Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Too thick don't stick

The first person I heard this phrase from was a friend's father. The friend was RLB's former business partner's wife. She was eighteen years older than me and her father was in the last years of his life. I had been spending more time with this woman because of the business our husbands were operating. Her father was seeing me around more with her. One day, very casually, he gave her a knowing look and said, "you know, too thick don't stick..."

I admit, I felt a bit offended by his stating that. I took it to mean he was saying something negative about my character. In essence he was. He was stating some wisdom he knew about women's nature.

The phrase resonated with me. Especially when, after spending too much time with this friend, I started disliking her. I got to know her very well. I knew her strengths, I knew her weakness, I knew the condition of her marriage, I knew her spending habits, I knew....way too much about her. We spent weekends with this couple, went on vacations together, dined out together, I went shopping with her. We were the best of friends...until we weren't.

Vox's post at Alpha Game: The hunt for weakness, highlights this female phenomenon when it comes to intersexual relationships.
No doubt most men will dislike the need to anticipate, misdirect, and obfuscate when they would like nothing better than to bare their souls and be accepted for whom they truly are, warts and all.  But the paradox of intersexual relations is that in order to be truly accepted, loved, and desired by a woman, a man must always keep a part of himself hidden well away from her. - VD
The best way for a woman to maintain a positive relationship with another women is very similar to what Vox has stated here; always keep a part of yourself hidden well away from her. In other words, do not get too close.

I have a good friend who recently moved to the same town her best friend lives. Up until the move, they talked on the phone frequently and would see each other no more than a couple of times a year. Now that she lives five minutes away, their friendship is struggling. My friend has come to know too much about her best friend. She knows her good and her ugly.

I've seen this occur among women countless numbers of times. I see it quite often in military communities. When you move as often as the typical military family, you, as a woman, seek out female companions. It's tough to live in a new area and not know anyone, especially when your husband gets deployed. Unfortunately, proper discernment isn't always used when choosing friends and then too much time is spent together. All is revealed in a short period of time and it usually doesn't bode well for the friendship.

Women have a natural tendency to be judgmental. "To each his own" is a cute saying, but it is the rare woman that can maintain a friendship with a woman she spends a considerable amount of time with. Because of our tendency to talk about everything and anything, we allow individuals with very different life perspectives and moralities to come in close and know too much about us and we'll know too much about them.

Familiarity breeds contempt - we've all heard it, and it's true for women.

Though it seems counter-intuitive, if you want to maintain a healthy friendship with women, you need to learn what men have come to understand about their relationships with women, you need to "anticipate, misdirect, and obfuscate" instead of baring your souls. You also need to limit the amount of time you spend with them. It might seem like a good idea to gather together everyday to let the kids play, drink coffee and chat...it's not. It won't take long before you'll be bickering to your husband about something she said or did that you just don't like. 

2 comments:

  1. Weird, like when dudes can sit next to each other for hours and never really talk about anything of value, yet consider each other 'friends'. You can talk all day and never even know his last name.
    Love it!

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  2. This explains a lot about some of my former friendships, all from my days as a military wife. Now I can see these women on facebook and we "like" each other's posts and sometimes comment, but we could never be thick like we used to be. Sometimes I mourn the loss of these friendships and miss what we had, but after thinking about what you wrote, it was inevitable.

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