I don’t know if you’ve noticed, internet, but we’ve had a lot of snow this winter.
Or at least I have. Not me, personally, but the Town-Where-I-Live.
You get it.
At any rate, my roommate Varenka and I are responsible for clearing out the sidewalk in front of our downtown apartment (sidenote – why do we call the people with whom we rent apartments our roommates when we don’t technically share a room? Is there a better word for this? The English use flatmates, but apartment-mates just sounds awkward. Just me?).
This is the first time that I’ve been responsible for regularly shoveling a walk, and while it’s not a horrifically arduous task given our sidewalk is only about 5 feet in length, it’s an annoying one. Especially given the fact that there have been many storms this winter that have required Varenka and I to shovel more than once a day. Sometimes three, four, or five.
My initial reaction to shoveling the snow was to wait until the snow had stopped falling to shovel the walk, because then I’d just have to shovel it once. There’s a city ordinance in Town-Where-I-Live that states that you get fined if the snow is still there 24 hours after a big storm, so I figured that as long as I did it after the storm I’d be fine.
Big mistake. I went outside to shovel the walk and realize that people had had to walk through the 5-inch deep snow in front of my house all day, which was conspicuously the only house on the block which hadn’t been shoveled. Which made me feel like an asshole, because it only took me two minutes to shovel my sidewalk, whereas those people who had to walk by my house probably had wet feet all day long.
I realized that shoveling the walk frequently during the storm is a courtesy, and while, yeah, I technically didn’t need to, not doing it makes me a selfish person. Who knows how many old ladies with canes need to walk by my house on a day basis? What if an old lady slips and falls and breaks her hip in the snow outside my house? THAT’S ON ME.
“But how does this relate to your very catchy blog title, Cassandra?” you’re probably asking. I’m getting there.
Friendship takes work. You can’t just check in with your friends when the storms are over. You need to be there for both the good times and the bad, the times that they are being really annoying, the bad breakups, and the clingy periods. Good friends are there for each other no matter what. Good friends always keep their sidewalks shoveled.
You know those people in your life who are supposedly your friends, but only seem to check in when they need something from you? Or when you’ve won the lottery or gotten a really lucrative job or are recently hot and single? Those are the people who only shovel their walk when all the snow has stopped falling. And you’re the old lady with the cane, whose hip is now broken because your friend is an asshole.
And so I say unto you, internet, shovel your damn walk. Check in with your friends. And maybe walk in front of different houses.
That last line is a metaphor for getting better friends. Also maybe a walker.
Friendship has been somewhat of a recurring theme in my yoga classes lately for reasons that I have yet to determine. I spoke yesterday morning about expectations you can have of people that may preclude you from ever forming a relationship with them, and how that’s just silly, because people are constantly surprising. However, in thinking about this friendship theme pre-yoga class, I was struck by how I seem to have somewhat of a theme of picking my closest friends- my inner circle, if you will- and it got me to thinking about whether or not we have “friend types” in the same way that we might have a “relationship type”. And that got me thinking about friend dating.
I have this weird theory about friend dating. Friend dating is NOT to be confused with dating friends. Friend dating is the art or practice of wooing a stranger into becoming close friends with you. It is almost exactly like dating in many details, expect at no point will you be expected to perform the horizontal tango with this person.
STAGE ONE- THE WOO- So you’ve just met someone that’s captured your attention. Maybe she also happens to enjoy watching Disney movies at odd hours, or playing Man Safari at a local bar. She seems like a strong, independent, capable woman, and you’re intrigued. You casually mention that you also enjoy doing that thing she’s talking about together and ask if she’d like to do that thing with you sometime this week. She smiles and slips you her phone number. Score.
STAGE TWO- THE FRIEND DATE- You’ve watched Sex and the City. You know how this works. You’ve planning on meeting her for lunch at a casual diner somewhere so you can trade witty repartee about how stupid boys are for an hour or so. This is the crucial moment where you need to charm her, but don’t overdo it. Tell her a funny story about your asshole ex boyfriend, but don’t get too caught up in the dramatic, gory details- there’s plenty of time for that later. Mention something about feminism or politics so she knows what a well-rounded individual you are. If it seems right, you should invite her to your weekly girl’s night at the local club, just to dance. If you don’t have a weekly girls night, then I guess your life isn’t based on a sitcom, either.
STAGE THREE- THE FINAL TEST- You’ve succeeded in making a friend, you crazy devil you! She’s been a hit with your old friends, all of whom are secretly a little jealous over the attention you’re lavishing on new girl. You know her shoe size, her dating history and her weird habits. All that’s left is the final test (it’s a woman, of course there’s a test, dummy), and if you pass it, she’s going to be your new bestie until petty drama do us part. This could be anything- a favor, an invitation to a party, meeting the significant other- but her aim is to see whether or not you’re really got her back in a pinch or whether you’ve just been hanging around for the juicy gossip.
See? Getting a friend is just like dating. The jealousy, the novelty, hiding all your weird secrets until it’s too late, all there. So next time you need a gal pal to drag to a football game, follow these handy steps, internet, and you’ll have a well round group of sassy gurlfrands in no time.