Titirangi Storyteller

Telling tales from around the world

Posts Tagged ‘friendship

Huddled together

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Huddled together to keep warm.

It was a time of hope, when no matter how bad it was, the future was all ahead. And that was so so very long ago. There’s not much future left. Everyone survived. Some did well, some not so much. Huddling together just isn’t done anymore.


Written by Titirangi Storyteller

26/01/2013 at 12:45 am

Pony ride

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Hard to believe there still are pony rides! Putting a child on the back of an animal that might do anything! My word… However do they get insurance? Actually, I doubt this particular ride is properly insured as this was at the gypsy fair I went to summer past. I’m pretty sure insurance is not a gypsy sort of thing, though this lot were hardly as rough and tumble as the gypsies I encountered in Italy. They left me feeling rather witless and vulnerable.

But back to the pony ride – the child seems so passive and the pony so benign. Rather a shame few kids will have this simple little pleasure.

Of course… what I am NOT talking about is the first time I rode a pony when I was ten. And my brother’s friend decided to spook him as soon as I got on. Things did not go well as he tore down the dirt road, me holding on as long as I could before I fell onto the road, scratching, scraping and cutting my legs and arms. I cried and cried. And then, the adults (what utter idiots they were!) tried to make me get back on the pony. He was as terrified as I was. It did not go well.

My next time getting on a horse was three years later – and the person putting the saddle on did not do it properly and when I put my foot in the stirrup to mount, the whole arrangement slipped and slid, and I ended up under the horse. Yeah, that was actually scarier than the falling off the pony.

I pretty much swore off equines after that (though there is a photo of me on horseback at 14 somewhere…). I liked them well enough, but riding – nah, not for me. Until I met my friend Leanne when I was 21. She was mad for horses and insisted I go riding with her on Saturday mornings when she had her English riding class. It was pure love… more fun than I ever thought possible. Went whenever I could for several years, after Leanne had moved away and we lost touch. But then the children came, and the mortgage, and the work and the time and the never enough money… And now… it seems to late… and I’m much too big for a pony ride.

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

25/06/2012 at 12:54 am

Friendship, ah friendship… hmmm

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Best friends

Best friends forever

Some time back I wrote a piece on friendship and those kitschy, gushing emails drenched in puppies and kitties and pastels that end up in my Inbox rather often. At first they annoyed me just a bit – after all, I’m not a puppies and kitties kind of girl. But after a while, I realised they meant someone was thinking nice thoughts about me, and that was rather lovely. I may not forward them on, but I usually thank the sender.

Culturally, I think we look at friendship the same way we look at romance – every time out, it’s for keeps, everlasting. And the reality is that few romances and probably as few friendships are solid enough to go the distance. Which doesn’t mean you don’t have a great season together. But they’re not the stuff of lifetime relationships.

Quite often it’s work friends or neighbours – you shift jobs and houses and you mean to stay in touch, but you naturally drift away. The season is over, no hard feelings. Or without doing it intentionally, you just drift away from some people, even after you’ve known them ten or more years. It’s sad when that happens, but the silver lining there is you can often reconnect as if there had never been a down-time.

I don't like you anymore.

How can I say this gently? I don't like you anymore.

What about folks you’ve been friends with for a year or so, and you realise you don’t know why you’re friends? At first they were great fun, but you don’t enjoy their company anymore. They may be hard work with little return, bad tempered drama queens, or simply dull, uninteresting.

I had a friend (now former) tell me I was a bore because of my obsession with pizza. It seemed odd at the time, but I in retrospect, our friendship had passed its use-by date for both of us and that was the one thing she could put her finger on. I could come up with a laundry list of her faults – but she had them when we became friends – they weren’t the problem. We’d just moved past each other. (And I am now very circumspect in my discussion of pizza…)

Proper New York Pizza

Proper New York Pizza

Lace Sky

Like the last ray of sunlight grasping at the fading day, we must let go of a friendship that is over...

The dilemma is that you don’t truly dislike them – if you did, no problem with terminating the friendship. You just don’t like them anymore. You don’t want to give them your time, listen to their dramas, be understanding when they fly off the perch, hear about proper New York pizza one more time.

This is where I want a nice, warm kitschy email that says, “Gee, we’ve had some real good times, and essentially, I think you’re a decent human being. But now that I’ve got to know you really well, I realise I don’t like you very much. Can we call the friendship off?”

Surely we could come up with something mildly funereal, delicate, sensitive yet to the point? Why does everything seem slightly sarcastic? Why are endings so bloody hard?

No wonder we hide and dodge the whole thing and end up stuck with the odd friend we don’t like at all. We need a roadmap, a plan, a course of action – a path to follow to get it right. And I think we do need to do it right, find a way to get these people out of our lives where we can. There’s not much we can do about family. Or coworkers. Or neighbours. We may have to manage toxic relationships throughout our lives.

Cats have friends, too!

Friendships – close, casual, distant, intimate or a 3 hour plane ride long should enrich our lives and bring us joy, support us through tougher times. Like every soppy, sticky, cloying friendship email spells out in detail – friendship is an amazing human treasure. Let’s keep it that way!

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

31/05/2010 at 11:29 pm

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