Or, I just need a quick swig to wash down my favorite guilty pleasure: a delicious Lofthouse cookie.
On many occasions, I have opened the container and smelled the most unholy stench. A cursory glance at the label tells me the milk has expired--usually by a day or two, sometimes even a few weeks.
It is an inevitability of life. At some point, you'll need milk only to discover that your milk has reached its expiration date.
Just like friendships.
I LOVE having friends. To me, there are few things better than meeting a friend for lunch; texting inside jokes or standing in a parking lot, talking and laughing for what you tell yourself will only be a few moments--only to find yourself in a deserted parking lot, hours later, belly laughing about that one embarrassing thing you did in junior high.
But true friendship is more than those fun moments. It's answering the phone after 11:00 because your girl is in crisis mode. It's stopping in the middle of the day to pray, because you remember your friend has a doctor's appointment or a very important job interview. It's crying with them when their hearts are broken. Friendship is riding the waves of life together, no matter how fast or slow the current may be.
I wish every friendship I ever had could be placed in the category of forever. But the older I get, the more I realize that some friendships are past their sell by date. How do you know?
The Superman/Wonder Woman Effect: While friendship does mean being there in time of stress, there are those who only remember your number when they need someone to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Your primary role in the friendship is savior. Phone calls or text messages usually begin with a "huge favor" and end with a "thanks, you're a lifesaver."
I was looking over my resume the other day and nowhere on it was I listed as a superhero. I don't meet the job description.
Where's Waldo? On the other hand, there are times when you will find yourself in a less than ideal situation. You want to cry, scream, vent or just talk to someone, ANYONE who understands why you feel the way you do. You call your friend and they seem...disinterested. You text them--their response?
Six Degrees of Separation: Sometimes, there is no dramatic climax to a friendship. You just drift apart. Phone calls get shorter; lunches get postponed until the 30th of February and the extent of your relationship becomes likes on social media. You miss what you had, but you realize that your lives have changed. There is no sea of regret or feelings bombs--just a slight pang in your heart when you realize you haven't really talked to this person in months or years.
Note: this is the only acceptable slow fade that should ever occur in interpersonal relationships. Anything else is grounds for numerous passive-aggressive Facebook posts and tweets...and Instagram pictures with a sunset as the background and some "Oh no, not I/I will survive" motivational quote on it.
When milk is no longer edible, what do you do?
I can't advocate doing that with former friends. If I ever loved you at any time in life, I will always love you. But to continually place myself in the position of being hurt? That's cruel and unusual punishment.
I will pray for you.
I will wish you the best in life.
I will love you from a distance.
I will remind myself that friendship is always worth the risk.
Even when it expires.