Life in boxes
For many years I have enjoyed my distinctly and deliberately compartmentalised social life. If my social life is a closet, inside I have drawers which hold friends that all come with different talents.
In the first drawer, I have the only friend who knows the ins and outs of my financial goings on that otherwise only my ex-husband knew about. For richer, for poorer and for richer again, money buddy has lived through the highs and lows of my financial life and I have lived through hers. The ex-husband in question is also in this drawer along with his wife of 10 years. Together with their gorgeous daughter, these are the people I am happy to spend a weekend with enjoying good food, lovely wine and having heaps of laughs.
Next I have a best friend who has helped me through emotional dramas over the past twenty years without ever asking any questions. Our mutual appreciation means we both know we will talk about it – only if we want to. I’m fortunate to have other close friends who I have known for many years who are also there with a shoulder to cry on, a sofa to sleep on or a brain to pick on. And of course it goes both ways. These are also good holiday buddies.
The drawer of comedians comes in very handy. These are the laugh-a-minute friends who are too hyper for every day company but these Mickey-taking and joke telling Joan Rivers types are a tonic when called upon. They are fantastic pick-me-ups for lunch, coffee or an early evening drink. Sometimes you just need to laugh.
Joined to the comedians is the drawer of drinking buddies. In my youth, I thought these people were real friends but the wiser me knows that these come and go and I now enjoy their company for what it is and often don’t have anything else in common with them. Nowadays, when these friendships filter out, I don’t sweat it but move on. It was fantastic fun while it lasted and I’ll remember those days fondly, before the drinking buddies drifted away into domesticated oblivion with just the Christmas card as an annual reminder of our partying ways.
The work mate is just that; someone at work who you are friendly with. No matter how many times you go for lunch together, exchange Christmas presents, meet each other’s families, share intimate secrets and gossip at the water cooler, these are colleagues. They can become friends but you won’t know if these mates will move into different drawers and until some time has passed and after you have stopped working with them. Don’t be disappointed if you lose touch but enjoy the wonderful friendship whilst you have it as sometimes, that’s the only thing that drags your butt into the office.
Family friends. As the name suggests, these friends belong to your family, not necessarily you.
The drawer full of circumstance friends is ever changing. My least favourite of these, and God help me if ever I become one, are couple friends. These are the people you only see when you are a couple and the conversation inevitable becomes boys versus girls. Yuck. Also, in this drawer are all the other shared circumstance buddies; singles, mums, grandparents, single parents who all meet up with others of the same status – until their status changes.
There is occasionally a small drawer in the closet for holiday buddies, again, who do exactly what it says on the label. These are the same status buddies. Whatever your status, they will match it; single, married no children, single parents, gay, unemployed, wealthy but generally you need to be in the same boat financially to avoid arguments and it helps to have similar taste and outlook.
This drawer is changeable as singles become married, married become parents, parents become single parents, gays become – well actually they probably won’t change.
And finally there are the friend that I sleep with, bed buddies, I refuse to use that vile term f*** buddies. When bed buddies come along, I always hang on to them and make no mistake; there is only a need to have one at any given time. These are in my little red book for one reason and one reason only; and that is the key to a successful sex buddy; just use them for what you need and that’s all.