Television shows, movies and books will all have you believe in The Great Love. Not the love of a man but the love of friends. Female friendship is The Great Love that will see us all through to the end. Never put a man before your friends, respect that female friendship we’re all told over and over. Well what happens when that doesn’t happen? What happens when you’re a good person but you don’t have any friends? This evening I had 122 ‘friends’ on my personal Facebook account, which had been scaled back slowly over time to remove old school and university classmates, ex work colleagues and friends of friends. 122, fair enough, that’s an okay amount for the age of 28, isn’t it?
This evening however, I deactivated my personal Facebook account and told only my husband and my friend K. The only two people who matter, my only friends. Two people, down from 122, that’s not a lot at the age of 28, is it? I’d check into Facebook daily to have my status updates liked by people who think I’m HI-LAR-IOUS across the webs of intethe one time they make it out with me in a year and come away feeling empty, hollow and depressed. Ugh. Clicking that ‘deactivate’ button was like a revelation, Facebook is friendship bullshit.It isn’t just Facebook that’s the problem, friendship doesn’t work for me in real life. At least not when it comes to getting anything back. I don’t give my friendship to get it back in equal amounts the next week in return but I do expect, if I drop everything and come to your house to nurse you through a cold, or shovel cake and gin into you when your boyfriend has broken up with you, buy your children birthday gifts, or bake 320 cupcakes for your shop launch that I occasionally, just occasionally get a ‘how are you?’ text or a visit when my disability renders me housebound. I wouldn’t mind someone swinging by just occasionally because they missed me. But that never happens. Not a-once. And Twitter tells me I’m not the only one left feeling totally unfulfilled from friendships.
My best friend in the entire world lives, K, 300 miles away (having just moved back from another country) and she is everything and more to me. She treats me with respect, she isn’t all over me but she thinks of me as someone she can dump her worries on. She also, like a good human being, knows that I may occasionally have worries of my own. Why is no one else like this? Why do people let texts go unreplied, leave me standing outside coffee shops waiting for hours and never show up? Why do they never say thank you for advice, money, cake, time or just plain appreciate the friendship I am offering them? It’s not that I’m asking for unwavering friendship, it’s just that I’m asking for a little in return and I never get it. It is fucking crushing to be honest. To feel alone. To know that if something happens no one will come. No one. It makes me crawl up into a little ball and cry, it makes me sit in the shower and weep. If I wrote the dictionary I would define friendship as the following –
A relationship in which two people enjoy spending time together, one person takes advantage of the other either deliberately or unwittingly.At the age of 28, I’m still that kid in the playground, who looks perfectly nice but has no friends. Well, I’m sure people consider me their friend but saying happy birthday to me on the internet when Mark Zuckerberg prompts you do so, or not giving a fiddler’s fuck about me unless you need something, does not a friendship make.