I’m currently having another sleepless night. You know the kind of night where you just lay in bed, flipping and turning, pulling the covers over you only to kick them back off. Arm under the head. One leg kicked out to the side. On your back. On your stomach. Adjust the pillow. Stick one foot out of the blankets. Sleep is just not coming tonight.
So then your mind starts to just wander. You think about things you need to do tomorrow, this weekend, next week, next month, next year. You make your grocery list. You think about which bills are going to be due soon. Is it time to get the oil changed in your car? What kind of flowers are you going to plant in your garden this year? That cat video on Facebook was so funny. Do you have clean socks for work tomorrow? Froot Loops are the greatest breakfast cereal ever. One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish. I do not eat green eggs and ham. I do not eat them, Sam I am . . . damn you, Dr. Seuss!
That is where I am right now. I’m stuck in a cycle of nonsensical thoughts and Dr. Seuss ramblings. Sleepless nights are so much fun! I much prefer the crazy-ass dreams that come after watching a random movie or reading the book of Revelation in the Bible.
One thought popped into my head, and it wouldn’t pop back out. Friendship. Have you ever really given much thought to how friendship works.
Off all the people you encounter in a day . . . at the gas station, at the grocery store, at the gym, at work, anywhere . . . why are we only friends with the select few people in our lives? There are a few hundred people who go to my church. I talk with many of them, but I am really and truly friends with only a handful of them. Why? What makes one person get deemed as STATUS: ACQUAINTANCE ONLY! Yet another person in the exact same social setting is suddenly your new bestie.
There is always that defining “me, too” moment in friendships.
“I hate carrots.” “Me, too!”
“I think Elvis is the greatest musician to ever live.” “Me, too!”
“I celebrate Pi Day every year.” “Me, too!”
That opens the doorway to discussion about other things you have in common. Before you know it, you and that person are like Siamese twins, connected by your snarky senses of humor.
But what about the people in your life that you really don’t have that much in common with. That person who always disagrees with everything you say and think, but still you couldn’t imagine your life without their input? Th two of you lacked that “me, too” moment, but you’re still friends. Why? What is the connection? What drew your cerebellum to their cerebellum and made you friends?
I’ve had plenty of “me, too” friends. Those are the easy friendships. Tiffany, Jon, Tim, Brian, HollieJo . . . just to name a few. They, and many other “me, too” friends have come through my life. In most cases I don’t know how or even why we first spoke. But whatever the reason, that first conversation obviously had a moment of fireworks and glitter and angels singing as one of us cried emphatically, “me, too.”
But then there are the non-me-too friends. Bill, Bobby, John . . . the ones that have tested my patience, made me shake my head, argued with me, and broadened my life beyond my own little everyday world. There was no fireworks, glitter, angels singing, or anything during the first conversation with any of those people. There was a heavy sigh, possibly a collective groan, definitely a raised and defiant eyebrow. There were heated discussions, and loud arguments. There were toes stepped on and feelings hurt. And yet we were friends. Why?
Of all the people in the world, off all the people I see on a weekly or even daily basis, why am I friends with some people and not others. In an effort to find out the answer to how friendship works I took my question to the one and only source that is the authority on EVERYTHING . . . Google! On a side note: googling how friendship works is about as useful as googling your symptoms when you feel ill. I still don’t know how friendship works, but I’m pretty sure that I’m dying.
The Care and Maintenance of Friendship at psychcentral.com
How to Maintain a Friendship at wikihow.com
The 3 Requirements of All Healthy Friendships at huffingtonpost.com
What is Friendship? at people.howstuffworks.com
10 Ways to Make (and Keep) Friendships as an Adult at psychologytoday.com
And, of course, what would any google search be without an entry from everyone’s favorite user-edited online encyclopedia . . .
Friendship at Wikipedia
You know what I learned from all of these articles?
It will forever remain an unanswered question for the ages. Sleep will continue to be elusive and I will continue to listen to my Elvis clock tick as I wonder how friendship really works.
Until next time . . .