"I don't have any married friends. Once they get married they are not my friend anymore."
I asked last week if you agree or not, and it sparked an interesting discussion. Here's my take. It's rather length, knotty, and fragmented in my mind, so let's hope that it comes up clearer.
The first issue is, how a person defines a friend. As one commenter so aptly put it, it depends how "emotionally married" they are. The girl who said this quote- proudly, I might add, is the kind of girl who sees friendship as an all or nothing proposition. Partial, or halfway friends don't make it on to her radar screen.
She had explained the quote further, saying, "before Rivka got married, she would spend half her time at my house. She knew all of my cousins, and went to their vorts and weddings. Now, a cousin of mine is getting married and Rivka didn't even hear about it until yesterday!"
She looked at me, expecting pity. I didn't offer any. "So why didn't you tell her earlier?"
She looked at me funny. "What do you mean? I don't speak to her often enough to tell her all of these little details."
So, in her case, a friend is someone who you speak to multiple times per day, see at least once a day, and share every tedious detail of your life with. Now you see how this quote makes sense. A friend who gets married and moves to a different town will not be seeing you once a day. And most likely, especially in the beginning, the newly married friend won't be speaking to you multiple times per day, sharing the minute details of her tedious existence with you.
If a person has a more sane, healthy, and balanced approach to friendship, this quote will not ring quite as true. Take me for example. Most of my good friends are married, yet I view them as friends every bit as much as before. Is our friendship the same? No, most definitely not. I mean, our conversations when they were single didn't revolve around which maternity stores are best to shop in, or how tired one is after having their baby scream half the night, or even about washing dishes and doing laundry. And yes, we talk less often. But I am confidant in my friendships, I know that regardless of the number of times per day (week? Month?) that I speak to her, we are still friends.
Another issue that we need to factor in is the amount of time elapsed since the wedding of the friend in question. If someone reading that quote has a close friend who had just gotten married, say, within the past month, this quote would ring truer than it does for most folks. Because yes, while friends remain friends regardless of what you find on their finger, it is normal and healthy for them to drop off the face of the planet for the first month or so after their wedding.
Then of course, there are the ensuing months of sickeningly newlywed behavior, which is really not so sickening. It's kinda supposed to go that way. "Yeah, so it was really funny. She said tha- husbandhomegottago." Click. In fact, I'll never forget the first time my friend spoke to me when her husband was around. It was the symbolic departure from the little cocoon of newlywedism.
The next, and hopefully last issue (this post is taking way too long to write) is the issue of "friendlys." These are the people that I wouldn't quite label as a "friend," but are not simply a "classmate" or a "coworker." I find that with friendlys, the above quote is completely true. Before she got married, we may have spoken together every couple of weeks, give or take a few accidental meetings in the grocery store. Now that she is married, I simply don't feel the pressure to keep up. And neither does she. And that's why we meet at simchas and feel dumb, because we last spoke at the vort of whoever is getting married at that wedding, and we used to sort of be friends.
In conclusion- oh forget it. I got more important things to do than conclude. You decide what you think. Let me know in the comments!