Tuesday, June 12, 2012

twenty things {my good friends} should know.

I've been pondering the subject of friendship a lot lately.   What kind of friend am I?  Imperfect, like everyone else.  Sometimes I wish I could wear a T-shirt listing all my imperfections and desires in a friendship, just to save time in the friendship-making department.

In lieu of a T-shirt, here is a blog post.  :)

1. I'm not agreeable.  Sorry!  I will listen very respectfully to your opinion and I will never bash your beliefs.  I am okay being close friends with people who think differently than I do on big issues.  Those have been some of my most interesting relationships.  However, if you are looking for someone to just nod and agree with you, it's not me.  If asked my opinion on I will respond honestly.  If you ask me anything I will tell you honestly.   Even if I think you might not agree with it.

2.   I'm a Christian, but you don't have to be for us to be friends.  I believe in Jesus as my Savior and the one true, Triune God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  I believe it is by grace through faith that when I die I will go to be with Him in heaven.  I believe in the Bible as complete truth.  As my friend, you don't need to believe this, and we don't need to talk about it.  Unless you want to.  Might be the most important conversation we ever have.  On that note:  I rarely will post on my blog regarding my religious beliefs.   I'm fine with those that do, as I think it can be an amazing witness.  I grew up with a preacher for a father, and I have had many, many deep conversations regarding Jesus and my beliefs with non-Christians over the years {even when I was a little one.}   I pray that some of these conversations led the listeners toward the Lord...or at least made them think about things differently.  However, I don't want my blog to be a place where anyone feels alienated.  I don't want to come off as some "perfect, super-Christian" who spouts off Bible verses during normal conversation and relates everything back to my faith.  Not that I think, from any of my posts, that I would come off "perfect" EVER...probably the opposite...but you know what I mean.  If you want to know my beliefs, or someone to talk to about anything to do with Christianity and the love of Jesus -- please email me at greta.r.ford@hotmail.com.  I love those conversations...I just want those I engage with those that have an open heart/mind.

Source: blogs.women24.com via Greta on Pinterest

3. I really appreciate and need my alone time.  I don't feel incredibly pressed to fill my days with social engagements or make sure I am texting/calling people constantly.  Which brings us to...

4. I suck at using my cell phone.   Half the time I don't know where it is, the other half I forget to text/call people back.  I went several years in college without a cell phone at all...and survived just fine. {I kind of loved my answering machine.  It couldn't bother during class or go off during yoga or a movie.}  Don't feel snubbed if I don't return your text or don't call back.  It is not that I don't like you.  I just don't have my {super basic, total opposite of an iPhone} with me, usually.  You are better off emailing me.

5. Besides the cell phone, I am a very reliable person, and I expect the same from others.  I get really excited and count on things that are planned/promised.  When they don't...I can take it pretty hard.  Changes of plans I was looking forward to = unhappy girl!  Might be because I am a major planner and preparer, both mentally and physically.

6.  I admire hard work - and I'm really cheap frugal.  I grew up hearing my parents say, "If you want expensive clothing, gas for your car, or any extra spending cash you will have to get a job and work for it."  I'm definitely not complaining...I had a loving childhood with a roof over my head and food on the table.  But because of our lack of extras/fancy things I will always view money as something to use very wisely and will save a buck wherever I can.  Hubby and I follow Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace guidelines.   I want my son to grow up with the attitude that working hard is part of life, and that he should live within or, preferably, below his means.  So I guess, as my friend, it is important you know that I won't really sympathize if you complain about your dire financial circumstances, yet go out and buy a Coach purse.   Or live in a house with a really high mortgage.  Or have a fancy car...okay, you get the idea.  My thoughts are: enjoy your life, as much as you can afford to.  Or better yet, save your money and enjoy the simple, inexpensive things.

7. My love language is 'quality time.'  If you have not read the book The Five Love Languages you absolutely should.  It will help you understand your friends and loved ones better, and how to love them better.  For example...Gifts are nice, but they don't do a lot for me.  I don't take compliments very well, and feel awkward when anyone gushes over me.  I love physical affection, but it's not a requirement.  And please, please don't try to do things for me -- eck!   That makes me feel the opposite of loved.  {sorry all you 'acts of service' lovers out there!!!} My love language is absolutely, without a doubt, quality time.  It is how I naturally love, and the way I prefer to be loved.
      If I love you I will make the effort to be there for you at your most important moments.  I will spend the money to travel for weddings.  If we haven't hung out in a while I will make it happen.  I do my darnedest to visit you in the hospital if you are sick or when you have your first baby, and make sure I have an aisle seat at your wedding so I can beam at you {and cry} when you walk down the aisle.  You can bet your butt I will help you celebrate your 30th if you feel like partying.  I expect the same from my close friends and family.  Those are the things that make me feel the most loved.

