Friday, June 3, 2011

The Eighty Five Percenters

I've been spending more time lately outside my house and away from my children on purpose.  Not a lot, mind you.  But more. 

It is thanks in large part to friends who refuse to let me stay home and dwell in my cave. 

We were standing around in the kitchen drinking mango vodka slushies just after noon one day, not that there's anything wrong with that, and the conversation meandered down the path of friendship.  Of the relationships that we have with each other, with other women. 

We agreed that there were plenty of people that we could be complete friends with.  We could talk about just about anything and either agree or agree to disagree and be fine with it.  Our kids liked each other, or at least could tolerate one another.  We shared similar interests.  Those friends.

And then there is everyone else. 

One of the ladies coined the term eighty five percenters.  Which is a perfect description of it. 

* The people that you would elect to be friends with 85% of the time and pretend the other 15% just didn't exist. 

* The ones that you have to take the good and leave the bad, repeatedly.

* The ones that you can get along with almost all the time, but have had serious arguments with in the past. 

* The ones that you have to make a conscious effort not to listen to when they start yapping about something you disagree with. 

* The ones that you just silently nod you head to when they hop up on their soapbox. 

* The ones that you adore unless they are trying to convert you to their religion. 

* The ones that parent completely differently than you do, to such a degree that you find yourself in an awkward position sometimes. 

* The ones that are great friends, but burden your relationship with asking too much. 

* The ones that you have one divisive issue with, and it affects your relationship forever after. 

* The ones that you love and get along with, but your kids cannot stand one another.  Or your husbands. 

There are far more of the eighty five percenters than complete friends in this world.  Think about your circle of friends.   Guaranteed there aren't many that make the cut for complete.

Some people can't do it, though.  They can't be the eighty five percenter.  It's an all or nothing deal.  My way or the highway.  Which makes me bang my head on the wall. 

There is value in every relationship, short of the toxic ones, for all of us.  And maybe even in those toxic ones for some of us, to be honest.  These eighty five percenters offer us a different perspective, they make us ask ourselves questions that we wouldn't if everyone always agreed with us.  They open our eyes to the different lives of others.

At the end of the day, they are just as important as the complete friends, maybe even more. 

Assuming, of course, that they can be friends with  just 85% of you.

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