The difference between being friends and being friendly.

By Estella

Two years back, Amanda went through a phase of mistaking every smiling stranger for a friend. When I bought her a pair of pink Croc gumboots from the Croc store in Chadstone, Melbourne, she wanted to invite Mimi, the salesgirl, along with us for tea. She kept saying to me, “Let’s go and say hello to Mimi.”

“But Mimi needs to work,” I said.

“But isn’t she our friend?” asked Amanda, her eyes pools of confusion.

I decided it was time to have the “friends vs friendly” talk with her. In explaining to her the difference between the two, it  became clear to me why some of my associations are more fulfilling than others.

“See here Amanda. A friend is someone who we see all the time, speak to often and whose food we eat. Do we see Mimi all the time?”

She shook her head.

“Do we speak to her often?” Well, let’s face it, if people don’t want to hear about you or from you, they’re probably disinterested in being your friend.

As I had expected, she shook her head again.

“Have we eaten at her table?” The last is for Asians the acid test of relationships: if I haven’t shared a meal with you, it’s highly unlikely that I’d call you up to hang out with.

Amanda eyes held that look of sudden knowing. “Oh, oh, I know now. She’s not a friend because we have never been to her house or speak to her or eaten her food.”

“Exactly. A friend is one who you can count on to feed you.” My friends at least get a cup of tea when they come visiting, if not a hot meal. “A friendly person is simply one having a good day.They’re in a stellar mood, that’s why they’re friendly.”

The distinction is important because if not, one goes through life cultivating relationships that have no real chance of blossoming while allowing those that can thrive to wither from neglect. Having said that, friendly people can and do become friends, just as friends sometimes, for whatever reason, become friendly people.


6 thoughts on “The difference between being friends and being friendly.

  1. Haha… Make sure you come by and eat my Bak Chang. I will freeze some for you…:)

  2. Good one. It probes me to think that when is that ever one single time i have a friend who i see all time speak often and share meals. But a blog of yours as such could provide socially reclusive people a platform to share what is going on within circle of friends. Come to think of it, I have never been invited to any wedding dinner in my life since too. That makes me a lousy friend huh. I guess i should probably give thanks to my socially prominent family that always host group events that put me off from knowing each individual at more in-depth level.

    This is to say i could seriously notice your writing has since become more ligh-heartening, opinionated, observant than narrative like last time. If you are not looking forward to get paid, perhaps an advertising free circulation amongst your friends and family will give you the satisfaction. Unfortunately, as soon as I have enrolled myself in jschool there is some untold pressure that i need to keep some figures on readership and seek out international recognition. The good news is, i managed to pay off my first colleage fees in 2 years. but i have not been working since economic recession. Some of my peers started doing insurance and/or trying to form some women alliance. Would you be interested? Do you have any connection in Australia?

  3. People have different requisites for friendship. These just happen to be mine. It makes sense that we want to see more of people we like by sharing meals and happenings from our lives with them. We want to include them in what we do.

    My blog was birthed with the intention of discussing issues I feel compelled by; racism, gender inequality, the pervasiveness of the idiot culture, the ethics of choice, etc… I am a great believer in fate and I practise astrology too, but this is not the place to discuss it. Depending on what I have in store for the rest of the year, I plan to launch an astrology blog around December.

    I am going to rework my second novel in the next 2 months, so this may not come to fruition. However I enjoy examining the intertwining threads of fate and how pre-destiny manifests in a person’s life.

    I wouldn’t mind going for paid gigs (whoever minds money?) but I have, as yet, no intention of introducing advertisements to By Estella Dot Com. I know my readership stats because my web-hosting service keeps track, providing me with a complete breakdown of where my readers are from, how much time they spend reading my posts etc. It’s rather comprehensive. In our first month, we had 46 000 hits and an average of 130 readers per day. We’ve just passed our second month and I expect that the figures have grown. They seem to have, the last time I took a peek at them.

    I try not to get obsessed about numbers because this is ultimately what drives quality down. I write what I must and let SEO optimisation and happy readers do the rest. After all, I’m doing this for pleasure, not money.

    I have friends who work in the journalism here too, but I have never approached them to work on projects. Mostly, we give each other moral support and pointers for how to improve what we do. I’m sure you know that writing, while enjoyable, can be a lonesome experience. We meet up for fellowship and trade info on upcoming writer’s events.

  4. 46,000 hits! wow that is a number.
    Now you got me thinking what is a jschool degree for anyways.
    Looking forward to your next work.

  5. When i was working part time to fund my lifestyle while studying and actual working in the industry for 2 years, frankly speaking, i did not get to write as part of my interest which i thought would be my main jobscope but mainly get side tracked with lots of industrial norms, i.e. research. It in turns make me an super professional librarian that i loathe it so much that i think it does my writing career no good. You could imagine how much i became disinterested in my writer-ship after such trainning and i thought hey maybe i need a master degree to sort things out. I was offered to work with United Nations but that requires me to based on KL <— horrible traffic with lousy food.

    Gave it all up but only working on the internet just like you, nah neither am i going for those writer events or any publishing projects. I envision self publishing will be booming here for some while with some names like Yorkshire and Trafford….and i read just how many media outlets closed down during the recession. It really prompts me thinking why someone was telling me why do i pursue a career in which people take it up as leisure and the reason why the west is good in media is because they have gotten rich by wars. Of course, you can never expect to hear such opinion piece from any of your caucasian friends. Low pay scale for journalist but wide exposure for general citizen. Can you imagine some parliament visit, jury sitting, celebrity acquaintances, free goodies from product launch, face to face interview with prominent businessman, etc? That is how media can be fun instead of just plain writing, no interaction. We are even encouraged to take up physchology in school so that we become smooth talker like David Letterman. It all depends on our character, quest for information and pursue in lifestyel. Do i make sense to you?

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