Wanna be my friend?

    When I was little, I used to hang around the pool at Ramon’s, swimming all day, getting wrinkly, floating around watching the puffy clouds float by in the sky, amusing myself while my mother did the housekeeping for the rooms assigned to her. The summers I spent at that pool always come back to me in a rush when I see two little girls, often a little local girl meeting a visitor. The first words are so important. "Hi, I am so-and-so. Wanna be my friend?"

    For however long she remains on the island, she is the bestest friend in the whole wide world. She’s the first person you go looking for in the morning as soon as you hit the hotel grounds, and for the rest of the day, it’s a discovery and an adventure, learning a little bit more about each other. I had one friend who would lift up her skirt every morning to show off her colorful underwear. I had to pull down my pants since I loathed skirts, but we had great fun comparing lacy (me) versus cotton (her). I met so many children, and it was wonderful to say I had TONS of friends. I never saw them again, but it was such a beautiful friendship for the time that it lasted that I only have the good memories.

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    If only I could say the same about the friends I have now.

    Truly, I am laughing as I type it, but it’s a sad sort of laugh, when I think about the drama and childish behavior I find us going through. Weren’t we supposed to be grown-ups? Weren’t all those young friendships the perfect stepping stones to learning how to share, including secrets that never got told outside of the two of us? What about spending quality time with each other, without having to spend outrageous amounts of money?

    I’ve been observing how some people get together with friends, and often, especially in this society I know and love, it means bring something to drink, the hostess goes all out to provide snacks, and a lot of the gathering is centered around a sporting event, or something that everyone focuses on instead of each other, and the company.

    Let’s not forget about all the backstabbing that happens as well. Women are VICIOUS! Truly, I sometimes wonder about my gender. Aren’t we supposed to be sugar and spice and all things nice? Boys, for all the frogs and snails and tails, at least are up front about what they’re all about (frogs, snails, tails…). We women have a routine that includes, choosing the perfect outfit to wear so as to stand out from friends, outshining them if necessary. Then the war paint is slapped on, making every good feature stand out, and hiding every flaw possible. We put on the best clothes, jewelry, accessories - short of lifting up skirts to show off the La Perla lingerie, or Victoria’s Secret, essentially, we’re showing off.

    But if we’re truly friends, shouldn’t that be the last thing on our mind? Who cares what you’re wearing! And why the gossip about others – including acquaintances, and friends of friends? Truly, we’re nowhere near the innocent and fun little girls we once were.

    Or was lifting the skirt to show off the beginning of something dark and dangerous? Come to think of it, we’d rope in a boy or two and ask whose underwear was prettier. Come to think of it, every morning, I would choose underwear carefully too, hmmm…okay. Maybe we weren’t so innocent even then. That is a depressing thought - because I sure would like it to be a matter of enjoying the best of each other, offering friendship truly and freely.

    Ultimately, I think being friends with someone means that they have met the standards that YOU have surpassed for yourself. What’s the point in expecting all this love and great fun if you’re not capable of giving the same? So every time you state the obvious, or mow over someone’s feelings because they don’t match yours, think about what kind of friend you’re being. Isn’t variety the spice of life or some such cliché like that? It truly is, so if a friend is into the mystical or transcendental beliefs, who is to say that is the wrong thing to be into? Like your beliefs are any better? It’s about having fun with each other, and respecting another human being who obviously likes you enough to consider you a friend. That is all. No need to compare underwear, no need to outwit or ‘be better’. If, as you say, you can point out the flaw in someone’s belief, then when someone points out the flaws in your logic, it’s par for the course. We do it because we love and want you to be better – at least, true friends do.

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