All my life I have been searching for foundation friendships. In my mind friends are the chosen family that you can share your life with. That is how I look at my friendships at least. They are the people that know the aspects of me over my blood relations. When I told tsunami that they were my best friend and I loved them for me, I think it confused them considering what being a friend means to them. So let me talk about friendship as a foundation block for my life relationships today.
I think about my idols for optimal relationships with friends: Sailor Moon and Xena the Warrior Princess. Laugh all you want but the relationships in these shows brought my cousin and me close for the duration of those shows. We stopped hanging out when the shows stopped coming on. But I could go back to those shows. Never could get back into a relationship with my cousin, however.
In Sailor Moon, the main protagonist was a loveable clutz that always wanted to help her friends out. She often succeded. Her powers came from love and support. Her friends supported her back as they tackled their weekly monsters and the local mystery of keeping themselves hidden so they could live as close to normal lives as superheroes. I lived for the friendships in this show. I loved how they worked through their jealousy about things or in the case of Mina, made it an obsession and a learning opportunity for watchers like me. Their friendships meant a lot to young me. That is what I looked for in my own culture, to have friendships like that.
I go back to that middle school table where I knew I would not fit into the typical friendships being made among other women. I would not look at people as competitors for other men or squad up with certain groups just because other people deemed them popular. To quote Alissa Cara’s song, I want to talk about real things and support my friends in their current issues instead of superficial things. So I looked to quality if I could not achieve quantity by attempting to befriend my family members. A note to self, if you can make friends in your family, you are a rarity. That’s when the loner traits of Xena and her sidekick Gabriele helped.
Xena was surrounded by enemies from her past mistakes and a friend in Gabrielle that just wanted to bear witness to her adventures. These two grew as a unit and eventually, the watcher would not enjoy an episode without both of them in it. For six years, this duo battled people seeking revenge, their own relationship issues, and built family units that turned on them. And on occasion, they may have turned on each other, but they always came back to each other. Granted, I stopped watching the show after the fourth season because of the crazy storylines were getting harder to keep up with but I still loved this relationship between these two powerhouses as they added more power moves to their arsenals and the chakra kept evolving into a semi-mystical weapon worthy of a goddess. I hoped to have a friendship like that someday. The fact they were bisexual made watching a joy for me.
I am not the only one that wants to have a girl based friendship as a foundation for their relationship. I think of the song by Prince when he longs for the kind of intimacy and freedom to explore his partner that she shows to her girlfriends. In this song, he watches her laugh and gets ready for an evening with her friends that she rarely shows him. It makes him jealous enough to write about it. I look at this song when I think of romantic relationships. I do not want to have a divide between my emotional freedom to be limited to the times I spend with my friends so I seek to have that level of comfort in my relationships as well. I determined at that table in middle school that if I can not get that kind of comfort, the support I need in a friendship that I would want to take to the grave with me, that intimate relationship should not be worthy of my bed space.
Sadly, this is not the way people approach most romantic relationships.
My best friend told two other people they were her best friend in front of me: her future ex-husband and a weed dealer. The ex-husband I accepted. She should have a better friendship with him than me. He lives with her and supports her daily maintenance. She was in love with him as a person. We as best friends did not share those things she was sharing with him. I loved their relationship until he stopped being a friend to her. I saw the same signs in my brother’s marriage vows when he promised to laugh at his mate instead of join in her laugher. Both of these relationships stopped being friends for the strange reason that makes marriages fail: they stop nurturing the friendship that made them lovers in the first place. At least this is how I see it.
As I wait for my soulmate today, I think about the brief period we were friends walking the streets talking about things that matter to me: nurturing relationships and questioning the way the world thinks.
I hope he misses me as much as I miss him. He was a great friend.