As a child we so looked forward to seeing our cousins and friends. You didn’t think of it as such at the time, but this was your gang, your peers, and the people who loved doing the same things you loved to do, when you wanted to do it, or you bit them. If you were one of the tallest children in the gang they rarely bit you back.
The world of teenagers revolves around friends. They judge their own worth against the opinion of those young people they admire, often for the wrong reasons. Their nonconformist clothing morphs into a uniform which defines the decade its worn in. Never mind that hip huggers on some turn other girls into muffin tops. If it’s the dress code of the hour, you squeeze your butt into them. Piercings, face tattoos, and safety pins pushed through the eye lids look so right when you are sixteen through twenty-one. Then you look for a job. Friends during these fragile years lift up or devastate you with their words and actions. Criticisms are harsh and reflect their own insecurities on you. But these are your homies. I am so glad not to be a teenager today.
Child rearing years push many friends into the low priority status. So much of our time is devoted to those darlings we’ve brought into the world, and whom we owe our undivided attention. Outside friendships are relegated to those people who are in the same stage of life as yourself. They need to be able to relate to diapers, school projects, drug worries, dances, driver permits, the need to discuss birth control, or they will be bored to death by the things that are such an important part of your current life. Married and single individuals hang out infrequently and those outings are often, “remember when”.
Ah, forty-five, fifty and so forth. The wonder years. Your gang now spans many years of age from perhaps forty to infinity and beyond, the phrase my friend buzz light year coined. No we don’t always like the same music, but we do love hanging out together with no need to be anyone but who we really are. While we may admire someone’s style, there is no pressure in taking it for our own. Truly non conformity. We can disagree and still call on each other to meet for dinner. Parties run the gamut from polite conversation and exchange of ideas to singing, dancing, loud fun exhanges. Taking real pleasure in our friends successes to the mingling of tears when they have sorrow.
Friends made during middle age and going forward are those where competition is a thing of the past. You would never tell a friend that they look good in an outfit when they don’t. They raise your spirits, and if a misunderstanding occurs, it’s not the end of the friendship. They show up at your door to straighten it out. When the gang does come over to play, they don’t look in the corners for dust, and best of all, I rarely have to bite them.
Yes, somethings never change, much. What has changed throughout the years is for the better. Love you my friends. May the wind always be at your back.