A Friendly Metaphor

There are many different kinds of friendships. I don’t have the time and the patience to go through them all right now, but as you get older, you start to realize that your relationships aren’t the same as they always were.

Once, it was all or nothing. Either you invited me to your Power Rangers birthday or we were over. Then you grow to learn there can be friends and friequantences. Eventually you have coworkers you’re friendly with and friends you work with. 

Now, in my life, I have discovered a new kind of friendship that I am fortunate enough to have in my life. I think I’ll call it Residual Friendship.

In college, I was in a sorority.

I’m going to need you to stop laughing for a second so I can finish my story. I’ll elaborate on that some other time.

Anyway, this organization introduced me to girls who would become the best friends and the worst enemies I had ever known. Some girls I literally considered family, girls I would do anything for and who I knew had my back no matter what.

Eventually the sorority ended, and we all moved on. We graduated, we migrated, we integrated. We scattered. Then I looked around from my new spot in the world and I realized I could still see some of these girls I once called my sisters.

It’s true, we don’t live in the same dorms anymore. We don’t see each other for weekly meetings or every weekend at this party or that one. In fact, if we see each other more than once in a month we consider it a good month. Yet, we still have a special bond. We still have that sense of comfort with each other, that caring, that inherent knowledge that we have each other’s back.

I realized that this type of relationship, these Residual Friendships, they are a unique group. It doesn’t include only people I went to college with – I have some leftover from elementary school, high school and even my summers home in college.

Some friendships fade, leaving only memories behind. Residual Friendships step back into the shadows, but, when called upon, are still as bright and strong as ever.

Maybe Residual Friendship isn’t the right name for it. That almost makes it sound like something left over, just a trace. This is more than that. A Top-Shelf Friendship, perhaps? Something you tuck away and might even start to forget about, but then when you find it again, it’s still in the condition you left it in, with the possible exception of a thin layer of dust. But that’s easy enough to brush off to reveal the wonder underneath.

Yeah, I think I like that metaphor better. Makes it sound classier, too.

Tonight I peeked on my Top Shelf and found some old friends sitting there. I dusted them off with some questions and polished them with conversation.

Then they were as good as new.

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~ by Valerie Anne on 06/29/2011.

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