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A Few Good Friends

June 6, 2010

One of my many, many flaws is that I expect a lot from people.  I have high expectations of Ali, Maya, my family, my friends, and even our usual Trader Joe’s cashier, who hasn’t let me down yet.  Although he did come rather close last week when he told Maya he was out of free stickers.  Lucky for him he found a secret stash just in time to avoid my blacklist.

I justify my high expectations by the fact that I give a lot of myself.  For example, if anyone was in need of a kidney right now and I was a perfect match, I would give it to them without hesitation.  I am not stating this fact to get kudos, but to explain that I would expect the same of someone else, especially if they were a friend or a family member.  And if they didn’t come through for me?  Well to me that kind of disappointment is hard for me to swallow.

So I shouldn’t be surprised that I don’t have many friends, right?  I mean, who wants to feel obligated to give up their kidney?  It is a lot to expect of someone, but no matter how much I try I can’t help but to expect it!  And more often than not I am disappointed.  Which leads me to wonder if I would even want to be friends with me? 

Probably not.  

In addition to having a spare kidney, other characteristics I look for in a friend include loyalty, kindness, timeliness, and general consideration.  Kidney aside, I don’t really think my list of requirements is that unreasonable.  But apparently these qualities are difficult to find in real-life. 

After dwelling on being disappointed by yet another friend recently, I came to the realization that “real-life friends” are not the end-all, be-all.  I mean, why do I need dozens of average people in my life when I have dozens of great friends who just happen to be “virtual?”

People like my good friend Tracey who came up with this wonderful, smart-ass comeback in response to my post on The Most Annoying Question…Ever:

Or Amy who came up a response that had me laughing for about 10 minutes straight:

Or Kim, who, incidentally, I have met and is a great friend on and offline.  She reassured me, as she often does, that I am not a horrible person for having just one kid.  Or for killing my basil plant:

And Gelareh even tweeted me the other day to let me know she’d be happy to chew out the horrible stylist who hacked my hair off.

Thank you all for being some of the nicest people I have ever “met,” and for being good friends.  I hope that one of these days we will all get an opportunity to meet up.

Assuming I haven’t scared you all off with the kidney thing, of course!

50 Comments leave one →
  1. June 6, 2010 8:58 am

    Ameena, I also expect a lot out of my friends…just about the same that I expect out of myself. I sometimes inevitable think, “If I can do this, why can’t you?”…most of my annoyances come from my friends’ inabilities: inability to walk home by herself, or drive on the highway, or read a map, or overcome their insecurities…etc. I didn’t realize it, but I’ve been showing my irritation all along to my friends…which makes them in turn always feel pressured to show a certain side of them to me. It made me realize that in this case, though I might have friends, few of them will actually think of looking for me when they are in trouble…and that makes me sad and hurt. So it’s like a vicious cycle! All which stems from my perfecionism…after all, no one is perfect.

    I’m trying to accept my friends’ flaws more, just as I’m learning to accept my own flaws.

  2. June 6, 2010 9:56 am

    I totally know what you mean. I relate more to the people I have “met” on the internet much more to the people I come in contact with during my daily life (which is not many as I am mostly at home). THank god for the internet daaaahling, and for people like you who would give me your kidney, … I’ll let you know LOL.
    *kisses* HH

  3. June 6, 2010 9:57 am

    I also tend to expect a lot out of people — but nothing more than what I expect out of myself. I think that’s fair but still, it can be a real disappointment to discover that most people just don’t share the same ethics. In the end I think it’s better to have just a few very close friends than a whole bunch of acquaintances. And I agree — blogging buddies can be fantastic friends!

  4. Katherine: What About Summer? permalink
    June 6, 2010 10:00 am

    good advice sent to you. blog friends are great. I love how there is such potential for relationships to develop

  5. actorsdiet permalink
    June 6, 2010 11:08 am

    this is such an interesting post; a topic i’ve been thinking of a lot lately. can’t wait to see you tomorrow!

