The better friend
Friends of Women:
A wife was not at home for a whole night. So she tells her husband, the very next morning, that she stayed at her (girl) friend’s apartment overnight. So the husband calls 10 of her best (girl) friends and none of them confirm that she was with them.
Friends of Men:
A husband was not at home for a whole night. So he tells his wife the very next morning, that he stayed at his friend’s apartment over night. So the wife calls 10 of his best friends and 5 of them confirm that he stayed at their apartments that night and another 5 are claiming that he is still with them!!
There are two types of people in the world.
Those who think, “For caring and understanding and empathy, you need a woman”
Those who believe that “A guy makes the best friend”
What do I believe? Let’s see….
‘Friendship’ is a loaded term. It carries the weight of shared wavelength, support, caring, adjustment, loyalty and a zillion other things. Friends are people I’ve laughed with….a whole lot…since I enjoy laughing. Friends are also people who have the ability to make me cry…and they have.
There are people who have made me think and shaped the direction of my thoughts.
There are people who have stood by me in difficult times.
There are people who have been a part of my life simply because they needed me so much.
There are people who have cared….openly and silently.
There are people I can spend years talking to and never run out to things to talk about.
There are people with whom no words are necessary.
They were male. And female.
Who has been a better listener?
I think of my best friend who has spent years now listening to my raving and crazy ideas and silly jokes and doomsday predictions and still continues to say “Yes…go on…” I think of the many women who’ve occupied the position of ‘best friend’ in all these years….really, through all those childhood capers and teenage traumas and even most of life’s battles now, another woman truly understands what it feels like.
I also think of a certain guy who stays unshaken through my fiery declarations and my mood swings and who knows miraculously when to make me laugh and when to take me seriously.
Friendship is about fun in good measure.
Oh yes…..and I have a treasure-trove of memories of conversations and adventures and laughter. Admittedly the guys win over on this front. Right from my kiddie days when I came up with the idea of playing football on bicycles and only the guys took me up on the challenge (*sob* my sore ankles!)….the men I’ve known were definitely more open to new ideas. It has made conversations a hundred times more interesting. Then again, in this sea of male faces, I can think of two people who will be rocking, long past grandparenthood….both female. I would rather spend an hour talking to one of them than date a hot new guy.
If I were to share an apartment with someone, who would I choose? Two people come to mind…one male, one female. Damn….there goes another theory. Neither one of them cooks (which is a pity) but each of them is balanced and self-composed….an ideal counterfoil to my chaotic self.
Who do I go to, when I’m in trouble?
This really depends on what kind of trouble it is. I have spent hours talking to and listening to women friends, about problems. It is back-and-forth, dissecting to minute degrees, discussing emotions in great detail. It is not conclusive. Its not meant to be. There are so many things that don’t have straight answers, that just need to be experienced to be dealt with. Someone who helps you view such things in perspective is a good friend and for some reason women really are better at this. I talk to my guy friends when I want to be prodded out of my inertia, when I want to forget about my troubles and just focus on other stuff. Men are better at providing distractions and alternatives, women help me focus and clean-up messes.
I’ve been told quite often that I’d make a difficult girlfriend because my partner would feel threatened by the sheer number of men in my life. Yes, that is true….a bit. The men I’ve been close to certainly have displayed a definite tinge of green….right along to downright jealousy and control games. And then again, the one person who has been most insanely possessive of me was a woman.
This analysis is going nowhere. Whatever parameter I pick, it seems like one gender wins on quantity and the other on intensity.
Soumabh introduced me to a nice thought. How about redefining ‘masculinity’ and ‘feminity’ from meaning ‘behaviour exhibited by that sex’ to ‘aggressive, focussed, determined, active’ and ‘passive, creative, abstract, meditative’. Thus each trait may be displayed to some extent and in some combination by either gender.
I like that thought a lot. Except it doesn’t explain why I invariably have a horde of guy friends and few select women friends.
Maybe men just are a lot easier to get along with. And to get to know.
Maybe friendship with a woman requires more effort and is more fulfiling which explains why you don’t need too many.