When I was a younger mother, a woman with children who were involved in many activities, I found myself making situational friends, people I would come into contact at every water polo match or in front of the tutoring office or at the school. Most if not all of these people, these situational friends, were really nice, and some branched out into casual friends. There were lunches and walks and such, but while some of these friendships lasted a year or two past the activity, all of them are now over. If I see the person somewhere, I say hello, but they often just remind me of a time, a place, a world that I do not live in now.
It is confusing when situational friends are mixed up with close friends. A crisis, an urgency of some kind can push people together. When the crisis is over, the people stay friends, thinking that because something so hard or horrible or painful or intense pushed them together, the friendship must be true, real, strong, and close. And sometimes, that isn't the case.
I do have a group of friends who were situational friends, and then over a course of years and due to a bizarre event (one of the women in a circle pretended to have cancer), we grew closer. almost twenty years since we first met, we are still all friends, so the bedrock was there, the bizarre event pulled us together and kept us tight.
But I also had a friend, whom I met during a time of need, on both our parts. We had things in common (like a huge desire to change our lives) and an interest in things creative. When the desire to change grew truly life changing and we both left our spouses, we came together over that, traveling here and there and basically being two middle aged girls about town. We were looking for love in all the wrong places and invariably found it.
The situation, then, began to change. I actually did find love in the right place. I slowed down, pulled away from the intensity of the life changing quest. My friend did not, walking the fire wire at wild clubs, going back to the tainted well for love over and over again and getting sick each time. There were also unfortunate minglings of worlds. As one of my close friends says, "Don't let your worlds collide."
Well, my friend came into my world and things collided. It was and still is a mess. So I decided to pull back, let go, and what has happened is what happened with my other situational friends over the years. There is no gaping hole left in the space where the friendship used to be. This fact seems sad because of the intensity of the situation that brought my friend and me together. But it's not really sad. Like the people I met over the years because of my kids, my friend and I helped each other get through a time, a situation. We were able to hold each other up when things got rough, and things often did. We could commiserate and discuss and then go have a drink. Even though that time is over and the friendship didn't really survive, I remember my friend fondly, as one might remember a war buddy. We fought, we hunkered in a fox hole, we hoped we would survive. And we both did.
Causes Jessica Inclan Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org