There are two kinds of friends; Ivy Friends and Rose Friends. The Rose Friends need a lot of pruning, watering, sunshine, and don’t forget the manure. We have to reassure them that they’re important to us by always remembering their birthdays. You are expected to answer the phone during your favorite show to just “chat”. These friends are incessantly thinking of you and you had better be reciprocating the commitment of thoughtfulness. You need to give them little fertilizer nuggets of reassurance and care. You wouldn’t dream of missing their Candle-Lite Party or their daughter’s newest fart story. Everything is a petal on the rose of friendship. If you fail in this care and maintenance routine, your Rose Friend will wilt; she’ll loose her petals and die. Nothing but a big fat thorny bush will be left for you to deal with. You are bound to be pricked bloody while you’re pulling this rose out of the garden.
I’ve always had people who wanted to be my Rose Friend. They think I’m funny and erroneously believe that I’m thoughtful. They plant their green roots in my shallow garden and expect to be watered. I will usually remember to water a couple of times and then I get busy with other things and forget that I have roses to take care of. They start to feel the rejection and begin to wither. Well, who wants a withered rose bush? Not me. So I figure I’ll just let it go. That’s when they figure out they’ve set root in the wrong garden and move on.
The Ivy Friends are my garden pals. I forget to water them all the time and they still thrive without my attention. I sometimes don’t even see them for a year, but when I return they’re not just okay, they’ve grown! My Ivy Friends independently travel through their deep and curious roots to see other places and climb other garden walls and still have a place with me. My Ivy Friends survive through frost, draught, and clippings because they’re tough and enduring.
I don’t have to plan my friendship garden, it is self-designed. I have roses for about one season, but I have ivy forever.