Monday, March 26, 2007
These three ladies, dear reader, are (l-r) Lil, Pat and my Mum. The three of them are firm friends and have been for very many years.
Push, push in the bush.
I often try to work out how their relationships work, what keeps them together, why they're so solid, how they resolve their differences and who's the leader of the gang.
I finally worked out, when down in England last, that my Mum's the leader. How did I work this out? With my Mum saying, "I'm not calling her. She knows where I am..."
There's confidence for you. The leader making her minions sweat. It would be scary, horrid, even, if Mum was conceited about it, if she had a plan or if, dare I say it, she had some kind of personality disorder where she'd only have friends if they were afraid of her. But none of these things can be applied here.
I think, with age and experience, we all realise that constant intervention and rôle playing is not conducive to a good relationship. Things either happen or they don't. People gel or they don't. Fretting and fiddling with the minutiae will have no lasting impact on the greater outcome, that being the friendship and its ability and capacity to last.
One thing, I think, that does keep the three of them together is not a huge list of similarities between them but their differences. They each come from similar socio-economic backgrounds, but the things that really count amidst our human relationships are as different as they could be.
Easygoing types and those seeking an easy life know to always avoid the topics of politics and religion in conversation. Mum and her two friends seem to talk about nothing else. Things get heated, but they never fall out. And the three of them couldn't be more different. Lil's an atheist, Pat's a Roman Catholic and Mum refuses to be labelled. Lil's an extreme left-winger, almost communist, Mum's sometimes so right wing that she scares me (but then she'll come out with something vaguely Marxist) and Pat has no political convictions whatsoever. No topic is ever taboo and no-one ever falls out.
I sometimes think that their relationship is perfect. They don't even have to bother with the hassle of sex.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating - and they've been eating from the same bowl for very many years.