  6. June 6, 2010 11:20 am

    Agreed!!! Many of the most supportive friends I have currently are through the Internet. Just because you don’t see someone on a regular basis doesn’t mean you can’t be their friend and them yours. 🙂

  7. June 6, 2010 11:23 am

    Hey Ameena,
    I expect a lot out of my friends too. I even expect a lot out of my blog-readers. For example, for my first blog contest ever, instead of letting my readers just re-tweet or blog or comment, I set the rules such that they had to actually MAKE a recipe. Guess who came to show? 3 people. Yep, three. Even after a dozen of them had promised to make it. The point is that I was pretty disappointed, but I quickly realized that I only want the 3 friends. Figuratively speaking, that is. What I mean is that you’re right — you only need a handful of really good friends: friends you can trust in and lean on, and everyone else, as someone mentioned earlier, can just be good acquaintances. Or, alternatively, just acquaintances. 🙂 And yes, virtual friends rule. But only the really sincere ones. They’re the real gems. And I’m always on the lookout for gems. 🙂

    xo aletheia

  8. June 6, 2010 11:28 am

    i both do and don’t expect a lot out of people. i definitely do on one hand (i have huge expectations for myself and that translates over to others) but i’m so darn tired of being let down that i simply don’t even bother anymore entrusting things to anyone other than myself. it kind of sucks but i’ve just been burnt too many times. i’m working on changing that and i agree that my internet friends have been a HUGE part of it. and amazing advice you got there 🙂

  9. June 6, 2010 11:50 am

    I think the world of you and love reading your blog. I’m sorry you’ve been let down! I have been hurt by so many friends, that I have severe trust issues. I don’t think your expectations are crazy or abnormal at all! It’s completely normal and common sense! People should expect more from themselves and treat others with more consideration! Maya IS beautiful, and you defy any word I can come up with: perfect, smart, intelligent, witty, gorgeous, radiant aka- everything I aim to be!
    Just know you have a huge community of ‘friends’ that truly care for you and support you no matter what! Plus, I love your EXCEPTIONAL taste in books (which surprisingly coincides with my own….)

  10. June 6, 2010 12:02 pm

    I am the SAME! I am always there for my friends but I just don’t seem to get that back. I am just happy being friends with myself. But thankfully we all seem to have found and excellent group of bloggers!

  11. June 6, 2010 12:12 pm

    I think that’s why I’ve started to realize the need for labels of “good friends” and “aquaintances”. I hold the bar really high, but that’s only because I would go above and beyond for them as well…

    And I am moved on a regular basis of how supportive the blogging community can be. It really is amazing.

    And I have high standards for blogger friends as well. For example, I totally expect a snide comment out of your mouth if that woman ever shows up again in your life. I will settle for nothing less! 🙂

  12. Michelle permalink
    June 6, 2010 12:20 pm

    I feel that sometimes I just need to go to my friends on blogs because they understand my lifestyle better. They know my thoughts and morals better than some of my real friends. But of course it is great to have a mix of both.

  13. traynharder23 permalink
    June 6, 2010 12:47 pm

    aww you didn’t put my retaliation. =D but we all love you and would KILL that park lady.

  14. Leah @ Why Deprive? permalink
    June 6, 2010 1:08 pm

    I expect a lot out of people too – I dont think thats a bad thing. Life is short, so why would you waste your time with people who let you down?
    I would rather have a couple of actual good friends, than a bunch of “friends” that I cant rely on. Im the type of person that would drop everything if one of my friends needed me. If theyre not willing to do the same for me, then I dont need them in my life. Thats just how it is.

    I agree with you about the blogging community too. I am constantly amazed at how wonderful, and supportive everyone is.

  15. June 6, 2010 1:09 pm

    The only reason I’m so in love with blogging are the wonderful friends I’ve met through it!! 🙂 You along with everyone else have given me endless support and encouragement – that is priceless! 🙂

  16. June 6, 2010 2:04 pm

    My husband and I are the same way. We don’t have many friends offline. Actually, most I would consider acquaintances. We’re very particular about the company we choose; we believe in quality over quantity and don’t really understand people that have 400 friends that seemingly don’t even truly know each other or like each other when they talk behind their backs, and all of that other disloyal childishness that I can’t relate to or lower myself to.

    We know a lot of great people online, though. Few I would consider friends, though. I agree, a true friend is someone who would give you a kidney. 🙂


  17. June 6, 2010 2:20 pm

    we are totally quality vs quantity. We don’t have many offline real life friends or family to be honest. it’s sad. and we DO expect a lot. we expect honesty, and mutuality. Seems a big list to our family.

