We’re going to be friends

The way Carol tells it, I drove to their house, sat across the kitchen table from her and said,”I’m going to be your friend.”

I don’t remember it that way.

She and her husband were our new pastors. They were new to the area and she didn’t seem pleased to be here. We had kids the same age and in the same grades at school. We grew up listening to the same songs and watching the same shows. We knew the lyrics and lingo. We got each other.

It’s hard to make friends when you’re the pastor. People expect different from you. Our previous pastors were older. They were our leaders, not our friends.

Maybe Carol’s version is right.

She’s an introvert. Her mind always seems to be whirling, organizing and probablydoing quantum physics in her head. We’re as different as night and day and not just about quantum physics. I celebrate spelling it, she knows what it means.

Carol could change hair style as quickly as some people change shoes. From her dark brown bob to a streaked, short-cropped do that you couldn’t pretend not to notice. If it wasn’t what she expected, “It will grow out” she said. And it did, again and again.

While she was busy creating a computer program in her head, I was busy with my hands sewing. Her style was American classic and mine was DIY country. She’s 5’10’ and wears heels. I’m 5’4” and prefer sandals or Chucks.

Yes, we’re going to be friends. You can trust me. No expectations, just friendship.

It’s the people in my life who are different from me that make me better. They give perspective and model grace by accepting my differences.

Sometimes friends just happen. They develop organically. But sometimes you have to sit across the table, look them in the eye and say, “we’re going to be friends.”

The good ones will stick around. If they don’t, everyone is better off.

I asked my Facebook friends if people had to apply to be their friends, what would be on the application? Here are a few of their responses. What do you look for in a friend?

1) are you comfortable with hanging out and not talking? Or talking for hours?
2) are you comfortable with telling your stories?
3) are you able to hear long stories?
4) can you be really serious?
5) can you be ridiculously silly and playful?
6) do you enjoy music and theater? (extra points if you can play piano or guitar)
7) will you rescue me when I get stuck?
8) can I rescue you when you get stuck?
9) will you proofread my work without rewriting my content?
10) will you love my family?
11) can we be equals without keeping tally?
12) can we celebrate our differences, weaknesses, unique and divergent attributes, habits, and thoughts?
13) will you be my friend?

sense of humor
understanding
not judgmental
corrects you lovingly
authentic
loyal

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21 Comments

  1. inkypinky said:

    Love this entire post, Debby! “It’s the people in my life who are different from me that make me better.” That’s a keeper and a truth for sure. My dad was a pastor and my folks were missionaries — someone, somewhere, told us that people who move frequently have to make friends quickly, and make peace with saying goodbye a lot. I remember this quote from years ago: “Don’t be dismayed at goodbyes. A goodbye is necessary before we can meet again. And meeting again, after moments of lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.” I also have a (new to this time in my life) friend who informed me, “We are going to be friends.” And we are. We so absolutely are. We are vastly different, but accepting and embracing those differences without trying to change each other is what makes our friendship such a treasure. Bonus: I learned her mom and my mom were best friends in their younger years. Sadly, her mom passed away a few years ago. So we are second-generation buddies!

    Thank you for sharing these thoughts. One more bonus: the fact that we have the same name, even with different spellings? Guaranteed we’re going to be friends. 🙂

    June 26, 2017
    Reply
    • Debby Hudson said:

      I think I’m just now making peace with the moving aspect of so much of my life. Wish I’d heard those good words when I was going through it. Thanks for sharing your “we’re going to be friends” story. I do like a happy ending. Absolutely, Debbie…we’re going to be friends 🙂

      June 26, 2017
      Reply
  2. Michael Hawley said:

    You got a good one in Carol!

    June 26, 2017
    Reply
  3. Wonderful story, Debby. But, I have to know : is she soaking her feet in a fish tank?

    June 26, 2017
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    • Debby Hudson said:

      I can’t believe I still have the picture of her, Sally. Not even sure why I do as I wasn’t with her. Yes, that’s fish. She and her husband travel a lot and this was on one of their trips where she tried this. She’s also adventurous, as you can see. I forget the purpose of this. I’ll have to ask her.

      June 26, 2017
      Reply
  4. Love this story, Debby. And I so agree with this: “It’s the people in my life who are different from me that make me better. They give perspective and model grace by accepting my differences.” I have several friends who are very different from me, but we grow because of it.

    June 26, 2017
    Reply
    • Debby Hudson said:

      That’s so true, isn’t it Lisa? We do grow because of our differences. Glad you’ve experienced that too.

      June 26, 2017
      Reply
  5. YES!! I cherish my friends who are different from me — and I’m thankful for the myriad traits that I learn from them (and all the things that I wish would rub off on me!) This is a delightful post!

    June 28, 2017
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    • Debby Hudson said:

      Oh, yes, I wish a few things from my friends would rub off on me too, Michele!

      June 28, 2017
      Reply
  6. Laura said:

    Oh, this is so sweet, and so true. It’s so nice hearing about how your friend pursued you. I love the questions at the end, they get me thinking about opening myself up more for friendship.❤ Oh, and by the way, the feet in the fish tank is a pedicure! Believe it or not, the little fish nibble off the dead skin on your feet, making them silky smooth…I’ve just heard about it, haven’t done it!

    June 28, 2017
    Reply
    • Debby Hudson said:

      Thanks for reminding me about this kind of pedicure Laura. My feet are so ticklish I’d probably splash all the water out! Thanks for being part of the conversation.

      June 28, 2017
      Reply
  7. Lesley said:

    I agree, it’s good to have friends who are different from us. And I like the suggestions people came up with of what they look for in a friend.

    June 28, 2017
    Reply
    • Debby Hudson said:

      Facebook can be used for good too 😉 Glad you also enjoy the difference Lesley. It helps us grow.

      June 28, 2017
      Reply
  8. sarahgirl3 said:

    I look for honesty and for someone who will be there for me. I will be the same back. 🙂

    June 28, 2017
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  9. Brenda said:

    Love that, Debby. 🙂

    June 29, 2017
    Reply
  10. What a great story! Friendship stories are just as fun and interesting as “how did you meet” marriage stories. Most of mine have developed organically, but there is at least one friend with whom I wish I had done what you did. Thanks for sharing.

    June 30, 2017
    Reply
    • Debby Hudson said:

      I agree, Donna. The stories are often so interesting. Thanks for your affirmation.

      June 30, 2017
      Reply
  11. gogathergrow said:

    Friendship is intentional, don’t you think? Years ago, my best friend and I worked on our ‘friendship garden’, planning times to get together so our garden would flourish. Sometimes we would do painting crafts together, other times we’d go yard saling which is always so much fun with a friend. Then there were times when I’d cry on her shoulder and she’d be there for me. And vice versa. Now we live thousands of miles apart and while FB can minimize the miles, something has changed with the absence. But when we chat again, it’s like we are right there. I miss our visits though.

    August 7, 2017
    Reply
    • Debby Hudson said:

      I have to rely on email and Facebook to keep my long-time friend connections too. We’ve all scattered. I’m thankful it helps close the gap, but I agree, it doesn’t take the place of the real life visits. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      August 7, 2017
      Reply

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