We are not friends we are strangers with memories, inspired by HBO’s Girls Jameela Jamil Company column (March 2013).

Saturday 16 March 2013

I sat down to write something about Girls,  something about the relatable characters and scenarios, the little intrinsic moments that define them that I had felt defined me and how brilliantly written and directed it is. However, ever since the episode ‘Boys’ and bells rung after reading Jameela Jamil’s March Company column I’ve been thinking about friends and growing out of them.

Towards the end of the ‘Boys’ episode Hannah calls Marnie after she left Booth’s party apparently inspired to work on her eBook.  I wanted them to console each other rather than the lie but it was obvious that wasn’t going to happen. Marnie hid that she had just discovered that she was not a girlfriend but a mere hostess to Booth Jonathan yet she claimed that she was in his garden watching fireflies rather than seeking comfort from Hannah. What struck me was that although long standing friends are meant to be people you lean on in times like those it didn’t shock me that they didn’t, because I would do exactly the same with certain friends. It wouldn’t be because I no longer liked the person or because of an argument but that we had just grown away from each other and Jameela put perfectly:

Suddenly you are looking at that person you once considered one of your limbs and you just think. ‘I have no idea who you are.’

Ever since Marnie moved out they had no reason to converse as they had nothing else left in common except the decency to try to keep to their lengthy friendship. And I am feeling this now:

“But why doesn’t anyone prepare you for outgrowing your friends as adults? And why is it so much more awkward and politically incorrect than when you want to break up with a lover?”

You know to break up with a boy if you no longer have anything in common so why does this not happen with friends? It is as if we feel some sort of loyalty to our memories yet the relationship weakens to the point where you either are just trying to impress each other or rely upon reliving memories for conversation. We may lack problems with these friends but we still don’t want them to know if we are doing as well as we once were, regardless of what is was, and why is that? Why feel the need to put up a fake exterior? I find myself taking comments I would never stand for and keeping myself to myself all to be the old me, so I wonder if they putting up the old them?

Don’t get me wrong, I love these people and cherish the memories we have together, but with some of them it is all we have left and you can have as many lovely reminiscent evenings as you want but that isn’t going to sustain the friendship it once was. I think  since school, since uni we all find what we want, what we like and who we are so we surround ourselves with people that support that. So whilst at school or uni those friends fitted and they will always be a part of that. 

So why didn’t anyone tell me this before? We get life chats about sex and boys but never about friends or what to do when you start to outgrow friends, but after 21 years I think I am starting to get it, if only a wee bit! 

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