Wednesday, 15 January 2014

friendship (the real kind)

Last week I was around at my little sister's house shooting the final instalment of our BABY LOVE project before baby was due to arrive. My other sister and family are here too on an extended Christmas/waiting for baby to arrive holiday (since I started writing this post, he has arrived!). The BIL cooked prawn skewers on the barbie for dinner at a ridiculously adult time of 9pm. NINE PM. Then we sat around talking shit and laughing until we cried. Man, that is THE BEST.

Questions were posed about when I was in labour and how I managed to birth my three smalls drug free. We shared stories about weird questions asked by expectant parents in our prenatal classes. It shocks me that some people really have NO IDEA about what happens when you give birth. It is intriguing, hilarious and disturbing all at once. My BIL was interested to know what the husband had done while I had been in labour. Telling him to kindly get the fuck away from me with his stinky cafeteria pizza slice as I breathed through contractions gave a good belly laugh. At their last appointment with their obstetrician (who was my obstetrician for all my births), my BIL asked him if he had ever experienced the husbands/partners turning up to the birthing suite seriously inebriated after having a few too many in an effort to calm the nerves. Michael didn't even flinch and replied 'yeah, of course!'. Um.. what the?! Our obstetrician also delivered a gorilla at some point during his career. Yes, I said GORILLA. Interesting guy.

Talk turned to pregnancy in general--other friends who were pregnant--pregnant friends on Facebook--other friends on Facebook--REAL friends on Facebook--NOT-so-real friends on Facebook--culling said not-so-real friends on Facebook. One of my sisters has just done a NY cull and said she feels all the better for it. I've never done one because I am pretty selective when I get a friend request, but I think there could be a handful I could let go of when I think about it. I've only ever unfriended someone once. The only time I have ever felt like a 16 year old in my 30s. But it was warranted so I am totally okay with playing the 16 year old for the split second it took to hit the unfriend button.

Friendship is a weird and wonderful thing. And I think, very different to what it used to be. Or perceived to be. Because of social media and not having to actually spend face to face time with people to get to know them enough to call them a friend. It is both wonderful and kinda creepy. We can feel as if we know people just by reading about them on the net. Since I began blogging this has happened many times over. I am happy to report there is the tiniest handful of people who I have gone on to meet in the flesh and think.. hmmm.. you're not at all what I perceived you to be. Because it's all about perception - isn't it?

Some people are great at reading the gag, laughing at themselves, not taking things too seriously, feeling the mood of an email/article/blog post the way it was intended. And then there are those who are not.

Some of those people I met and became 'friends' with online, and then went on to meet in real life, have become really wonderful real friends. Friends who I would call if I was in trouble and needed help. I could count my close friends on both of my hands and still have a few fingers left over. I remember mum telling me this as a teenager and I thought it sounded quite sad. But she was right. She usually is. (I said USUALLY, mum..)

For me, I think I get better with age. At everything. Mindset, perseverance, positivity, motherhood, wife stuff, confidence, bravery, not giving a shit what other people think. Me. Just me. Some people seem to go in the opposite direction, or at least peak at some point and then head south. Like those high school friends you might run into once in a blue moon, have a lovely chat, and then walk away thinking 'Shit. Life has been haaaaarsh'. (And don't judge me on that one, you know you've done it. And yes, you totally walked away feeling superior--as if you were 16 again.)

Sometimes I suck at friendship. I forget birthdays or anniversaries. My memory is like a sieve. I totally blame the kids for that. Or I remember in the morning when I look at the calendar and what needs to be done for the day. Then think about them ALL day while I run around doing all the stuff that needs to be done, and then somewhere during the evening dinner/bath/bedtime routine, forget about them altogether. Then do a few hours work and somewhere around 11pm think - SHIT! Then it's too late to call and wish them happy birthday. Because I was taught that it's rude to call after 9pm because the person on the other end of the phone will think you are the police. Calling to tell them their loved one has died in a terrible car accident. Yep. So I send them a lame text to make sure they know I really DO love them and didn't really forget about them. Just for the few hours that mattered when I should have called.

But I fess up. I apologise. I want them to know I'm sorry for my lameness. And they laugh at me and we're cool. Because that's what friends do. We forgive each other and don't sweat the small stuff.

I think that's all I need from a good friendship. Honesty. I want you to be honest with me. And I expect the same from you. I can't bullshit you and tell you one thing and then do the opposite. Actually, I probably could. But a better of choice of words would be will not. I will not do that. If you want my opinion, I'll give it to you. My honest opinion. And chances are, if you are one of the few friends I count on both hands as my closest, then you already know my response.

If we ever met in real life, I hope you would find the very same person you find, when you come here to read me. I used to be really shy as a kid. I don't talk that much unless I am really comfortable with who I am with. I don't say much unless it's something worthwhile. I'm a very good judge of character. I look after myself. I take pride in my appearance. I'm a lady--most of the time. And as I get older, I find a substantial amount of profanity creeping into my vocabulary. And I don't care. Because I won't hide who I am. Or who I am working on becoming. And I won't surround myself with people who don't get that or won't show any care for the really great people in their lives. In my book, that's totally worth unfriending.

To my friends who appreciate me for who I am, and put up with me not calling you on your birthday at the right time--thankyou. You enrich my life and make me feel so lucky to only need two hands to count you all on xxx

*The pulling faces thing up there? My BIL heard that if you pull the corners of your mouth apart, as far as they will go, that's kinda what if feels like when the baby is crowning. I was quick to reassure him that wasn't correct. It hurts a hell of a lot more than that.


  1. I loved your post and your beautiful photography. I'd love your honest opinion of my blog - - so why not drop by and say hi... So I don't feel like a creepy stalker who knows everything about you...come learn a thing or two about me :)

  2. beautiful! It's interesting how that truth about real friendship (from your mum) has turned out. I think as we get older (and perhaps wiser?) we value depth rather than breadth. Going to give a couple of my mates a call today :)sarah

  3. Hehe, at least you send a text to your friends late at their birthdays, i usually forget doing that too, and then it's not 11pm, it's the next day, and then i think they didn't mind if I call them any other day because I already didn't call them at the birthday, ans so... well I love being who i am too, and having the friends i have. (And love your blog and your photos too ;-) )

  4. AMEN Sister!
    And haha BIL, You're gonna have to pull a whole lot further!
    Oh and, I so had that with the stinky breath, stinky garlicky mayonnaise breath. Urgh!

  5. you are my kind of woman. no bull shit.

  6. I think you're awesome Tahnee. And I feel so lucky to know you. xx

  7. I'm with you. The other part of friendship that resonates for me, especially at this point in my life, is that I don't have to be in touch with someone regularly or even often, but when I reconnect again with a good friend we can slip into conversation and old patterns just like we had seen each other yesterday. Enjoy that new baby…Oh how delicious and yummy and sweet smelling, all that goodness of new life!!!


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