Saturday, May 21, 2011
How To Survive On A Farm (Tips From Someone Who Knows Nothing About It). Part 8: Find a Drinking Partner, ahhh, I Mean FRIEND...
This type of friend is also up for either a girls trip away or 'weekender'. They will come / organise a few days away with just the girls. It involves fake tans, having nails and hair and make up done, watching movies, getting dressed up and shopping. And no children. Or husbands.
PS: Logistically speaking, it helps if at least one of your drinking buddies is also your neighbour. But we can't always have everything. (Unless of course, you're me.)
2. The Cavalry.
This is the person you go to when you need urgent and immediate help in any shape or form. These friends are real gems, because mostly you don't even have to go to them. They just know when to find you. The Cavalry are easily identified at such key moments in your life as pregnancy, major life events, planning of functions, busy periods at work. My Cavalry cooked me meals all through my pregnancies, when the smell of all foods drove me into a deep and dark pit of despair. She still cooks for me! This Friday we have a sports carnival that starts at some ungodly hour (all for a good cause though!) and she is cooking me dinner for that night, so I don't need to worry about it myself after such a long day out of the house! She is also making me lunch, and coming to cheer on my kids (who she is also making lunch for), and helping me get out of the house in time - even though she lives 1/2 an hour away. I know. I sound completely incompetent. I can't stop the Cavalry. The Cavalry is a force to be reckoned with. The Cavalry has more energy than you could ever hope to muster yourself, and you will only ever aspire to being able to live up to such high standards, as those set by this friend.
3. The Club.
It could be a book club, a sports club, an organisation or whatever. I am a member of several. The club are people you might only meet with occasionally, but they are always worth the wait. Some of the best laughs I have are with people in 'the club'. I'm talking about crying until you wet your pants kind of laughing. Plus I get to eat garlic prawns when the club meets, so that is an added bonus. People in 'the club' are often people you have a lot in common with. They are people who all have a common interest, and as such, are much easier to find common ground with. Plus they take me away from the frightening reality of my crazy life for one evening a month. CP seems to think the 'once a month' is more like once a fortnight these days. And he could be right. But being part of a club is nice.
4. The Workmates.
These are the people who you meet strictly through work. Sometimes they are 'local' (also married to farmers), and sometimes they are just doing their country service. They understand why you are stressed, and why you cry when you are busy. They remember your birthday and bring a cake into the staff room to celebrate. They look after your children when you are stuck in a meeting or are locked in the photocopy room trying to get something productive happening. They are people you will sometimes socialise with in other capacities (clubs, parents etc.) but you will relate to mostly in a work capacity. Workmates are sympathetic to the varying needs of a working parent.
5. The Good Samaritans.
These are the friends (who probably also fall into other categories) who you constantly feel like you will never be able to make it up to. They seem to do so many 'little things' for you, even though they genuinely don't seem to mind. My good samaritans pick my youngest daughter up from the school I teach at (since I get to school at some ridiculously early hour) and drop her off at the Kindy. Then they pick her up in the afternoon and bring her back to my school for me. These are genuinely GOOD people, who I respect and admire in so many ways.
6. The Wife/Mother Crowd.
When I was first dating CP, a farmers wife (who I had very little in common with at the time, but who had clearly noticed my discomfort whilst socialising with 'the country crowd') once told me that things will get easier when I am married with children. I remember being upset by her comment and thinking that it should have been easier than that. It should just be that people like me for me, regardless of whether or not I am married or if I have children. But I understand what she meant now. Once upon a time, that farmers wife was just like me. And all she meant was that it doesn't matter if you have nothing in common with anyone out here NOW, because when you add a husband and children into the equation, we all have that in common. And that's sometimes all it takes to make lifelong friendships.
Some of the women I have met through having children and being married are some of my closest friends. They are not necessarily people I would ever have spoken to in any other circumstances, and now I can't imagine not having them in my life. Our children will grow up together. Hopefully our husbands will grow up together too. Whoops... I mean grow older together... :)
The wives and mothers are the people you will need to see you through the crazy years of sleepless nights, and screaming children. They will offer advice, recipes, clothes, baking dishes, ingredients and anything else they know has worked for them. They are people you call when you find a sick heifer over the back fence and can't find anyone at home to tell you if it is okay. They are the people you call when you don't know why your baby is crying. They are the poeple you speak to in front of the school to complain about your husband not helping with the children enough. They are people you will car pool to JRL practise 3 hours away with. They are good friends, not only because they have to be, but because they just are special people, just like you.