Love and friendship

By Katie Hodgins
April 7, 2005

Cecelia Francisco

I think I was in love once. I’m sure most of you reading would be able to say the same thing. It was one of those instances that lasted for a matter of a few months but sticks with you for a lifetime. There was no hurt, no lies or no cheating. It ended simply because we had no other choice. Now, I consider him a friend.

This certain friend of mine is different than the other friends in my life. Since then time has passed and I have moved on, I have been able to talk to him about anything, even new relationships when they happen. Through all of this, one major question I always ask myself is “Why can’t I talk to my girlfriends this way?” Don’t get me wrong. I do talk to them about the normal things girls in their early twenties discuss. When we get together, it sometimes resembles a scene straight out of Sex and the City. But, there is something different. It may seem ridiculous to think, but I can only think of one reason why I feel this way. I believe it is simply because they are female.

Even though I love getting together with my girlfriends, there is a certain limit to how much I admit to them or open up about. It’s not that I think they don’t care. Of course they do. I would care about whatever they may have to talk about too. I’ve realized that I prefer not to open up as much to them because of the competition factor, something I think many girls choose to avoid or don’t dare bring up.

This competition factor is something I’m sure many girls out there can relate to. It usually reaches a petty peak in high school then somehow manages to go with us to college. This competition is exactly what has led me to lose a few friends over the years.

In high school, it was the constant need to impress. It could be anything from getting a car for your 16th birthday, to who you took to the prom and all of the way down to a grade you got on a midterm. When girls got boyfriends, the word usually spread quickly, and the girls never minded the world knowing. This contest obviously went throughout the different cliques, but I think the most dramatic competitiveness occurred between good friends. I think my high school friends always wanted to be the first to do something, maybe even be the best at things.

I used to have one ridiculous friend in college that would always go out of her way to catch up with the others. If one girl had sex before her, she would obsess over it. If another girl got a cute outfit from Express, she would get a more expensive outfit from a more expensive store.

Needless to say, I stopped speaking to this girl over a year ago. But she did manage to have the time to all of a sudden call me to tell me she got engaged. She told me this with a tone of voice that let me know she was trying to brag. I think she is secretly happy that I’m not engaged and that I’ve gained back almost all of the 30 pounds I lost two years ago.

I wonder if any of you have ever had a friend like this. Hopefully, you never have. Contests are annoying. I think that is why I find it so much easier to talk to boyfriends, guy friends and even ex-boyfriends about my frustrations in life.

Although I talk about this competition and how much I hate it, I admit that I can be a hypocrite. Next June I’m a bridesmaid in a wedding and this old friend of mine is the maid of honor. I’m determined by then to have lost all my weight, get tan and have a great job after graduating. I’d love to see the look on her face. After all, I am a female. It comes with the territory.

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Katie Hodgins

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