When The Rain Starts to Pour
By Haleema Khan
A few days ago, I was talking to my oldest best friend, when he asked me if I knew what my kind-of-best-friend was up to recently. The minute the words came out of his mouth, the red birthmark on my forehead flared up, like it always does when I’m upset; he had clearly touched a nerve. And no, it wasn’t because I had no idea what this said kind-of-best-friend was up to these days; it was because I’m an “insecure kind of girl”.
My oldest best friend went on to describe to me how the concept of friendship had dwindled into non-existence nowadays. He said 8 out of 10 people that you meet will only befriend you if you have something that will interest them. So right from the start, you should make it clear what it is that you bring to the table, show these people what you’ve got to give, and you’ll be good to go. In return you single out the people you think could be of use to you. If want you really want to be a part of a certain crowd, you compromise and do whatever it takes to make sure you make friends with those kinds of people. According to him, that was the new mantra of friendship.
This made me wonder – had friendship suddenly transformed itself into the art of give and take? What was it about me that made people want to be my friend? My heart sank and paranoia took over me. Did people only like me because of what I could do for them? And if all this were true, would my ‘friends’ abandon me if I ceased to be of any use to them? Furthermore, why wasn’t I in on all of these latest developments? Then it struck me. In the department of friendship, I was a failure to launch.
I wondered, maybe it wasn’t friendship that had taken on a new meaning. Perhaps it was me; I guess somewhere between not caring and…not caring, I had started to care too much. Maybe the optimist in me believed too much in the concept of ‘friends forever’, that I ignored the voice of the pessimistic side of me, the pessimistic half of me that always wounds up being right. Maybe these newfound principles of friendship weren’t exactly new at all. Could it be that I had known about this all along, and just chosen not to believe?
Carrie Bradshaw once said, “Sometimes it takes a friend to make a picture perfect, but a picture perfect friendship…well, that’s just ethos.” As I sit here writing this, with my life a complete mess, I smile thinking that if someone like Carrie, who had the best friends anyone could ever ask for, can feel this way, who am I to complain?