"The road to a friend's house is never long."
Perhaps not long, but possibly nerve wracking. Millie and I took courage in both hands last Monday and flew by ourselves (on a plane. No lame jokes, please) into the biggest city centre in Canada. No big deal, right?
We're staying for 10 days with good ole' and dear friends, being productive and maybe a tad giddy at times.
And wise. We always are brimming with many wise ideas when all four heads get together under one roof. We've decided it seems fair to share some of it...so here you go. Our insight and advice when it comes to shedding friends and keeping them.
How to Lose a Friend in 10 days:
1. Spend every waking moment of every day with each other.
After all, you want the biggest bang for your buck. Just ignore the fact that the bang could be the sound of your friendship going up in smoke.
2. Insist on staying up until 2:30 every night...
...and forget about the sarcastic parental comments when you roll out of bed at noon. Also forget about any cheery good morning smiles from your pajama party mates.
3. Don't lend a hand with daily chores.
Isn't dishwashing a spectator's sport?
4. Say "I don't know" when repeatedly asked what you want to do.
You know your friend really doesn't want or care about your opinion, even after she's asked the twelfth time.
5. Let your opinions run wild in the kitchen. Guard your recipes with your life.
Your way of cubing butter is the only sensible way, so don't let anyone tell you different. And if you've got a good recipe, it's worth keeping to yourself.
6. Only engage in activities that you prefer.
Life's too short to do what someone else wants to do.
7. Don't appreciate things your friends do for you.
You're such good friends, you've moved way past the please and thanks stage.
8. Be brutally honest.
If someone puts too much jam on their biscuit or doesn't brush their teeth for the appropriate length of time, it is vitally important to put the issue before them.
9. Don't laugh at each others jokes.
Instead, keep talking until everyone in the group feels claustrophobic.
10. Neglect to apologise when you snap and growl.
I'm sure your friend will forgive and forget without you having to humble yourself.
How to Keep One for 10 Years:
1. Be intentional.
A friendship doesn't just survive on it's own. It takes commitment and planning. Even if you feel your friendship is as kindred spiritedy as Anne and Diana, you need to make sure you work on it. Think of it like a marriage, or how the marriage books say marriage is.
2.Cultivate interests you have in common.
Read the same books. It's pretty hard to have a friendship and not be able to quote from the same book simultaneously. Okay, it's probably possible, but books and other interests will cement your friendship and give you something more to talk about...If that's necessary.
3. Love each others' families. Embrace your common upbringing and experiences.
It's so great when your friend loves and respects your parents as much as you do. It's even greater when both sets of your parents are friends too. The way your friend is raised, and her experiences will shape who she is, so you'd better love, or at least embrace her background, too.
4. Don't expect things to be perfect or people to be the same as you.
If you do that, you'll die a lonely person, and no one will come to your funeral. You probably will have arguments even with the best of friends. That is allowed. Think, "Iron sharpening iron."
5. Learn to read their mood and adapt, going along with what they need.
There is nothing more annoying than a friend who says, "What's with the long face?" in the most hearty manner when you just want to be left alone. One of the greatest arts of friendship is learning how to sit in sympathetic silence or carry on a witty conversation when you really don't want to.
Even while you're preparing to interrupt.
7. Be truly interested in their life, hobbies and every detail.
In our jolly foursome, we all have different strengths, interests, and hobbies. So, even though learning how to macrame a bikini may not be your cup of tea, you may have to display some interest in the art if it is your friend's passion.
8. Talk about your goals and resolutions. Don't be afraid of admitting failure or struggles.
There's a stage in most relationships when your conversation passes from "How was your day?" to something deeper. It may take awhile to get there, but that's alright. Nothing good comes quickly. It's great to have a friend to make resolutions with and it's even more comforting to confess your failures and have them say, "I struggle with that, too."
9. Pray for each other.
Just like that.
10. Stay in touch. Write letters. Send pictures.
Not necessarily all the time or out of obligation - but because you genuinely care. We're pretty big on snail-mail because that's how we keep in contact ordinarily. But, e-mail is better than nothing. There's nothing better than getting even a small note in your mailbox or inbox saying that somewhere out in the big wide world, someone decided to say, "I'm thinking about you." Or, even better, "I like you."
~Olivia, Margaret, Amelia, Emily