For & Against: Friends5 May 2017
Words by Caleb Triscari
The fact that I have to argue a pro-friends stance is absurd, but I’ll play along.
As someone with the “emotional range of a teaspoon” (Rowling, 2003), friends play an important role as the decoders of my many uninterpretable attitudes. I get the warm and fuzzies when a pal is able to decipher a passing look I give to them which eloquently describes how the guy I’m trapped in a conversation with is an absolute douchecanoe. Bonus points if they can pass me back a ‘I’ll chuck you a sneaky fake phone call’ glance.
Then there are the forgotten moments. Those which fall out of memory in two days time. A head resting on another’s shoulders. A fleeting conversation over a coffee to pass time. A shared bottle of wine on a couch at 2am. They’re fragments of the greater story but they fill the vacant space with side-plots and white noise. It’s cliché to say the little moments in life are the most important but it can’t always be one great adventure after the next.
The people who I share my life with are my saving grace(s). By that, I don’t mean the ‘I’ll always be there for you’ bullshit because, frankly my dear, that’s not true. There are going to be cracks in the porcelain. Hopefully they’re just superficial but sometimes it takes a little more effort to mend. To hurt one another is human, and those closest to you are no different. It’s a sad reality, this unfortunate by-product of needing to put one’s self first. It doesn’t take too long to discover that this won’t get you far.
The difference lies in the action taken after the fact. There are people who will do whatever it takes to make it better and they’re who we should have in our lives. To have someone care enough about you to change a part of themselves is someone not worth losing. You challenge them to be better as they should you. This is a two-way street, remember that.
That’s why you, I and the rest of the world have an unspoken responsibility to act as sounding boards, confidantes, counsellors and guardians. After all, each one of us is trying to clamber through this fucked up plane of rhetorical questions and ephemeral actions. We don’t deserve to go through that alone.
Words by Monique O’Rafferty
Friends are the worst. You could be in bed, watching Netflix, but instead you’re at shit club with shit music wasting your money on overpriced, diluted alcohol because your friend just broke up with their partner and wants you be their wingman/woman for the night.
Friends ask you vague questions about your life in order to have an excuse to talk about themselves for two hours. They convince you to do stupid shit like spend all your money on that new jacket that looked “great” in the store, but that realistically, you will never wear.
You know what’s not the worst? Pets. Cats, dogs, fish, chickens, pet rocks, you name it, it probably won’t talk back, sleep with your ex or highlight your insecurities. Pets will always want to hang out, eat food and binge watch your guilty pleasure television show until 3am.
Dogs won’t borrow your clothes without asking and never give them back and you know why, because dogs don’t fucking wear clothes. They are loyal, always happy and light up every time you walk in the room. You can’t put a price on that kind of companionship.
Don’t forget how great cats are. No need to blow all your money on an expensive birthday gift, just throw a piece of string their way and they will love you forever. They will never judge you when you nap to avoid life’s responsibilities. In fact, they will probably join you.
Don’t goldfish have a memory of three seconds? You could tell them all of your secrets and never have to worry about them blabbing. (After further research it was found that goldfish in fact have a much longer memory than three seconds. You know who probably told you that extremely offensive and incorrect rumour – your friend.)
The pinnacle of friendship and loyalty is the pet rock. You could accidentally push them out of a window and they would still give you that creepy smile you drew on them with permanent marker when you were five and weren’t quite sure what faces were supposed to look like. They wouldn’t have judged you on your artistic ability, or lack thereof, and they certainly wouldn’t have scribbled all over your bead and macaroni masterpiece to win the Caramello Koala art prize in primary school.
Contrary to the idealistic portrayal of friendship in the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. theme song, your friends will not always ‘be there for you’. They will let you down, stab you in the back and never give you the kind of loyalty and undivided attention that pets can.