    I hope to meet you some day
    I always enjoy your posts, humor, wit and well, EVERYTHING!


  18. June 6, 2010 2:22 pm

    Aw, I feel so honored to be mentioned as an on and OFFline friend 🙂 I think the same as you. You know that I have high standards/expectations as well and I find myself disappointed with people/situations very easily. That’s probably why I don’t have many friends. I’m a nice person (or so I’m told) and I have many acquaintances, but I can count my good friends on one hand, and that’s fine with me. I couldn’t manage 25 close relationships…or even 10. I spend most of my time with Lawrence and I’m very selective about my friend time. I love hanging out with you, which is why I’m bummed we don’t live closer! Anyway, I think the blog world is a huge comfort. I love virtual friends. I know I’m particular about my time, and it’s nice to just log in whenever and connect. We shouldn’t feel bad about that!

  19. June 6, 2010 3:18 pm

    we can’t control what others say, think, or do. watch out for yourself , and your life can be pretty fair me thinks.

  20. June 6, 2010 3:45 pm

    I’m the same way. I give a lot, get little in return, and that upsets me!!! I think it scares people away… but you know, the people worth giving to are the people that are willing to give it back.

    I was thinking that very same thing today. On my drive home, I was thinking “maybe we should move… I need new friends” LOL

  21. June 6, 2010 4:14 pm

    this is quite an interesting post because since i had the weekend to myself i actually found myself making choices of who i wanted to call out for dinner, in other words, who i wanted to spend my precious (kidless) time with. the friend that i had lunch with today actually said to me that she was flattered that i thought to call her when i could be busy enjoying my kidless time doing something else.

    don’t you agree though that friends also come in different groups. friends that you just talk to but aren’t really that close with. friends that you’ve known since forever but only talk to a few times a year yet they are your closest friends! friends that you see more often but are just social acquaintences. and of course there are different types of blogging friends too. ones that you just comment on one another’s blogs and ones that you really want to meet and become real life friends with but can’t because of the distance. you’re definitely in the latter group….sigh. this was a great post Ameena. hope you’re enjoying your weekend my (hopefully one day real-life) friend 😉

    • June 7, 2010 6:12 am

      I completely agree that there are different groups of friends and that I shouldn’t expect the same from all of them. Unfortunately I do! Obviously I have some things I need to work on. 🙂

  22. June 6, 2010 4:34 pm

    I think I expect so much from people that I don’t expect anything anymore. That doesn’t make any sense, I know, so I’ll explain…Like you, I expect my friends to be like me, to do the things for me that I would do for them. But I have met so few people in my entire life who are actually like that, so I don’t expect a thing anymore. I know that if I expect someone to do something or act a certain way towards me, I will be disappointed. I will, more often than not, be let down. And that is upsetting, and totally not worth it, so I never expect anything unless I fully trust someone. It is kind of sad, but its easier that way. I am more trusting with my blog friends than with most of my real life friends. I let people in more, I share a bit more about myself, and I’ve found that my virtual friends are actually really great people and the experience has shown me that not everyone is going to disappoint me.
    Its good to hear that you feel the same way.
    And for what its worth, I would gladly donate my kidney to you.

  23. June 6, 2010 5:16 pm

    Oooo I can definitely relate. I expect a lot from people mostly (I think) because I expect a lot from myself. If I can’t even let myself get away with certain things, why would I let others get away with them? I’m starting to think that life would be a little easier if I started relaxing my high standards, though, so I’m considering it… Still, I think I’d prefer having just a few good friends than a whole lot of acquaintances that only act interested when they need something.

    I’m glad that you’re enjoying some good friendships in the blogging world, though, because you deserve it. I’ve met tonnes of great people through blogging, and it always saddens me that they’re all so far away. Maybe one day I’ll have the pleasure of meeting some of them though, so don’t be surprised if I look you up if I’m ever in LA!

  24. June 6, 2010 5:45 pm

    Tracey does not know how to say it well doesn’t she?

    Yeah…annoying questions…just shake it off – shrug, smile and shake it off. I wish we could shut other people’s mouths or tell them what an idiot they are for some of their questions/sayings…but y’know more often than not, they don’t know any better.

