excuses and friendships

Our Superbowl Party (a.k.a. excuse to show off our TV and have people over) was a success. I had a great time and it was awesome to have everyone hang out. I definitely feel, thanks to Des and her peeps, that M and I are starting to build some great relationships in Champaign which will be a plus when I move here. It's sad though, because we miss our Bloomington friends, too. Friendship seemed to so much easier when we were younger and you could just trade suckers or baseball cards or whatever. I suppose, though, those might have been pretty shallow friendships.

There's so much drama and entanglements when you become part of adult friendships. My grandmother has 2 best friends and a larger circle of about 5 great friends, one of whom just died. Maybe the whole circle of friends is meant to be relatively small and manageable. I find friendship/relationships interesting. I feel I've run the gamut in terms of the kinds of friends I've had.

The English word "friendship" is of Germanic origin, and related to the Old English fréond with the same meaning, and the Old Teutonic frijôjan, to love.

Aristotle distinguished the following categories of friendship:
Friendship factored on pleasure
Friendship factored on interest
Friendship factored on goodness

When I think about the people I've been friends with over the years and those who have been friends with me, I wonder where I'd place my friendships. Also I think of the way the rhetoric of friendship gets spun, especially among women, setting up expectations of the kinds of friends we should have. The miles and miles of rows of cards in Walgreens and Hallmarks alone attest to the very specific way our friendships are framed by culture and of course, we go right along reinforcing those expectations and feeding back into the culture. I am guilty of sending these kinds of cards to my female friends. That's the thing about cultural ideology. You can't escape it. Here's an example of what I'm talking about. Notice the language:

"Every woman should develop the kinds of bonds that will allow her to know she has someone she can count on. Someone who will give her the best advice, even if it is unpleasant. Someone who will expect the most from her...and someone with whom she can celebrate life."

"Every woman should..." does this mean if I haven't exactly developed this bond that I'm missing out?
"Of course it does, you sad, pathetic excuse for a woman. If you have no one to send this card to, then why are you here?"

This irritates me because it frames friendship very specifically. And quite frankly I don't know that every woman should develop these bonds. Doesn't this reinforce the idea that women cannot survive alone? I don't want someone to lean on, or someone to tell me what I don't want to hear. And I don't want to be that to someone else. Sometimes, all I want is someone to make me coffee and shut the fuck up while I watch Sex and the City. Is that too much to ask?