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To Be A Friend Pleaser

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Below is the poem entitled To Be A Friend Pleaser which was written by poet Laura Breidenthal. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The poem is below.


To Be A Friend Pleaser

I heavily recall two times when I had made you cry,
Both of which bewildered and moved me
My response was that of disbelief, and regret
And never, upon recalling, 
Have I felt more of the need to address these moments

We were young, certainly, tied together by our imaginations, 
Our wit, and artful talents, 
You, an adept, musically inclined, 
And I musically aroused 
It seemed such a normal day that my guards were broken,
And I freely blabbered, 
As I would to a sibling, or my favorite play thing
We had known each other for a while,
And I deemed it right to show my all
You shared your favorite toys with me, 
And I made it my signature, in my goofy ways, 
To disperse each play session stirring your mind
So that you may laugh, and I may laugh too

I remember the living room, 
Sitting on the light brown carpet floor
And Grandma, for I considered her my grandma too,
Contented on the couch, enjoyed our giggles, and smiled,
While she read her weekly romance novel
I always wondered the reason for her reading,
And how she might receive pleasure in such a simple thing as
Attending to our nonsensical trifles

We played with our stuffed animals,
Hers was a white, fluffy bear with sophisticated clothes
And mine, an alligator, naked, and morose looking
I thought it would stir more laughter if,
In contrast to the kind, gentlemanly bear,
The alligator would respond in grumpy exclamations,
Even insult, if he were pushed too far to conform 
For as the gentlemanly bear insisted upon conversing with the alligator,
Having tea with him and discussing matters of interest, 
The alligator’s response, frank and cold was soon drawled to,
“No, no, no, I do not want to!”
Having repeated such a phrase a couple times,
I saw that it resulted in her laughing,
So, repeating the phrase, 
I meant to conjure more fits of joy,
However, after the third repeat, she suddenly stopped, 
The insistent gentleman was speechless
In a strange pause I stared at my friend,
Watching her pink cheeks pale,
And her eyes water with sudden tears
I squeezed the alligator, almost cursing it instead of myself,
Watching her and wondering what had caused this sadness and pain
She turned away from me, and cried, 
Getting up quickly, embarrassed, and darting into her room

Grandma seemed understanding, 
And this bewildered me even more
Surely, I had done something awful, 
Making my closest friend cry,
And surely, a lecture was soon to put in me in my place
Instead though, she apologized to me, 
And told me not to worry, that she would be just fine
Though never, being the friend pleaser that I was,
Did I feel more awful, and more worrisome
I thought of what I might do to make her feel better,
As Grandma walked down the hall and entered her room
I thought perhaps, she would want me to go home,
So I got up, stuffed my bag with my things,
And waited at the door,
Rehearsing in my mind a thousand apologies

She returned out of the room, 
Saying nothing, but motioning me to the floor with the toys
I obeyed her, never more guarded and thoughtful in my life,
And we resumed our play session
The alligator had took a turn to being quite the sweet chap
And realized that the gentlemanly bear was not as annoying
And bossy as he first thought,
That he only needed a friend to talk to
Someone kind and understanding

The second instance was in a later year
Dear Grandma was away in a separate apartment
Her father was frequently at the house, 
A quiet, but nice man, 
Always retreating to the back room
Whenever we entered the house for lunch or to retrieve a doll
Despite his kindness, his reserve slightly intimidated me,
And the few times he addressed me 
Were always awkward, and thankfully, short
We were more inclined to outside activities those days,
Roleplaying, sporting, and running about,
I the servant and she the princess
I did not much mind the role of the servant, 
As I had many quirks, 
And nothing too great was expected of me
We often, befriended despite our opposite positions,
Would sit at the swing set and converse together
As equals, almost,
The princess gaining from the servant wit and adventure,
And the servant, gaining from the princess,
Patience, poise and simplicity
But our session was long over as I heard the call from her father,
And we both sighed, and ran into the house
My mother had come to pick me up,
And her father, gently, led me to the front door,
With the usual, “See you later!”, 
And, “It was good to see you again!”
My friend, happy in countenance, bid me goodbye,
Smiling, though pale, once again
It did not occur to me at the time,
That she was on the brink of tears
And as I got into the car, 
As we pulled out of the driveway,
I saw the look of sadness and despair on her face
Her eyes… they splashed on me grief
She was staring at me, tears running down her face,
Her body quivering, standing at the curb
I could barely make out from the muffle of the car,
The sound of her crying out,
Just as her father stormed outside, dragging her away,
“Ashly, what the f*** is wrong with you!!!??”
And we drove away, my face plastered to the window,
Thinking to myself, 
“What have I done?”

I was so confused,
So sad, and so strangely angry
To see her father drag her in that way
Though I wondered, perhaps, I had faulted her once more
That in me leaving, she took it as a rejection,
And I felt it my duty to be near her again,
To assure her that I was always her servant
And she was always the princess
I could not, if I wanted to,
Revert to the mindless alligator again,
And, like her father, disregard her enigmatic feelings,
As well as her insistent need for affection and kindness
I vowed I would always provide her with my best
So that only smiles and laughter animated her delicate being

To be a friend pleaser—yes, that is what I am,
Requires more of self, to even enhance oneself, 
To build up the deprived,
To change perspective, 
And change character,
And in turn, serve selflessly,
For to gain the thrill of happiness
From a more than worthy companion,
Is, for me, to gain the world

Copyright © | Year Posted 2015

Post Comments

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Date: 1/2/2016 3:29:00 AM
Laura I think you are not a friend pleaser but a smile giver...... you brought light into my heart with this piece...
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Date: 12/6/2015 6:30:00 PM
Your heart is very warm I won,t call you a friend pleaser because what you do stems from the heart. You were too young to "read" into your friend's relationship with her father and took the blame for her becoming sad in your presence. Hope that she is less emotionally sad now that she has her own kid. Hope you visit her sometime. Good storyAnd a 7. Hugs, RP.
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Laura Breidenthal
Date: 12/6/2015 6:35:00 PM
Thank you, RP. Your comments are tender and refreshing. ~Laura
Date: 11/30/2015 7:32:00 PM
I think your friend liked you a lot. There were probably not a lot like you. The scene with her dad must have been tough to take for her too. From what was described, I would say she was sensitive. A sensitive person would need compassion. If that were not a regular part of her life, then there would be signs.
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Laura Breidenthal
Date: 12/4/2015 8:22:00 PM
We loved being with each other, and hated departing. I have known her since first grade. She has a kid now, who is adorable. Unfortunately, we are not as close as we were before. I plan on visiting her soon and working on some music with her like old times. ~Laura
Date: 11/29/2015 6:56:00 PM
To be the servant of hearts in need, is to be a Master of soul awakening...you challenge my mind's passions and truths, and I love you for that Laura, you make me happy :) your anecdotes are very intriguing, and provide clear psychological poetry...cool moral poetry. Soon I will post something breathtaking for you to experience great Poetess...J.A.B.
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Laura Breidenthal
Date: 11/29/2015 7:31:00 PM
Thank you Justin. To make you happy, makes me happy. I am truly looking forward to your post sweet, amazing Poet! ~Laura
Date: 11/29/2015 6:20:00 PM
What an amazing and enigmatic story Laura. It is giving me a sense there is an underlying story with your friend. I was riveted by the story and can see this expanding into a short story...lovely
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Laura Breidenthal
Date: 11/29/2015 6:21:00 PM
Thank you Tim! Been in a pondering mood lately. Been having some time to reflect on the past, and your encouraging comment is appreciated. : )~Laura