Friends are Friends Forever… Unless They Use Aquanet

Several weeks ago you asked me what I look for in a friend and how that has changed over the years.

Today, even though I know you’re dying for another twist in the depth that is the Oregon Trail, I woke up thinking about my girls and friendship and decided it’s time to really answer that question.

See, we’ve decided to homeschool Uno and Dos full-time this next year.  Uno was half-time homeschooled in the spring and it was a great experience.  WIth the move, combined with Dos being four days too young to start Pre-K in the public system this fall (that four days makes or breaks her whole experience, you know) along with learning about the curriculum and methods, we feel homeschooling is right for us.

But what about their friendships with their peer groups?  What will they be missing out on if they aren’t in school with 20+ other kids per class?

One of my childhood classmates posted our third grade class picture on facebook recently.  Strangely, even though it’s been – ahem – longer than I care to admit I was able to recognize everyone and remember specific stories about each one.

But they were friends of proximity.  Which became clear when a handful of girls trapped me in a bathroom in eighth grade to beat me up because I had the gall to disagree with them on the fine points of douching.

Yes, our conversations were quite elevated.

After that I paid more attention to my friendships.  But I really wanted someone who liked me and didn’t smell like Aquanet.

(I hate the smell of Aquanet.  I have a sensitive sniffer and Aquanet is like the antithesis of all things nice-smelling to my nose.  Ug!)

College rolled around and I chose my friends based on intelligence, fun level, and similar interests.

I don’t think I consciously chose a friend until I moved out-of-state for my master’s degree.  I saw my friend and admired her intelligence, sweetness, attention to detail, and excellence in performing her job.  I saw she was a bit more introverted than I so I just walked right up to her, smiled, and said, “I’ve been watching you and I think we should be friends.  Would you like to go get lunch?”

One of my very best friends to this day!  Smartest conversation starter I’ve ever had.

I look back on the friends I have (which, incidentally had nothing to do with the “friend” title on facebook) and am incredibly grateful.  I think my girls will have opportunities to make friends from the activities we involve our family in that will last a lifetime.

I’m also grateful for the friends who have kids of similar ages to our girls – they will have a chance to grow up together!

Not sure I’ve answered the original question yet, so here is my summary:

To Pick A Friend (Then)

  • They liked me
  • Didn’t smell like Aquanet or try to beat me up
  • We could have inside jokes

To Pick a Friend (Now)

  • Similar stages of life and values
  • Don’t smell like Aquanet, Body Odor or any strong scent
  • Intelligent, Kind, Insightful
  • Can laugh at inside jokes

What are the standards you use to pick your friends?  Are your friends friends of proximity or choice?

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One thought on “Friends are Friends Forever… Unless They Use Aquanet

  • July 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    So glad to hear that you have decided to homeschool! I am currently in my yearly, “its summertime and we all have so much fun together, so why don’t I quit my job and just homeschool” funk. In theory, I would love to homeschool our three girlies–but I’m not sure we would all survive. We just live so far from town, I’m afraid the isolation would get to us (although gymnastics seems to cure that in the summer…). Therefore, I’m glad we have ACS. But, I have so many friends who are so content and their kids are so happy homeschooling.

    My experience with friendships has been much like yours. And we have found that the girls’ best friends are those whose lifestyle is most similar to ours–ranching friends–not their friends from school. Their “best” friends are ranch kids–because, well, they “get it,” and “town kids” just don’t. Ranch kids group up at events without thought of age or gender, and I think that helps them to be better at interacting with others.

    I never worry about the social aspects of school. “Social-life” was what I hated about school. I think that kids are perfectly fine without peers directing their every move–parents should not relinquish their role of major influence to their children’s peers.


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