June 15, 2009

True friend as valuable as money


Sometimes they’re infuriating, sometimes they’re never on time, and sometimes they won’t even lend you money.. But true friends are always around, no matter where they are. When you need them, you can find them.

Friends—the kind that listen instead of waiting to speak—those kind of friends, they’re life’s mile markers.

Other friends come and go, like the friend at work or the one at the bar or the lunch friend.

But true friends…

True friends tell you when you’re wrong.

They’ll say when you’re pig-headed. They’ll stop you when you’re being defensive. They’ll sympathize when you’re sad. And they’ll definitely tell you when your shirt just doesn’t go with your pants. That’s how it’s supposed to work, anyway. And I think eventually, a true friend will come around and tell you those things. Someone who’s not a true friend will never say them or ever lend you money.

True friends don’t play shrink and ask you, “How does that make you feel?” They know how you fell because they actively listen and can figure it out.

They don’t play it cool.. Ultimately, no one in this world is especially cool, and with true friends you can comfortably be uncool.

True friends tell you when you’re working too hard. They’ll tell you when you’re not sleeping enough. They’ll tell you that your laugh is annoying and you’re just being lazy.

They tell you when you don’t have any control over a situation, when you’re being strong, when you have to be stronger, and when you can’t borrow anymore money.

True friends have the confidence to laugh at you, without paying lip service and insist they’re laughing with you.

I suppose time is a valuable element when it comes to making friends. The longer you spend with someone, the stronger the bond.

Sometimes, though, true friendship is forged over a short period of time through the fire of a difficult experience, like men who go to war together or police officers’ partners.

I had a teacher in high school who would tell us that if we made just one true friend—just one—then we’ve come out on top in life.

“True friends,” he would say waving his finger in the air like a wand. “Truly true friends are more rare that you people think.”

We’d listen and sneak glances at each other and roll our eyes. Back in school, each of us had so many “friends” we thought that anyone who valued having just one friend was a major loser.

But as they years have passed, the lunch friends have fallen away and the work friends have been left behind—and the bar friend isn’t at that bar anymore, just like you aren’t at that bar anymore.

I suppose that’s how life is.

I bring this whole friends discussion up because I went to a carnival recently. You know the scene: carnival rides, geeks at the microphone, sticky cotton candy fingers and the smell of popcorn and pizza everywhere. For me, the best thing about the carnival was watching all the young kids hanging with their friends, running around and playing games.. Most were in large groups although some were with a single pal.

I myself was with a single friend, and then I met another one later.

It was about then that I realized I’m becoming what I used to think was a “major loser.”

The “friend” count may be lower for me than it was, but I suppose the “true friend” count is more clear for me now that I’m older. And that’s a good thing—because to play all those games at the carnival that I played, my friend had to lend me a lot of money.


thinkingtoohard said...

Love you, babe.

Ed Pilolla said...

right back your way.

Anonymous said...

I must be PMSing cause that one made me cry... sending link to my girl Jody... she'll soooooooo get this.

Wine and Words said...

Mr. Major Loser, Dude most uncool, I like it here. From one dork to another...wish I had some money to loan.

One of my all time favorite movies...The Sandlot. This post reminds me of that. You're KILLIN me Smalls!