Cassie is my best friend these days. We’ve known each other for 15 years now, having originally met when working together for a couple of years. We haven’t been in close contact throughout the whole 15 years – far from it, in fact, as her life and career have taken many twists and turns – but a year ago she became single for the first time in about 17 years, so she had time on her hands to work on forging new friendships and reviving some neglected ones. Fortunately, I was one of the old friends who was available and very willing to spend some fun times with her! She is funny, practical, quick-witted, hard-working, intelligent and caring. She calls a spade a spade. I am already quite reliant on her for social activities – which is a potential problem, because I suspect she will get into a new romantic relationship before too much longer.
Tanya is a friend I see only three or four times a year, because we no longer live conveniently close to one another. She also worked with me in the same place as Cassie, but several years after Cassie moved on, so they don’t know each other at all. Tanya is rather glam, usually in a business suit when we meet up, and always seems to have a full diary. I’ve known her since 2000 or thereabouts. For me she has always been an encourager, a motivator, a reassurer – especially in bleak times.
Hannah was my closest friend for most of the last six years, after we got to know each other while living in the same shared house. She is creative, funny, doubtful, outgoing, frustrated. As recently as spring 2010, I visited her when she was living in another country for a few months. When she returned to our city, she needed a new job, and – by pure coincidence – she ended up working for the same company that I work for. Now she works just a few steps away from me every day, but our friendship has fallen by the wayside this year. I think it has run its course. I suppose she now sees me as part of the landscape of a job where she is not particularly happy, so I no longer have any connection with enjoyable things in her life, and she seems uninterested in changing that state of affairs.
Eliza was my housemate until a year ago, and that experience was intense enough that it merited a goal of its own here on 43T. This year she has moved to London to take on a challenging new job. It’s unlikely that we will see each other again, but I am glad that we were on good terms by the end.
Veronica is a beautiful, confident, spiritual person with whom I worked closely from 2005 to 2007. She is also very popular and knows a lot of people in this small city, so only rarely have we managed to meet up in recent years. A few weeks ago we caught up over coffee and she dragged me to an exercise class! It was a funny experience, and it was good to see her, but I know that she is too busy, too focused on her own goals in life, to have much time in her life to revive our friendship.
One of the patterns that you may be able to spot is that all of the above, and most of my other friends, are female, and I am not. I feel fortunate and blessed to have the friends that I have, but I know it is a weakness – both practically and symbolically – that I have hardly any male friends. 6 months ago