byNamrata SheshadriMar 30, 2017 #ThingsToDo 0 Likes
Sap warning: In a rare fit of sentimentality, I’m going to take up at least a paragraph or two highlighting the one thing in my life for which I’m extremely grateful: my friends.
As I get older (and really, that's the only way it's going now... the number goes up while gravity pulls parts of me down), people always ask with ever-increasing curiosity as to how I “fill the void” of a spouse, children or a significant other in general. My answer has always been “what void?” And not even in a smartass way. I just never realized that there was a rule that “happiness” or “contentment” or “being settled” or “growing up” could only come from a husband, two-point-four kids and white picket fences. The best and most fulfilling relationships in my life have always been my friendships. I mean, seriously, who else is going to put up with the fact that I snore AND drool while I sleep, and snort when I laugh, and have an unholy obsession with vampires, graphic novels and Coke?
And I have to thank the Universe or any higher powers out there for this: I got extremely, extraordinarily, fantastically lucky in the friends department. To the extent that I’ve never wanted for anything. Someone with whom to talk endlessly? Check. Someone with whom to be quiet? Mmhmm. Someone with whom to be crazy? Yep. Someone who restores my sanity (and keeps it in check)? Oh yeah. There are those with whom I get to be a child, others whom I (s)mother; people I listen to and people who indulge my rants; those I can speak to all day everyday and those with whom I can pick up the phone after 6 months or 6 years and pick right back up where we left off.
I’ve never understood the people who feel the need to stress on a “meaningful” relationship. Every relationship I have is meaningful. Every person matters. Every friendship is cherished and loved and valued and treated with worth, because let’s face it: it’s hard to come by genuine friends. I once had a teacher who imparted this rather morbid piece of wisdom: when we’re young, we think 500 friends aren’t enough; when we’re adults, we’re lucky if even 50 friends remain; in the end we should consider ourselves fortunate if even 5 people attend our funeral. I kind of took that to mean that those 5 would be the ride-or-die friends in my life: grounding, anchors, stalwart (no pressure, you know who you are). But even the others – who knows, right, when you meet a person with whom you just click? I firmly subscribe to the theory that soulmates extend beyond romantic partners, and that theory has helped me find some of the best people I know.
There are people who like to joke that I took the easy way out by staying single: marriage and kids is hard work, relationships are tough, communication is key, growing up is a kicking-screaming-drag-
And of course, there are the people who worry about the state of my s** life. FYI, a lady never f*cks and tells (except her best friends, of course).
There are always doomsayers, though – grim warnings that friends will grow up and have their own lives; children will come along and things will change; people won’t have time anymore. I don’t know about that: from what I’ve experienced so far, friends’ spouses are just new members added to the family; children have become the mini-mes of my favourite people, just there to be doted on (and, bonus, I get to be the cool aunt!), and if things have changed then we’ve rolled with the times. So our annual get-togethers have become bi-annual; we’re not smoking weed or drinking copious amounts anymore (erm, as often as we used to); we’re learning to curb our enthusiastic f-bombs and maa-ki/ ben-di (and ohmygod, it is really difficult to remember to say fudge instead of, you know). But there has never been the question of feeling like I’m missing out on anything: I truly couldn’t ask for more. Forget the void, I have an overabundance of love in my life, and you better believe I’m grateful for it (and the best part is, I don’t even have to deal with the smelly diapers).
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