I really enjoyed reading the ‘The No-Bullshit, No Drama Friendship Manifesto’ that has gone crazy on facebook.
So much so that I visited the Renegade Mama's blog, added it to my bloglovin’ feed and immediately read more of her posts. I particularly loved ‘A letter to my newborn while I’m still a damn near perfect mother.’ Her posts are clever, raw and relatable.
But if I was to meet Renegade Mama in real life, I don’t think she’d pick me as a friend.
It’s not because I wouldn’t want to be her friend.
In fact, as I read the manifesto I immediately wanted to be her friend. She is clearly witty and honest and you get the impression that if she was your friend you would have a whole lot of fun together and she would totally have your back. Who wouldn’t want to be friends with someone like that?
It’s not because I don’t agree with most of her manifesto.
House clean or dirty: I don’t care.
Call me back, don’t call me back: Whatever, I just figure something has come up.
Stupid comments: I won’t make a deal.
Kids will have a big influence on our time spent together: Of course.
Tell the truth: Naturally.
No RSVP: I'm happy if you just turn up.
And it’s definitely not because I am full of drama.
In fact I couldn’t be further from the definition of 'being full of drama'. You know how magazines tell men that ‘sometimes women just need you to listen to them, they don’t need you to fix their problems?’ Well I think I must listen to problems like a man. You have an issue? Let’s find a solution. There is no solution? Let’s deal with it and move on then. I deal with my own problems the same way. And maybe that’s part of the problem; it means I don’t quickly or easily make an emotional connection when meeting other women.
But if it isn’t any of those things, what is it? As I read the post again I realised that in my desire to feel like I could be friends with Janelle, I was in fact wishing to be more of a ‘flake’.
But I’m not. I am organised and efficient and I get shit done. But just because that’s what I do well, it doesn’t mean I expect or want the same from you. I will be on time and I will have my kid’s birthday organised. I am great at planning and preparing. If that’s not you, no dramas, we can still be friends. In fact I’ll happily utilise my strengths to help you out when you need it the most.
I’ll take your kids to the park to give you time when you are struggling to get stuff done. I’ll find that sold out present that your child absolutely must have and I’ll get it at a good price. I’ll spend five hours scanning twenty years of photos to make you a personalised photo book for you milestone birthday.
And I will ask you for your parenting advice. Some of my friends do amazing things with their kids and sometimes I just need to hear what they are doing. And if you ask me for my parenting opinion in return, I’ll happily give it.
So I may not be the first person you call when you need an emotional listening post and I’m not going to participate in the ‘husbands are useless and wouldn’t we be better off without them?’ discussions, because my husband isn’t and I don’t think we would be.
But if you want help fixing something, emotional, logistical or otherwise, then I am your woman. I won't show you I love you by telling you (unless I am a couple of bottles of wine in!), instead I'll show you I love you by doing things for you. It may not be conventional and it won’t suit everyone, but that’s just the way it is.
So, do you want to know if you are my friend? If I have baked for you, invited you over for dinner, offered to do something practical for you or arranged to do something active with you, then I’m saying that I care about you. And I'm here for you whenever you need me.
But next year I'll forget your birthday just so you can be sure!
Linking up with Essentially Jess for I Blog on Tuesdays