Saturday, 9 July 2011

Copy Cat

A couple of years ago my best friend came back from Scotland, after living there for four years. We had kept in contact via phone, email and the odd letter, but when she came back it was really like I didn't know her, as a person, at all. It wasn't difficult to get to know, and become very close to, her again though; I enjoyed the process implicitly. 

When she came back she was drastically different in taste, style and interest than she is now. Really, she was just drastically different. She liked mostly modern music, apparel and furniture, to name a couple of things. Although now she is the exact opposite! She loves everything old fashioned. This is, I must say, mainly because I showed that type of style, and many other things she now loves, to her. I'm not proud to say, it used to drive me to tears that she would start liking everything I liked. I used to rant to my sister for hours about how it seemed like she was 'trying to take my life' and 'stealing my identity'. She would have one opinion/taste, I would express my opinion/taste, and she would suddenly change her mind to mine. I would change again, she would follow. It wasn't for everything, but the majority of stuff, and it made me furious. I had lots of resentment because of it, but I told myself that I shouldn't care - she was my best friend, after all, and we should like similar stuff - so I never said anything to her. 

Today I was at her house and we came across a questionnaire that we did about a year and a half ago. My, how we have changed! It was fun to answer all of the questions again and think of what our reactions will be like in another year and a half! For me, though, it also aroused an unpleasant memory: when we first did it, it was towards the beginning of the time when I was at the height of my annoyance over the 'copying' issue. And because of that I lied about most of my answers, just so we would seem different. I thought it was better to let her take my identity and find another one for myself, than saying anything or just ignoring it.

I struggled with resentment towards her for quite a while because of that. I couldn't find an identity that I was happy to have, other than my own, and I didn't think it was fair that she should get it. One day I was telling my grandfather about my troubles and he said something which revolutionised the way felt: 'copying is the most sincere form of flattery'. Suddenly I could see how childish my thoughts on the matter had been. I couldn't believe how I could have been so selfish as to not want my best friend, my dearest friend, to have what I would think of as 'nice' tastes and styles! I was appalled with myself! Then I realised something else; it may not have been to such a great extent, but I sometimes, too, copied her. I was shocked. I saw how completely petty and immature I had been. And, although the resentment took some time and work to get rid of, and still resurfaces sometimes when the copying is intense and blatant, I now think of it more as my best friend thinking that I have good taste. 

Today she is more of an individual, as well, and also today, while we were re-answering the questionnaire, we openly copied each other. It was marvellous. I can't think where I would be without my dearest, dearest, most wonderful and special best friend. 

Stephanie xx

ps. A little while ago I broke up with Daniel, I just haven't remembered to tell you guys yet. More about it next post.

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