When I was a wee one, EVERYONE was friends. If you were the same age, you played together. Sometimes you liked the other kids, sometimes you didn't. And sometimes it just depended on the day. If your mom's liked each other, if you lived in the same neighborhood, or if you were in the same class at school, it didn't matter. Just like writing Valentines for each person in the class, you handed out invitations to your birthday party to everyone as well.
When you get a little older, say, junior high, you start being a little more selective with the company you keep. You start to develop real friendships. Sure, they may be based on things like "We have the same backpack" or "We both really like the same band", but you start to lose that "everyone is included" mentality.
By the time you reach high school, you have a core group of friends. It could be one. It could be 10. either way, MOST people can say that just because they went to school with someone, or someone lived on their street, or their moms were friends that THEY were friends too. Jr. High and high school is about the time when your current friends might start to decide that if YOU want to be friends with THEM, then WE aren't friends anymore.
This was very hard for me growing up. When I was in Elementary school, my best friend was a girl named Dana. She was a year younger than me and lived across the street. I was also friends with another girl, Melissa, who lived 6 houses up the block. Melissa was....different. Odd really (and still is :) ) Melissa was in the same grade as me, but also a year younger. Sometimes we fought, but mostly, we got along well. When Dana first moved in, I guess her and Melissa tried playing together, but there was some sort of altercation and Dana now HATED Melissa. At the age of 9, I was torn between my two best friends. I was told by Dana if I wanted to be HER friend and play with HER toys, I was not allowed to play with Melissa...ever! Melissa never gave me that ultimatum, but she did not like when I would suggest we all play together, or when she had to see Dana at my birthday parties. In the end, I would not give up Melissa as my friend and Dana stopped talking to me.
When I was in Jr. High School and High School, My best friend besides Melissa was a a girl named Lauren. Lauren was an only child (hmm..now that I think about it, so was Dana) and while she liked Melissa enough, because she could be bossed around too, she didn't like sharing me. She was always trying to convince me to bail on plans with Melissa or try and make plans with me without her. In the end, Melissa ended up dating one of my boyfriends, and we stopped talking all together. (We are friends again now, as adults...)
Throughout my life I have always had at least ONE close friend. However, as soon as another friend comes into my life, they try and push them out. (BFF Rose has never done this. However, others have tried to do it to BFF Rose...ie: My cousin Terri) For a long time, I let it happen, but recently, and I don't know if it's because I am sick of it, or I am just getting older and therefore less tolerant of the bull shit drama, but I have put my foot down and stopped letting it happen. Why can't I have several friends? Why does it only have to be one? Two? All the people in my life are very special to me, in all different ways.
After reaching out to Gina and "repairing" that bridge, my cousin Terri found out about it. I mean, it wasn't hard. It was on my facebook, and even though Terri hasn't seen me or spoken to me in person or on the phone in almost 8 months (for no reason...other than she is busy/I am busy) she is mad. Mad that I "friended" Gina on facebook, and not that it matters, but Gina and I have sent 3 short private messages back and forth catching up A LITTLE BIT in 2 months, and one wall comment between the two of us. My cousin was so mad, she passive aggressively put her Facebook status as something about blood not being thicker than water, and family stabbing you in the back, and then de-friended me on Facebook. It's not like SHE was rushing to come hang out with me...
Then, I had another friend of mine from high school get back in touch with me. This person and I were good friends, but I eventually stepped away because she was trouble and I would have gotten in trouble hanging out with her too. We eventually had a confrontation and it wasn't a good ending. She has reached out a couple of times over the years, apologized, and tried to be in my life again, but I kind of held her at an arm's length. True, I DON'T want the drama in my life, but this last time we talked a little more, and she was going through some stuff, and I just listened and I realized she is not "that" person anymore. She just has a bad judge of character and maybe is a little naive.
I don't know where I am really going with this all other than the fact that I am almost 31 years old, and I have finally come to the conclusion that having people in your life is never a bad thing. You can have more than one friend, and they don't all have to be your very bestest and closest friend, and they don't all have to be just "acquaintances" either, and if your other friends don't like it, THEY can grow up :)