  25. June 6, 2010 6:59 pm

    I am not a huge sun sign believer, but I can’t fail to recognize some similarities I share with you. And if I am not wrong you are an Aquarian. I am very very loyal to the people I love and expect the same from them. If that does not happen I am very heartbroken.That is probably the reason why I have big walls around me.

  26. June 6, 2010 7:56 pm

    I expect a lot out of my friends too…which is why I’ve always had a few really close friends as opposed to a bunch of casual friends, you know?

    And I’m outside of L.A. now!! (Glendale) Tomorrow, I’m visiting schools & family and then I leave early Tuesday 😦 I should have gotten in touch with you earlier because I was bored on Saturday!

  27. June 6, 2010 9:18 pm

    your friendship is appreciated as well!

    and by the way if you ever happend to need a kidney and i match up, im your gal.

  28. June 6, 2010 11:32 pm

    Great post! Lately I spend a lot more time with my parents due to their health needs. I spend less time with friends but thru emails we could update and I was happy to get a short phone call from my few close friends. Over time it became clear to me at what level I could be involved in my friends’ lives and vice versa. No one has said anything about a kidney yet to me! I am asking that question to myself.

  29. June 7, 2010 4:18 am

    I love this! I actually expect a lot out of people. It really has to do with being courtious and kind to others. I don’t have much tollerance for friends lacking in that department.

  30. June 7, 2010 5:22 am

    thanks for highlighting some of the great comments. i wish mine were as laugh out loud funny or whitty 😉 but in anycase, I echo their sentiments. I agree with all the qualities you look for in a friend. well put!

  31. June 7, 2010 5:22 am

    Ameena, I’ve been off the blog/web circuit for a while, and I just tuned back in. I LOVE your new layout/design. It’s super sharp! As for online friends, it’s kind of amazing how compassionate and dependable people can be…even when they have no real reason to be.
    Like you, I also invest as much as possible in to each of my few/special relationships, but I haven’t ever really thought about the economics of reciprocity. I can honestly say that, between everyone I know, I always feel covered.

  32. Jessica permalink
    June 7, 2010 6:01 am

    Good friends are a key component to life, I believe. I don’t know where I’d be without my small hand-full of awesomely amazing friends.

    Actually, yes I do – I’d probably have about six more cats and a ton of plants that would get a leaf full (?) every time I had a bad day. Or they would dead from some occasional classy wine drinking. The plants, not the cats.

    Anyway, having friends is great. I think the world wide web is a great place to meet friends also. The possibilities are endless.

  33. June 7, 2010 6:42 am

    I have a good core group of friends, but not a big group. I think I expect just a small amount from friends, or rather, need them to be low maintenance. I have little free time. I like friends that aren’t needy, that I can see 3 months later and pick up like its only been 3 days. I need space, independance, free time, I like being alone. I love my friends! – dont’ get me wrong, I just like easy going, ‘whatever’ kind of people.

  34. June 7, 2010 6:48 am

    What a great post Ameena. I have to go back and read the last few posts because I am probably too behind to even be responding but I definitely share a lot of similar feelings about friendship. I tend to have a few close friends over a lot of friends because of these reasons. Blog friends are the best, aren’t they?

  35. June 7, 2010 7:11 am

    I too expect a lot out of people (not unrealistic expectations), luckily I am blessed to have a really great group of family and friends that expect the same from me. I think sometimes people say things having good intentions in mind, but they really should keep their mouths shut!

  36. June 7, 2010 7:20 am

    Hi Ameena, first time commenter! i love your blog first of all.. and YES, i would have definitely had a smart-ass comeback for that snarky comment! my daughter is an only child.. but when i get married she’ll have an older sister and hopefully soon after a younger brother or sister. i remember the first time someone asked me if i were going to have another baby- and i said “don’t you think I ought to get married first?” (i was only 21 at the time.. no boyfriend, baby daddy no where in sight.. my daughter was only 3.. ) that stopped the “park lady” in her tracks, who must have been a conservative, “wait till you get married to have sex and have babies” .. lol because she turned purple and took off..
    one is enough for me right now, i see my friends and relatives with 3 or 4 and they are going nuts.. my mother is certifiably insane and there were 4 of us.. i’ll keep my sanity for now.. THANK YOU! 🙂

  37. June 7, 2010 8:19 am

    Great post! I do agree that sometimes my virtual friends feel closer to me than my real life friends! I love the blogging community!!

