Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Girl Scout Friendship Song

I can't remember how to tie knots. I can't remember who my troop leaders were. I can't remember why they call it "flying up" when you go from being a brownie to a Girl Scout. However. I do remember three things:

1. A Girl Scout Sundae - you take a peppermint stick and plunge it into an orange like a straw and drink the orange juice through the peppermint stick. Blech!

2. An old joke - Q - When does a Cub Scout become a Boy Scout? A - When he eats his first Brownie! (I didn't get it at the time)

3. The Girl Scout Friendship Song:
Make New Friends, But Keep The Old
One is Silver, the Other Gold.

What I want is a definition of the word "friend". I choose my words very carefully, and for me to use the word friend it means something. However, in this day of a shrinking world do to technology, can you still claim someone as a friend if you've never met them? If you get to know them through blogs or chat groups are they really a friend?

What about the people that you are together with because of things that go beyond your control. Are friends of your friends automatically your friends too? What about friends of your parents - are they your friends? What about people that have to like you - at least in some way - are they also your friend? (By that I mean people that work with you, love your mother, husband, etc.) There's a reason that the terms "family and friends" usually go together and are not mutually exclusive.

What's a better word for those people in the scenarios above? Acquaintance sounds so formal; friend of a friend sounds exclusionary, my mother-in-law's best friend sounds so wordy; people I know reads to me like "people I know but don't really like".

On a similar note - how do adults make friends these days? My two closest friends make more friends with the parents of their children's friends. I usually make friends through work or related assignments. However, I have a theory of friends made through work - I can't count how many people I considered friends while we worked together only to never hear from them again when we went our separate ways.

There are a couple of people from high school that I'm either still in contact with or in contact with again. Can those I haven't seen in XXX years be counted amongst my friends now?

Why is it so much easier to put yourself out there and make friends when you're a child? What horrible things have we learned since the days of grammar school - when sitting next to someone was all it took?


alienbody said...

It's true that young kids make friends based on proximity. However, they can also lose a friend simply by not sharing a Twinkie. Kid friendships are true battlefields...scary.

Chickenbells said...

Yeah...the friend thing is odd at best. I have been struggling with words to describe the various "friends" I have. There's Ms. D, of course, we've been friends for 27 years, so what does that make her to me? Then there's My Pal Amy, which is how I usually describe her, mostly because I realized a couple of years ago, I was calling her my "best" friend, and that seemed weird. I feel a little old to show that favoritism...

And how does one make new friends at this late date? Do we keep going back to the people we knew because it's comfortable? I seem to be doing that with boyfriends (I joke that I am systematicaly dating everyone I knew in high school...) am I too afraid to go out and meet someone and put some darned effort into it? Because I'll tell you girl, the problems with these "boys" FROM high school is that they still act like they're IN high school.

And your parents friends? Well, I suppose you inherit them because who else would you invite to your wedding that could actually afford to buy you the gifts you registerd for?