8.  I have a short fuse.  I'm working on this, and usually the only people who ever see my temper are those that I am very close to, but I definitely have had some moments.  The funny thing is, becoming a mama has caused me to be a lot more even-keel.  From the moment I got pregnant I felt more balanced and calm.  Anyone else experience this?  Anyway, there are still moments when my anger will rear it's ugly head, and I deal with that as best I can.

9. I love wine.  Red wine.  Full-bodied, fairly dry, red, red wine.  {feel free to sway and sing that song in your head the rest of the day.}  I love drinking wine with girlfriends.  Please limit me to two glasses, as I am a lightweight...but if I haven't drank my two glasses please don't stare at me strangely and ask if I am "drunk already?" just because I am giggling and seem incredibly happy.   It's just because I am happy.  Because I'm drinking two glasses of wine.  Please allow this lightweight wine-drinking mama enjoy her two glasses and act as silly as she pleases without judgement!  :)

10.  My face is REALLY expressive.  To the point that it offends people.  Any emotion that I have, however fleeting, will flash across my face.  I've had people get pretty upset because I've curled my lip or widened my eyes at something they've said...when really I am not mad or annoyed.  I always tell people, "Pay no attention to my facial expressions!"  I have vowed to work on this, for sweet Cormac's sake if nothing else.

11.  I must not, under any circumstances, get really hungry.  See #8.

12.  I love to cook, even if I am not "the best."  I am learning and I love it!  If you are having an event, please ask me to bring something!!!

13.  I love to play!   I love playing with my baby, acting super silly, rolling around on the floor, or chasing him.  I don't mind sitting with him and playing with toys.  I don't mind doing the same goofy game over and over and over to keep him laughing.  I love throwing him in the air and spinning him around.  Playing is probably my favorite part about being a mama.  I never had such a wonderful excuse to be completely goofy before!

14.  I devote a lot of time to exercise.  I don't expect you, as my friend, to also do this...however, I will encourage you to be healthy, as I want the best for you.   However, if you are not into exercising six days a week, please don't poo-poo my efforts!  I work hard, and a true friend will respect that and appreciate it.

15. I want you to be you.  It's nice to have things in common with friends (particularly wine drinking tendencies) but we don't need to have everything in common.  If you are not a camper, it's cool!  If you really hate goat cheese, no worries!  Not interested in cooking, no prob.   I'll never pretend to like things I don't -- don't feel like you have to, either!  Besides, perfect {or the attempt to be} is boring, and your quirks make you beautiful.

16.   I value a few close friends, and my family, over a ton of so-so friendships and acquaintances.  I don't have 1000 Facebook friends.  I don't know what that says about me, but I'm okay with it.

17.  I love food.  I love to eat and try new foods.   I will try anything once.  I've rarely met a food I haven't liked.  I've been a vegetarian before and a pescatarian.  Both are fine choices that I truly respect.  However, I am okay eating anything that I choose.   If we are really friends, please don't pick at your food.  Relish it!  Please feel free to fully enjoy it in front of me.  Don't worry about things being caught in your teeth.  {remember - comfort! realness!}

18.  I like my house tidy and clutter-free...but I really don't care if yours is a hot mess.   Please don't run around picking up just 'cause I'm coming to visit, I seriously just care about hanging out with you and not much else! :D  Plus, I'm a "big picture" gal,  not very detail-oriented, so I won't notice your dusty mantle.

19.  I love being a mama...but it's not the only thing I like to talk about.   Unless we are on a playdate, or the baby is with me out of necessity, I probably am trying to escape mommyhood for a moment so let's please talk about anything but babies.

20.  I think comfort is the sign of true friendship.  Conversation with a true friend should feel real.  If you don't feel comfortable just being yourself, and feel the need to put in a ton of effort to make it fun...maybe the friendship is not meant to be {and that is okay.}  Let's just hang out and be really real, shall we?  :)

What would your "T-shirt" say?
What do you look for in a friendship with someone else?
{just something to ponder...completely rhetorical}