Some of my friends I gossip with. We can be pretty mean sometimes. We talk about Hollywood celebrities and hot stars in Manila who rake it in but are considerably lacking in talent. Yes, we sound like judgemental self-righteous sour graping bitches, which we probably are. :)
Other friends I listen to. They can yak yak yak the night away. I like listening, being the confidante. I always keep secrets (at least I try to) and I feel like a shrink when they do that. If my listening helps, then all the better. Free therapy for them, more stories for my ravenous mind to ponder on.
My inner self I confide in. It's no secret I rarely share my feelings/thoughts with anyone but myself. I have surprisingly frank conversations with the other me.
And then there's a small group of people -- hubby included, lucky me-- I actually have conversations with. Deep, funny, insightful, honest, reckless, free-flowing verbal marathons marked by comfortable silences, shrieks of laughter, a curse now and then, blushes galore, and hyperactive gestures.
Intellectual skydiving, my college friends call it. Bonding is the simplest way to describe it. Sharing oneself, committing to memory the glorious occasion when you get past the niceties and start talking about meaningful things.
This is why I like hiking with friends. Around you are the best ingredients for conversation: a birdcall, the whisper of trees, distant city sounds, views of mountains or boats or the sea. It doesn't matter that you're breathless and panting. Somehow the words still come out.
Sleepovers are also conducive to shared secrets and tearful confessions. Add to the list beach outings, camping, travelling together, lunch or dinner without the hubbies or kiddies, and the simplest of them all, a phone call.