Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New, Good, Better and Best

NEW YORK - JANUARY 05:  Actresses Kate Hudson ...Image by Getty Images for 20th Century Fo via Daylife

Having recently watched "Bride Wars", (stars - Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway), a thought that had been percolating for a while began to take shape in my head. The movie is a cute, sometimes hilarious, sometimes pathetic story of two life-long friends being torn asunder by their similar wedding fantasies. With a scheduling snafu in the wedding planner's office, requiring one of the engaged to yield the cherished date and venue, the life-long friends become selfish, battling, first rate enemies!

The characters engage in petty squabbling, stooping to do most anything to keep the best friend's wedding experience unpleasant while at the same time striving to arrange every possible detail for their own perfect day. The underlying theme in question would seem to be the competing bridezillas and their personal self-absorption - viewed in a comic light - rather entertaining.

Upon reflection, as I have been internally analyzing this "friend thing" lately, my question is why two young women see fit to throw away the sanctity of a lifelong friendship in favor of their own means to an end - the perfect wedding day? When does someone deemed a friend become tagged as new, good, better, or best friend? What is it with those categorizations?

There are persons I've met who just "feel" right to me from the first moment - upon sharing, I've had similar experiences as they, both good and bad, I might admire their ease in social settings, or be drawn to them by their outer trappings of dress or hairstyle, or for the fact that we quickly discover similar marriage and birthing patterns in our lives. Those persons might be labeled in all four categories - "new, good, better, best." But where is it that friendship is really born into a category beyond acquaintance, new, better, or best?

I greet the post office clerk, the grocery checker, the bank teller, the board member, persons in church, etc. perhaps each week or several times in a week. I smile, converse a little, perhaps notice physical changes or demeanors. Are these people my friends - I certainly wouldn't categorize them as enemies....maybe just acquaintances? On the other hand, persons I've literally known for years, greeting, visiting, commiserating and departing but with no real sense of an established friendship. Always something held back with no eagerness to establish further ties. Once more, they're not enemies, just not friends.

Then there are those who I've known for a short time, cherish immediately, and strive for connection and similarities without even realizing that striving. When do these relationships go from "new" to "best?" For me, it may be when adversity strikes a blow to that special person I've met. I can feel sorry for an enemy or an acquaintance, even pray or wish for their well being, but the "reaching out" for a person through adversity is where I believe the initiation of true friendship may be born. It's when I find myself yearning to comfort them in a personal loss, reaching out to them with a word, a small gift, a particular email message, or even that perfect snail-mail Hallmark sympathy card. For me, I think there's something about the need to reach out in love that tips the balance from acquaintance, to new, to good, better and maybe even best!

Does any of this pondering ring true with you? If so, where do you experience that good, better, best connection of friendship?

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  1. great ponderings...and, yes it rings true to me. i think "adversity" tips the scale of immediacy. we feel the need to do something that we might otherwise feel like there is plenty of time otherwise.

    i am also reminded of the saying: "some people come into your life for a reason. some a season. others a lifetime." it really is hard to know when or why the shifts happen.

    another great question: when do sister's become friends? why don't some ever? i am indeed blessed to have a sister i call "new, good, better and best"! xoxoxo

  2. Hi Lucy - thank you so much for the comments. I love the "saying" - it is SO true, more descriptive of how friends evolve into what is needed for the time.

    Hey, we're both very lucky as I'm blessed to have a "new, good, better and best" friend/sister also!