Thursday, June 26, 2014

New friends and old - what matters to you?

By Mary Jane Maffini (aka Victoria Abbott) and friends

I am sure you have heard our excited squeals as the amazing Duffy Brown has joined the Cozy Chicks this week. Welcome, Duffy. Our joy is mixed with sadness that Deb will no longer be posting weekly.  Why can’t we have an eight day week? Huh?

Duffy brings a surprising amount of energy and enthusiasm to everything.  She writes two series, is a supportive colleague and a lively conversationalist. She puts her shoulder to the wheel. Best of all, she is the kind of person you like the minute you meet her. 

All this has caused me to ponder the nature of friendship.  When we were kids, many of us had tons of friends. Most of those school yard friendships are long gone, but the special ones endure. I met my friend Janet in Kindergarten an alarming number of years ago.  She was my maid of honor and the model for Camilla MacPhee in the Camilla mysteries.  She did make me laugh in church on my wedding day.  Someday over a drink, I’ll tell you that story. She’s still my friend and we still pick up our conversations where we left off, even if that conversation was three months earlier. She doesn’t care to be introduced as “my oldest friend”.  Not sure why not!

Once we leave school we meet friends through spouses, work, neighborhood and common interests.  I have friends who found themselves widowed or divorced and many people they thought were their friends fell away. But the good ones didn’t.  They stayed the course. That’s what real friends do.   

Have to mention, I do think of my husband and my daughters as friends too. A lot of time and a lot of talk!

I would be lost without my mystery writing friends. Yes, sometimes we kvetch.  And sure, they all know 147 ways to kill someone, but they don’t put that into practice. Instead they’re warm hearted and full of life.  As are the members of my book club and the Ladies Killing Circle and the Pink Bra Society. The list goes on.

So what makes a friend?  At the heart of friendship, I believe is the spark of liking someone. Then that spark can thrive when the friends are good listeners, helpful, enthusiasm, fun, positive thinkers and have some common interests (say mysteries?)  They’re there when you need them.

Hey, that pretty well describes ‘the Chicks’! Someone once said that for any relationship, you mustn’t take out more than you put into it.  Words to live by.  

So tell me, what’s important to you in a friendship?  Got a great story about your friend?