Sunday, July 25, 2010

On Friendship

I have two friends who don't get along anymore. Let's call them Taco and Cake.

I love them. Taco is crunchy, spicy goodness. When I first met her I was drawn by how crazy intense she was. Taco is really smart and loves to party.
Taco introduced me to cake. Cake is lush, and sweet, and quiet. She is chocolatey awesomeness. If you're sick, cake will bring you a treat and rub your back for you. Cake listens to your problems and is always on your side. Cake is always there for you.

One day Taco was having some serious personal issues. Like most of us, she is a normal taco person, trying to find her way in the world. She may have a hard outer shell but she's not impervious. She started talking about some of her difficulties.

Cake jumped in and offered some unsolicited advice.

Taco, like me, is NOT a fan of unsolicited advice. She was also having the kind of trouble where she really needed reassurance that it is OK to be herself. Tacos are awesome. She need a Taco hug and some wasn't a tough love moment.

Taco got pissed off.

She put her shell back on and geared up for war. I watched, horrified, as Cake and Taco battled it out. Things were said, actions were taken. It was awful. Taco entrails and cake crumbs went flying.

Cake and Taco don't talk any more. It's over. I still hang out with Cake, and Taco and I are buds, but they don't get each other at all. Taco can be a little prickly but sometimes that is what you want. Other times your sweet tooth demands chocolate cake. But now, if you put them together, it just ends in a giant stomachache. I don't want them to be cranky that I still see the good in each. I wouldn't be able to choose between them.

Because friendships are complicated. Your friend is never going to be exactly who you think they should be, they won't act all the time like you want them to act, and they aren't always going to be, for you, exactly what you need in a friend. That's why we need multiples of them. I need the one who is always going to tell me the truth, and the one who will give me a hug when I'm blue, and the one who challenges me to make me think or to be a better person or to stop wearing the same fucking nail polish color all the time. I need the friend that makes me know it's ok to be me and the friend that makes me feel safe enough to get crazy when I need that too.

It's not ok for friends to damage each other, but sometimes that happens. We brush up each other in this life and hopefully it enriches us as people, but sometimes it leaves bumps and bruises and chips in our armor. I don't think friends should be cruel to each other. A true friendship is one in which you can be honest and open and know how to say true things when the other person is ready to hear them and in the way they need to hear it. One thing I've learned in my years of friendship is that it's my job to try to BE the best friend I can be and give my friend what she needs - and it's also my job to accept her for who she is, flaws and prickly bits and mushiness and all.


  1. Thats why I stick to WEEDBURGER!

  2. I love love love you :)

  3. Some Tacos and some Cakes just aren't compatible, but if a friend tries to force you to choose between the two, they aren't really a friend at all.

  4. RE: Panda - nope, no choosing. Everyone is better than that. :)