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Relationships: The Friend of a Friend
No Love for Acquaintances
By Quail Bell Provocateur
Call me a Grinch, but I bristle at the liberal use of the word “friend.” A friend is someone I love. Sure, I wish I could love everyone, yet that would devalue the meaning of love. No heart is big enough to contain equal concern for all of the human population. Not even Mother Teresa's. We've got to prioritize. I prioritize my friends, my real friends—not friends of friends of friends of friends. Everyone else has to settle for my run of the mill respect and compassion. Chances are I won't be picking up the phone if non-friends call me at 3 a.m. on a weekday, though.
So are Shakira and Rihanna true friends? Would Shakira pick up the phone if Rihanna needed to talk to her about Chris Brown or Drake? Who knows, though their reps hope we think they are tighter than two suburban tweens who share Twizzlers and listen to Justin Beiber after soccer practice every Saturday. Of course, celebrity friendships are just as manufactured as celebrity marriages. So what does friendship mean for those of us outside of show biz? This question might especially resonate for those who find themselves without a date for Valentine's Day this Friday. Who will be there to dance the night away with you and trash-talk exes before you sober up?
In her book, Friendship: A History, editor Barbara Caine writes the following of platonic friendship:
“The meaning and importance of friendship have become questions of increasing interest in recent years, as declining rates of marriage and parenthood have made the family less central and friends more so in the lives of many people, particularly in the western world. Yet the history of friendship, and the ways in which it has changed its form and its meaning over time has only just begun to be discussed.”
In the District of Columbia, women's median age for their first marriage is the highest out of any U.S. state or territory: 29.7 years old. 70 percent of D.C. adults are unmarried. According to the blog Lovely, D.C. renters can save up to 61 percent by living with roommates—so plenty of people, who in other cities might live with a spouse, live with roommates instead The stereotype (and perhaps the truth) is that Washingtonians put their career first and romantic goals later. Thus, this isn't exactly the city for popping out babies or even simply having a boyfriend or girlfriend. That puts a lot more importance and pressure on friendship. And probably something greater than the Beyoncé-Lady Gaga kind.
But what does that mean exactly? What do you value in your friendships, fledglings?
#Friendship #Friends #ValentinesDay #Valentine #BeMine #Love
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