Thursday, November 5, 2009

Friendship & Shoes - The Best Ones Are Comfy & Great For Any Occasion

Just the other day, my husband and I somehow got on the subject of friendship... how it's hard to make new friends as adults, how it's hard to keep old friendships with distance and family obligations and work commitments getting in the way, or how friendship is more than sharing commonality when you're a grown-up - unlike children who are best friends with the kid who happens to be next to them. In the same week as our discussion, I received a chain email from my sister-in-law.

It was entitled "Women In My Circle" and it was about finding the best in each friend instead of looking for everything in one... "the friend you go to when you have problems with your man vs. the friend you go to when you have problems with your mom". That sort of thing and it got me thinking that there is some validity to this.

When it comes to the perfect friend, the answer is to stop looking for just one and start looking for one for every need and activity - like shoes. You wouldn't wear pumps to the gym any more than you'd wear sneakers to a formal event. In the same vein, you probably wouldn't call that friend who doesn't have kids to ask any parenting advice or ask the friend who hates to shop to go with you to the mall. And if we follow this line of thought we have to assume that we too are a friend for one reason or another. I know I get calls on organizing (a by-product of OCD) and decorating (a hobby of mine) and party planning (a little bit of both), but I never gets calls on how best to lose weight or exercise. Go figure ;-)? So there you have it; I too fit the mold.

This post has me thinking about shoes and how people are like them.
[Indulge me for a moment, this may be a stretch of the imagination.]

You know those killer shoes you have that you wear on special occasions. They cost a fortune, they look amazing, and you feel great wearing them... at first, because by the end of the evening, you're cursing the day you laid eyes on them and they are causing you so much pain that you're wishing that the heel would fall off in a vane attempt to "serve them right". Now imagine that whole description (run-on sentence that it is) as a person. You know that high maintenance friend who's gorgeous and just being in her company makes you feel like one of the chosen people but after a few times you see that her beauty masks her character flaws and you just want to get out of the relationship before you start wishing something bad would happen to her to "put her in her place". Not a bad comparison if I do say so myself.

Likewise, that pair of comfy, well-worn loafers or flats or whatever it may be for you that you throw on to run out and get the mail or walk the dog, that can be dressed up or dressed down because they go with everything... the ones that cost good money, but you found them on sale, and since you wear them all the time they don't owe you a dime... the ones that are timeless and never go out of style... the ones that put a spring in your step because they mean so much to you for being your go-to shoes... now that's a true friend indeed. A friend for every situation - the good, the bad, the boring... a friend you never have to put on airs for because you are so comfortable in their company... a friendship you value for it's everlasting character which grows deeper with each shared experience... and a friend who just makes you happy to have them in your life.

There is a reason I don't like or have friendships that tend to be more work than not. It's the same reason I have so many pairs of good, comfy shoes. Real and worn is always better than fake and flashy.

Now I know, in writing this I have just dispelled my point about a friend for each reason by saying some are perfect for everything so let's see if I can't make some sense out of all this with another shoe analogy... You need the strappy stilettos. Even the best looking driving mocs aren't going to cut it for every event. And in friendship, as in shoes, different friends meet different needs; the best are worth getting to worn-in, go-to condition.


  1. I am absolutely loving that post :) There really are friends you can go to for different things and it's good to recognise who these are!

  2. Interesting comparison, Bonnie. I like it. You always bring up such good points in your posts. It make me stop and think and I've come to the conclusion that I have very sucky friends and need to find some new ones. XD

  3. Gavin, you just made me laugh out loud. You can't dump them all at once - what would keep your feet warm? My suggestion is keep at least one pair and get rid of the rest without regret. I try to clean the actual and the metaphorical closet of my life at least once a year. I'm getting too old to hold onto bad shoes or friends.
    Smileyfreak (do you mind giving me a name so I can refer to you as such in the future), thank you so much for a great compliment. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I had fun writing it. I do love shoes... even the ones that kill my feet ;-).

  4. Haha...very good point. I know of at least one pretty awesome person I could keep around. (: I probably should raid the shoe box too. I tend to keep them for "just in case" purposes. XD So I have a few still nice ones that I know I'll never wear again. I should donate them or something.

    Ok...enough browsing to write on my own. XD

  5. Bon, I've thought about this one too.
    It seems as though there are not just friends for situations but for phases of your life as well.
    I guess a lot of the 'friends' on FB could be construed as 'clutter' - but some are momentos of times past - kind of like those 'skinny jeans' you just can't bear to get rid of in your closet...

  6. So true, Am. So true.
    I suppose there are a few friends that you just can't part with because they "did" mean so much at one point even though now, the friendship has come down to little more than that obligatory Christmas card each year.
    Just like the skinny jeans there's no way in Hell I'm every going to get back into, so too these friendships are past their prime. But perhaps it's because we keep wishing.
    Yes. I'm going to have to agree with you on this one. Take for example you and I. We hadn't spoken since college and now we talk nearly every day via FB. Some skinny jeans and friends are worth saving on the chance...
    Thankfully you were never the kind of friend that hurt my feelings - or my feet ;-).