Monday, 7 November 2011

Who is Your Most Far-Out Friend?

I've been thinking a lot about friendship. Friendship is very, very important for Single people, but also important to many married people. Having a husband is not a kind of one-stop-shopping of the heart. A husband is not a girl-friend in male form. Definitely not. Many (most?) people need all kinds of relationships. Being married means you have only one marital/erotic relationship; it does not mean you give up all other relationships.

One of the small deprivations of married life in Britain--don't laugh--is that I don't really get to hug anybody. It's not a huggy country. There is mwah-mwah social kissing--or there is when I am around as it's not a Scottish thing--but no hugs. It's a small island, and the islanders are careful with their space.

Anyway, having come to Britain as a middle-aged foreign spouse, I cannot depend on my old school friends and old college chums for day-to-day friendship. Facebook, email and Skype are godsends, but the truth is that I am most likely to socialize with somebody local. And, given that most married British women my age are at work and already have lots of friends, it is not surprising that I am most likely to hang out with church friends, especially other expats.

The most recent addition to my daily life is a twenty-something Central European male graduate student of Islamic Studies, which strikes me as rather funny. So I thought I'd open up the combox to readers and ask you describe a friend whose company you very much enjoy but who is not very much like you.


Anna said...

One of my friends is a musician in his early 50s (I'm in my late 20s). He has never been married, but he spent his 20s and 30s raising his sister's children. Now he lives on the other side of the country and I miss being able to spend evenings at his place, drinking wine and playing guitar.

I'm a practicing Orthodox Christian and he doesn't have a religion, other than music, perhaps. But we are both grateful for what each of us brings to the friendship.

Jam said...

The vast majority of my acquaintances are not religious, but most of my friends are at least somewhat involved in some kind of church. I have one really good work-friend who is very anti-religion because of his family. I had a nice long talk with a peace-and-justice Mennonite colleague over the weekend about the hostility in the academy toward religious people.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Staying with me right now is my oldest and most precious friend, Vicky. She is nine years younger than I, not in the least religious and a non-specific social liberal who has just finished film school. She is also, very unusually for me, a woman.

Despite what we tend to think, it is rarely the obvious things that one has to have in common with others if you want to maintain a friendship. Vicky and I are very much alike in so many non-obvious ways it is nearly impossible to list them all.

Other close friends of mine have included a 73 year old English history professor and journalist, several priests, and the occasional apostate.

The world is full of people.

Ramon said...

Well, I find this interesting because I was having this kind of discussion with my ex girlfriend for the last year. We were so much alike in some interests and philosophy but in other ways could not be more dis-alike.

She always contended that we needed to be best friends like she was with her girlfriends or I with my guy friends. I always look for friends who are not like me, because I learn so much from them and their perceptive, you start after some time finding pieces of you in them and they find themselves in you as well.

Take something as simple as food, it is usually a friend that introduces you to a new type of food that they like.

This blog is an example of what I was saying because she was always telling or reading parts of this blog to me for us to discuss. Now from time to time I read it.

I have this artist friend, he is very very extremely impractical and I am the opposite in being practical. Sometimes I am almost unpractical about being practical. He does seem to be practical when I am not so I guess it works out. But his sensitivity to things and colors and the environment is what I feel I gain. Most times I just "suck it up" and loose of some details because of this.I choose to not be some intellectual but in many ways I am lol or go about something in a intellectual way.

Lena said...

My friend who is an atheist who helped me set up my Catholic blog.When I think off the whole of her, I don't think she's that far out.