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Monday, March 15, 2010

Southern Girls Living Fearlessly - Two Kinds of Friends

Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other's gold.
--Old summer camp song from Jennie Arnold Edwards YWCO Camp

I've been humming that tune since I got back from my annual girls' weekend with sorority sisters from my college days. I firmly believe every southern girl should cultivate two kinds of friends:

  1. The ones who knew her way back when
  2. The ones who know her now

Friends from back when allow us to be that silly, giggly girl from our teens or twenties. The one who told that bad Santa Claus joke any time she had the floor. The one who sunbathed on the roof in February so she would be ready for spring break in March. The one who pretended to like champagne and who re-enacted the When Harry Met Sally cafe scene, in public places, whenever she got the whim. They're the friends with whom we shared a wardrobe and our wild side.

Way back when friends forgive us for ditching them for a date with a boy. They recall all the gory details of Pledge Formal and don't mind if we've chosen to forget them. These friends remind us of when we weren't mamas and wives and responsible working adults. We are bound to them by history and they love us.

The friends who know us now are just as important. They accept the sophisticated, polite, lady-like woman we've grown into without ever comparing us to our past. They keep us from lingering too long in yesteryear when the present isn't all we thought it would be. They support us. They civilize us.

Friends who know us now chat with us about the mundane details of daily life and never grow bored with the conversation. They love our children like we do. They loan us a bottle of wine on a Sunday night or a pair of shoes on a Saturday. They feed our dog and pick up our mail when we go on vacation. They carpool our kids, bring casseroles when we're sick, and attend every Girls' Night Out, no excuses. We can count on them.

TODAY'S ASSIGNMENT: We take our friends for granted, expecting them to be there when we have time for them. Today, be intentional about your friendships. Contact at least one old friend with whom you have fallen out of touch. Plan a get-together - a movie, dinner, a tour of homes, whatever - with a current friend. Gold and silver are too precious to let them slip away.