“How can you be more intimate with the person who pours your drinks than the person who shares your bed, your income, your credit score and life?” I asked her.

“Exactly,” she said. “Real life is hard. It’s the enemy of feeling.”

This seemed the bleakest sort of pronouncement, but I didn’t challenge her on it. I knew what she meant. Marriage, motherhood, daughterhood, siblinghood: They all involve a complex, never-ending web of compromise and negotiation. Friendship, by comparison, feels light and free.

After a while, I came to terms with the fact that my new friend and I wouldn’t be soul mates or BFFs, we wouldn’t text constantly and talk on the phone for hours, make up our own language, or learn to do back handsprings together in the yard. We would be regular, grown-up friends. We would have brief moments of meaningful connection amid long stretches of silence or empty “How’s it going?” back-and-forths. It was a relief, but also, a little bit sad. “What’s the point?” I asked my husband. “Life is too short for small talk and bullshit.”
-Kim Brooks, "I'm Having a Friendship Affair"


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