not really depression anymore, so much as tongue-in-cheek self-deprication). Unfortunately, it came out as if I said I was constantly depressed (I’m a conversational eddy: I circle around in big loops until I get to the point. Most people can’t tolerate this and jump to conclusions for me… with hilarious results). Quoth the Angela:
“Why do I hang out with you then?”
And off I go, for two weeks, concentrating on the question of why did that question offend me so?
I think it offended me because it felt like she thought I was a buddy whereas I felt like we were at least good friends.
I worry about the silliest things sometimes.