The Value of Friendship

I remember my mum once said to me when another “best friend” at school had dumped me: “Shelina these friends will come and go. Once you leave school you will no longer remember them, but you will one day meet friends who will be special and mean something in your life”. At the time I thought she was talking complete nonsense but turn out she was right (as usual!).

I have been upset in the past few weeks by one friend who falsely accused me of things which were so childish it’s just unbelievable that i was accused of them, failed to apologise and thought she would take advantage when I tried to clear the air, by being down-right nasty. I stupidly decided to act like an adult and try again to sort out the issue and she decided to ignore me. All night I’ve been upset about this behaviour and her behaviour for the last few months.

Then this morning it hit me – why do I give a fuck about this girl. Why am I bothered?? Of course I know the reasoning, as my parents tell me way too often, my heart is clearly visible on my sleeve and is open to thieves, trespasses and con artists. As much as I like to act like I’m a cold hearted, single minded, bitch lawyer from hell; deep down inside I actually have a heart. And the heart reared it’s ugly head again.

After dwelling in self pity at my stupidity for allowing someone like this into my life (again), I thought about my friends, especially the ones in the UK. There are six friends who have I have known from between 10-28 years. Collectively we have shared tears, illnesses, job pains, holidays, idiot boyfriends, concerts, weddings, babies and they have done a group hug when I’ve had birthday parties (yep I like to have a day to really celebrate me).  These six will forgive me for my late warning when I land at Gatwick Airport and will change their plans to see me as much as possible (except one as she lives in Saudi now but that’s besides the point). These guys understand when I say meet you under the Angel (Front Entrance of Selfridges). They have no issues with telling me to shut up if I am speaking too much. They have yelled at me and told me to fuck off (in a nicer way as they don’t swear at all) when I’m being a muppet.

This blog is dedicated to these six friends who have touched my life so much that I had to write a blog about them (I warn you it may be mushy):

Ange and Liz

Liz and Ange were the driving force for me moving to Dubai. Ange was seconded to New York and we went to see her (and celebrate my birthday!). All three of us worked together at the same company and had been there for roughly the same  period of time. After nearly 5 years at our company it was time for a change, Ange got the secondment, Liz changed department; however there was nowhere else for me to go in the company. Both ladies told me whilst we were sipping our cosmos that I should look into working abroad. So the day I landed back home I looked for jobs globally, found the job at Emirates (Legal not Cabin crew) and moved here three months later. On top of all that, they both came to Dubai to see me (for my birthday – you see a pattern emerging here) and to see what I was yabbering about in my email blogs. Because of their visit they understand my ramblings when I talk about life in Dubai. They saw it first hand as well as the gaudy Burj Al Arab. They inspired me and made me change my life.  They have both now moved out of London to the West Country and it’s brilliant for me. I get a weekend type break in the UK spending time with them just being me. It might not be New York, Paris, Rome or wherever else we have been together, but I don’t care as I get to spend time with them and they show me the country which gets me very excited. 

Me_ange_and_liz

Sheni and Happy

Sheni_haps_and_me

Sheni, Happy and I met on the second day of university. I was extremely guarded with making friends at uni and especially in our Law degree (most of the law students were complete muppets) but these two had that aura about them and it has never gone away. They helped me through the years of going out with the love of my life. He destroyed my heart until there was nothing left and they stood by me, hugged me, gave me a tissue when I needed it and gave their wise advice, although I didn’t listen to them most of the time. We have never lost touch. We might not do the email round robins like we used to but they always change their plans to see me as soon as I land in the UK. It really never feels like I have been away from them for as many months as it might be. They are now married to two lovely blokes and sometimes I have that feeling like I’m the odd one out as I don’t have that in my life but as soon as I have that feeling Happy (with a nickname like that she cannot be anything but Happy) will give her brilliant “look on the brighter side of life” talk and all will be well.

Greg

Greg_and_me

Greg is well Greg. We met through a girl who used to be my “best friend” (turned out to be a total c***). Thanks to her fancying him (oh the irony) and inviting me to live in the same flat with Greg and two other people we became friends and never looked back. When we lived together we were 5 minutes from Selfridges. Our lives since then has revolved around Selfridges (especially the Men’s department – have you seen the men they employee to work there – HAWT!). I just have to say “angel” and he will be there. I introduced him to Madonna and the greatness of her live in concert and he introduced me to foie gras and really good saffron from Spain. I am also his personal shopper when going to Dolce e Gabbana – this job only becomes available when you are special friends.

Out of the seven friends he is the one who I have screamed at the most (especially when the toilet seat was left up,) but we are hilarious when we make up: we look at each other, the bottom lip starts shaking, we start crying, then hug and then make up. It should be made into a short movie and win an Oscar for best short “how two besties make up after screaming at each” movie.

Maryam

Maryam_and_me


Maryam and I have known each other since we were four. We didn’t like each other for years (well I don’t think she liked me) but we were stuck with each other from an early age as our parents were and still are good friends and we both ended up going to the same junior and grammar school and university together. We even went to see the same religious man for Koran lessons although she finished earlier than me so I was not amused. We have been through so much together that it would take too long to write about it (plus she would call me on skype and kill me if I revealed any details – of course it was all Halal).  Our lives have always moved onto other things but we always end up near by to each other even without trying. She is now living in Saudi with her hubby and cutie kids. Although not the same country we still have that expat-living-in-Middle-East thing going on that we can relate to.

These guys are a huge part of my life and I don’t speak to them enough. There are so many forms of communication in this world now and I still do not contact them enough, but you know when I do finally see them we will always say it is like we only met the week before.

Ange, Liz, Sheni, Haps, Greg and Maryam – Thank you for everything and for reminding me even now what it means to have true, proper friends in my life like you guys. Miss ya and love ya. xx

PS – you could bloody call/text/facebook/twitter/skype/email me for once you know. xxxxxx

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