Sometimes, you predict friendships. You meet someone, you see that they are similar to you in certain ways, and you predict that you are going to become friends. And that you will stay friends.
I consider myself incredibly lucky to still be able to call the person who was my best friend when I finished school my best friend today. I consider myself incredibly lucky to be able to do the same thing with another friend from university. Many friends from university, in fact.
There are ‘obvious’ places to make friends. School. University. Work. Sporting endeavours. Parents group.
And then there are friends you make in different ways. And you thank your lucky stars that they’re in your life.
I have quite a few of these. Let me introduce you to some of them.
The friend of a friend
When I was matron of honour for a friend (the school bestie I mentioned above), I knew her other bridesmaid but didn’t know-know her. (Self-promotional segue – know-know is an example of contrastive focus reduplication, which I discussed with the like-like example at The Shake last month.)
Through months of girls’ champagne nights, pregnant waddles (okay, that was just me), bridal gown shopping, bridesmaid dress shopping, babysitting, hen’s night planning, hen’s night participation and, of course, the wedding, we became very close. It’s perhaps not so surprising that two people who have a common friend would have other things in common, but I wasn’t expecting that the wonderful experience of being a part of my best friend’s wedding would deliver another rewarding friendship as a bonus!
The work friend of a work friend
While at a particular job earlier in my career, I made two very close friends. So close that I cried the day I left the organisation and sat with them for lunch for the last time.
I finished that job on a Friday, and someone else started on the following Monday. She became good friends with the same two friends of mine. They started inviting her along when the three of us caught up. Three became four – both ‘our’ three and ‘their’ three. Now, we catch up as a foursome all the time, and we’ve even caught up for lunch as a twosome. I can’t imagine not having her in my life.
The sister of a friend
When I was pregnant with Ashleigh, my friend’s sister was also pregnant with her first. We had met a few times, and lived in the same suburb, so my friend arranged for us all to meet up as we progressed through our pregnancies.
My friend went overseas, and her sister and I had our bubs. Before too long, we were arranging our own weekly catch-ups ‘for the children’ and talking and venting to each other in that way that only parents at the same stage of parenting can. And – the icing on the cake – our kids get along fabulously and always ask to see each other.
The friend I didn’t get to know when I should have
When I started university, I was still 17, and wouldn’t turn 18 until the end of the first semester. I was already nervous around older people, I’d never had much to drink, and the residential college environment didn’t immediately calm me. So in my first semester at university, I didn’t really get to know anyone at my college beyond those I’d spent Orientation Week with. Not even those with similar wordy-acting-singing-dramatic-sporting interests.
Eight years later, I attended a college friend’s wedding, and she had invited a friend who had been in third year when we started college. And bang. Just like that, he entered our main college friendship group. Seamlessly. Now, I can’t remember what it was like without him.
Do you have friends that almost never were? How did they enter your life?