Tag Archives: Oscar Wilde

Choose Your Friends

I choose my friends for their good looks; my acquaintances for their good characters and my enemies for their good intellects.
A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
Oscar Wilde, Irish dramatist, novelist and poet  – 1854-1900
Oscar Wilde

Image via Wikipedia

Oscar Wilde, that 19th-century Irish writer, poet and wit, used these lines in his play Portrait of Dorian Grey and it set me thinking about my friends. 
Some are lifetime friends, and some are relatively new friends who will no doubt, become lifetime friends.  These are folks I have met at different times in my life and with whom I have a shared bond.  This keeps us in touch even if only on birthdays and holidays.  I have a friend in Toronto whom I met when both our husbands were transferred to Montreal.  We have kept in (ir)regular touch over some 40 years.  We have shared births of grandchildren, deaths of our husbands, marriages of our children and unfortunately in her case, a daughter’s divorce.  We have visited each other a couple of times and though we are at opposite ends of the world, we are lifetime friends.  Other friends of long-standing include the very first person I spoke to (apart from hotel staff) when I  first arrived in New Zealand.  Again, we have shared so many of the big and little things in life over almost 45 years,  She is truly a lifetime friend and although she only lives some 400 miles away, we rarely see each other but we know we are friends.
And then I have other newer friends with whom I have shared so much.  These people have been instantly recognised as friends to keep and with whom to keep in touch.  Again we share the highs and lows of each other’s lives.  A friend leaving her husband, another battling her son and his dependency on drugs and yet another whose daughter is trying so hard to conceive a child.  These things bring us close together.
I like to think that I am a good friend.  A trusted ally who is there when I am needed but not intrusive in my friends’ lives. 
But sometimes, as the years pass, friendships change and maybe drop off.  I have a ‘friend’ of long-standing who suddenly doesn’t have time for me.  I have tried on many occasions in the past year to connect with her.  Oh, whenever we meet at a social gathering, she apologises for not returning my calls and says we must get together soon, or that she will call me and fix a date, but she never does.  I have no idea of what has changed in our relationship and cannot get to speak to her about it.  So regrettably I have to think that this was a friend for a season only – although the season lasted many years.
And then, of course, I have my two sisters who are most certainly lifetime friends.  So I consider myself very lucky in the friends and family that I do have.

“If you’re alone, I’ll be your shadow.
If you want to cry, I’ll be your shoulder.
If you want a hug, I’ll be your pillow.
If you need to be happy, I’ll be your smile.
But anytime you need a friend, I’ll just be me.”  ~Anon

And for no reason other than I think they were ‘best’ friends I share this photo with you.  I don’t know who these women are or who sent me the card with them on, but it tells a whole story.  Watch this space for that story soon.

Two women on beach

Oh yes, they still had their hats but…

















Related posts:
You Do Need Friends
And The Best Friends

I am Becoming the Woman I’ve Wanted

“I am becoming the woman I’ve wanted,
grey at the temples, soft body delighted, cracked up by life
with a laugh that’s known bitter but past it, got better,
knows she’s a survivor –
that whatever comes, she can outlast it.
I am becoming a deep weathered basket.”
Jayne Relaford Brown, American poet and teacher of Creative Writing.

This poem Finding Her Here opens the book I am Becoming the Woman I’ve Wanted.

Today’s blog was ‘inspired’ by a comment received on an earlier post.  I am sure that the commenter did not mean any disparagement but said words to the effect that he was surprised to find such a well-written blog and by a 72-year-old widow at that.

So I began to think what do others expect of older widows?  Granny duck

  • When my eldest grandson was at kindergarten the class was asked to talk about their grandmothers.  Most children apparently, gave glowing comments on how their grandmothers baked or knitted.  James piped up that his grandmother wore a hard hat and went on building sites – I did.
  • I wonder how Ruth Rendell’s grandchildren would describe her?  Ruth Rendell is a Socialist baroness and is the author of the highly successful Inspector Wexford mysteries  Including those of Wexford, she has written more than 70 books and is still writing well into her 80s.
  • And Barbara Walters is well known to all who live in North America.  This vibrant  American broadcast journalist and author also is in her 80s.  A year ago she underwent heart surgery and she is still involved and asking probing questions on air .
  • Isabel Allende is a Chilean novelist, author of several novels and a short fiction collection, as well as plays and stories for children. Born in 1942,  she has received international acclaim for her writing.
  • And the list goes on – Jean Auel, author of Earth’s Children® books, a series of novels set in prehistoric Europe is 75 and still writing;
  • Kuki Gullmann of whom I wrote in an earlier post is 68 years old.  Novelist and founder of the Gullmann Memorial Foundation in honour of her husband and son who were both killed in Africa;
  • Maya Angelou, born 1928, is an American author and poet who has been called “America’s most visible black female autobiographer”.
  • Apologies to the many amazing older women I have left out.  This is not because I think the accomplishments of those listed here are of greater worth, but simply because I would need to write for a couple of weeks to cover them all.

So to the person who made the comment – I thank you for the gracious things you said about my blog, but draw your attention to the fact that I still have many more years to live and many more adventures to have.  Writing my blog is just one of them.

Granny on computer

“The strength of women comes from the fact that psychology cannot explain us.
Men can be analyzed, women merely adored.” –
Oscar Wilde