  38. June 7, 2010 9:28 am

    just wanted to let you know i saw ‘The Time Traveller’s Wife” last night. okay i didnt read the book but i thought the movie was actually pretty good. its definitely something that takes some time trying to figure out and can be confusing but its only cuz he’s always going either back to the past or zooming to the present again. theres a few bits that didnt make sense but most of it is explained pretty well as the movie progresses. definite rental if ur ever stuck choosing a movie. i think u would like it better than the book…

  39. June 7, 2010 10:40 am

    I’ve come to the point where I’m okay with not having huge groups of friends, and I’d rather not, because, like you, people often really disappoint me.
    this was a beautiful post btw

  40. June 7, 2010 12:57 pm

    oooh I really like the coke addiction… too bad no one at work would by it, since we get random drug tests. But it would be funny next time someone at work says my eggs are drying up to tell them something clever like that 🙂

    I have also made a lot of nice friends through my blog and/or reading other blogs that I would LOVE to meet in person one day.. you included. Unfortunately I can’t say much about my current friends. I moved here when I was 14 and didn’t speak english in high school so never made that friendship bond that most people make in school then in college bacause of my families cultural differences and worries I didn’t really get to hang out with many of my classmates (that changed for my sister significantly thought) so I have a lot of acquaintances then friends and I have to be honest it is very hard not to have a very close girl friend.

  41. June 7, 2010 1:12 pm

    Haha if you ever need anyone to kick someone’s a**…I’m your girl.

    I am the same as you when it comes to my friends. I have a few really good close ones but for the most part, I’m incredibly picky. I just don’t want to waste my time on people who aren’t worth it, you know? But yes blogger friends are some of the best, kindest, most giving people out there. I love them.

    And I’ve got two good kidneys. In case you ever need one 😛

  42. oc2seattle permalink
    June 7, 2010 3:34 pm

    I actually have that exact same list for my friends – minus timeliness (although I do get annoyed when people are always late) and add in intelligence. Hmmm, I don’t think we’re asking too much.

  43. June 7, 2010 7:51 pm

    I am in a similar situation as you do. Sometimes I even feel all my friends that I have in real life are actually really my friends? Because for some reason, there’s always this “barrier” that I feel with them. They’re nice people, don’t get me wrong, but I always don’t really show or share my inner thoughts with them. Anyway, sorry didn’t mean to rant about my stuff in your comment box..haha. But yea, blogger friends are cool to have and I wish to add more to my list as well 🙂

  44. June 8, 2010 7:44 am

    Aw, thanks for the shout-out. Some would say that shows I have an anger problem. 😉

    I totally identify with your friend situation. It’s not that I feel like I expect too much, but maybe that my expectations of what our friendship should be–and what it should be like when we hang out–doesn’t match up to reality. Not only that, but as I grow we tend to grow apart.

    I’ve realized that I prefer having a few close friends to tons of friends I can’t keep in touch with and can’t 100 percent count on.

  45. June 9, 2010 11:48 am

    I’ve been in a similar situation. I guess I tend to have expectations of my friends as well. I’m known to be fairly the “go-to” person. I’ve literally sacrificed to much of my time to care what they do and stuff and not really see anything in return. The favor tokens are really piling up now. lol. I guess that’s the Aquarious in me speaking.

  46. June 9, 2010 2:35 pm

    It’s scary, but most of my friends are online now. And the one good friend I have I met online. I expect the same of people… because I also try to give it. It’s hard when other people don’t expect the same of themselves!

  47. June 15, 2010 2:21 pm

    Ameena! It’s so good to be reading your blog again!! Ohh how I have missed blog-reading 🙂
    I hate personal questions like the ones you got in your last post- My boyfriend and I are constantly getting asked why we don’t have a wedding date set yet and why we aren’t married yet after being together for so long. And complete strangers are asking this! rude.
    I’m the same about friends too…and expect a lot from them, but I’d do it for them too! As a result I have very few close friends, but I guess it works for me!


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