My daughter is 9 and is at that age where her friendships fiercely matter to her.Oh my gosh the drama ( I act interested but in my mind I am slightly amused as i know it really is not that serious) .I am also trying to make her see in an age appropriate way that friendship and female friendships especially don’t have to be drama filled relationships. I totally reject the stereotype that women can’t have fulfilling and empowering friendships .Anyone who knows me knows that I am a firm believer and advocate of female friendships. Sorry I am not one of those people who thinks your husband can take the place of ALL your friends.I also don’t think you should take the place of all his friends either. Of course your spouse should be your friend BUT there is a certain relatability that comes from friendship of the same gender that you might not necessarily get with your spouse..And before I am misunderstood (I have had this conversation with people who say ‘ my only friends are my children & my husband’ ) it is my opinion that no one human being should be any other human being’s ALL in ALL. It’s just too much of a burden to place on one person (again my opinion).
Now I get that friendship can sometimes be tricky but despite that I still think it is something worth giving a shot. I tend to think something is ‘off’ about people who go on and on about ‘ there being no ‘real friendships’ ‘frenemies’ ‘ female friendships are fake ‘ etc etc Even the bible says He who desires friends must also make himself friendly.
So let’s get back to my daughter and her friendships, she currently has about 5 or 6 BFF’s. Yup 5 or 6. Very friendly child my daughter and to be honest I see a lot of me in her at that age. My mum used to call me ‘the friend child’. Till date, i still find it soo easy to make friends,.Just to demonstrate how easily I make friends,I have a contact on my phone called ‘Kemi Train Friend’. Yup, I don’t know her surname but you won’t believe some of the deep conversations that we used to have.We used to get the same 8.17am train, and just used to smile at each other.(I kinda guessed she was Nigerian again I don’t go out of my way to avoid Nigerians like I have been advised to by some but gist for another day ).One week , I realised I had not seen her for a while and then I saw her the next Monday, I walked up to her and asked if she was ok.Voila we started talking,realised we worked in the same sector and she became my friend sharing all sorts on our 20 min journey We both changed jobs so we don’t get the same train anymore but we still say hello once in a while .Is it friends that i have made on Facebook or Instagram ? Or the ones I make on flights ,in training,elevator in short everywhere .People thought me and my NYSC(national youth service corp) ‘bunk mate ‘ had known each other for years after just 3 weeks in orientation camp. I can make friends very easily but keeping and being in touch is another story entirely. We might as well call some of them ‘connections’ or ‘acquittances’. That said though, I have also made lifelong friendships in the oddest of places.
So like me,my daughter makes friends easily. But apart from being at an age where peers matter.she is also such a ‘friend & bff child’ like my mother called me .And she loves her BFFs so very dearly as even my wallet can testify. She makes me buy matching souvenirs for her BFFs if we go on holiday sometimes even sacrificing stuff for herself .And at her age and even much much later I also had BFFs(best friends forever) who I actually thought we would be soo close for FOREVER. After all we saw each other everyday at school,uni,work,home or wherever was the common denominator for our friendship
But as I have grown older I have to come to realise that is not always the case. Despite my earlier grand talk and firm belief in female friendships, I look inwardly now and I don’t think I have a bestie.Yes(face palm )I don’t have a bestie or BFF. Before all my friends crucify me( I love you all )let me explain what I mean.
Every time I scroll through social media, I see tributes to besties.I see friends who more or less practically do most things together.Wear the same clothes some children’s even call the other’ 2nd mummy’. They are in each other’s business and it’s obvious they talk ALL the time. Not just on social media but I know real life friendships and besties whose lives are so intertwined.
Now before I come across as those friendless people I spoke about it in earlier paragraphs, I actually think this is so cool and the reason why I don’t have this depth or type of friendship is all ME. Its all my fault. I am trying to be better but I fall short of the level of selflessness that I see in these friendships.
Most people automatically assume that I am an extrovert. And I agree to a certain extent but I think as I grow older I am an extrovert who enjoys her own company.Thinking about it in hindsight, it’s probably always been more so but more pronounced now when I don’t feel the need to be please people at my own detriment anymore.I remember going to children’s parties with a novel in hand just in case . But I would still dance and end up winning the dancing competition. My mum would say ‘why are you taking a book to a party?’ but it was always something I had as a back up that I could retreat into.
So yes ,I am that flaky friend who would say yes to going a party with you and then dread it the Friday before( and most likely cancel).I hide in my room from my own 2 children sometimes so the thought of being a second mummy to an extra 3 or 4 children terrifies me (oops I just admitted that) . Maybe if I had a live in nanny .I need like 3 weeks to mentally prepare for ‘second mummy’ duties on my own and I really really envy women who can handle loads of children at once. I don’t text back on time. I don’t pick up my phone when you want to gist cos I have put it on airplane mode cos I don’t want to talk to anyone ( giving too much away now LOL) .I don’t like cooking and so those days when you just had a baby or moved house that I should be bringing you pepper-soup or bowls of jollof rice in solidarity as a good bestie ;Me = useless. May I also add I HATE SHOPPING, so you can’t even send me on an errand to get you those shoes for your naming ceremony. I could if you won’t mind me ordering them online. I also don’t do well just popping in to your house. I feel very uncomfortable intruding on people and would rather just read a book or watch tv than talk on some evenings. I even have a time out from my husband and children sometimes where I just want to be on my own.
Ok so now that I have gotten out why I am not the best ‘girly’ bestie around,let me share the ways that i can be a good friend even if not I am the best ‘BFF’. I am a woman’s woman and I love anyone I call my friend.Not to be cliche and all but I am so happy to see my friends do well. If you start a business, I will go out of my way to support you even if it’s not something that I really need. I will do anything within my sphere of influence to help you make that dream come true. I see my friends successes as a sign that it’s possible and will brag about it cos I love seeing people like me portray excellence. I won’t give you drama and won’t mind if you don’t call me back until a week later cos I totally understand( or I am just making excuses for myself as I do the same LOL). I will also try my utmost to be the encourager who wants to see you joyful,happy and fulfilled. I will see in you what you might not even see in yourself. I will pray for you even if I don’t tell you that I do and even if we don’t see often. I will be the listening ear & sounding board if that is what you require
Like I said earlier,I love female friendships and I do sincerely think that my life has been enriched by the good friends that God has blessed me with. So even though I am not ‘bestie’ material do know that if I call you my friend, I love and cherish our friendship. I can’t think of any of my ‘old’ BFFs who I have actually fallen out with. We might drift apart due to life and responsibilities but if you were once a ‘BFF’ you have definitely been a thread in the weaving of Oyindamola’s life .So even if we don’t speak or see for ages,know that I love you and wish you all the best from the bottom of my heart.
So please do share in comments if you still have a BFF or shout out to your BFF’s of old. Pls don’t make me feel like the only weirdo in this world without a BFF LOL.
Please also do share with your friends.
Thank you for reading and have a lovely (short) working week & Easter weekend everyone
Photo credit – Pinterest