Friendship. We all know what it means, those of us who are lucky enough to have friends. But these days, can we really consider ourselves so lucky to have an inner circle? I’d like to think so, but not before I take note that there is this little thing called reality or scripted reality if we refer to the ladies of The Hills, The Simple Life or the Housewives of Atlanta.
Since the dawn of time man has experienced friendship; the cave man, the ice man, the knight, the pirate, the slave and even the meter maid. For it is true that no man is an island, not even those who look as if they can eat one. Despite the backstabbing and the double-crossing, and the lying, cheating, stealing and blasphemy, our friends — our true friends — the ones whom we’ve determined are the real deal after we’ve cut through all the red tape — are the people who are there for us.
As we look for these friends along our aimless walk through this universe, we look for qualities in people like: the tendency to desire what is best for us; empathy and sympathy; honesty and perhaps a little harmless lying. ‘Harmless lying’, in terms of them telling us we look amazing and how the sun rises and sets around us, when we know we look like sh*t or probably make no sense in our words or actions. A true confidant knows when and how to boost your ego and lead you to believe your dilusion is acceptable.
However as important as it may be to have your road dawgs by your side, it’s equally as important to know who the hell you are as an individual, because as true as your friends may be, they may in some cases, not be worth sh*t. C’mon, don’t look so shocked. Though there are people we keep dear to our hearts, some of those same people are crooks, dead beats, underachievers, and point blank losers. And sometimes, those are their good qualities. But those qualities are all about what they do, not who they are. In any case, knowing their capabilities of destruction through their powers that are some times if not most, used for evil — it’s always best to keep your Spidey senses sharp because you never know when its your time for them to turn on you.
In so doing it’s always best to remember to look out for yourself 1st! If you don’t, you could be at risk of clouding your judgment through what you want to believe on the basis of your friendship. Know your friends. Know their strengths and weaknesses. Plan for the unexpected. Hell, plan for the expected. If you have two friends who you know are pathological liars and they’re both revealing some ridiculous story that they think you’re dumb enough to believe, then use that to your advantage verus getting angry and crossing out some names in your address book. Figure out which one of those liars are selling you the better load of crock and keep that liar on your team. A good liar will always come in handy when you’re stuck in a jam. If your conscious prevents you from hanging with that class of people, you could always recall the words and envison (in your mind, of course) that funny little limmerick I used to sing as a child, “Liar, liar, pants on fire.” It’s okay to be optimistic, but don’t be a dummy. In fact, know your facts! According to a study documented in the June 2006 issue of the journal American Sociological Review, Americans are thought to be suffering a loss in the quality and quantity of close friendships since at least 1985. The study states 25% of Americans have no close confidants, and the average total number of confidants per citizen has dropped from four to two.
According to the study:
- Americans’ dependence on family as a safety net went up from 57% to 80%
- Americans’ dependence on a partner or spouse went up from 5% to 9%
Where does that leave everyone else? Don’t all answer at once. Just think about it silently to yourselves.
Either way, good or bad, it’s a good thing to have someone in your corner. Someone who’ll pay your bail when you get caught lifting a Mr. Goodbar at the neighborhood convenient store; someone who’ll have a ziploc bag full of ice after you’ve just gotten your butt whooped for shooting off at the mouth; or someone who won’t laugh in your face when the girl you’ve been eyeing all night finally gives you closure and rejects your ass. After all, that’s what friends are for.
The next time your BFF or even your frenemy steers you in the path of wanting to put a spoonful of beaver droppings in their favorite pair of shoes — don’t. There’s one thing that’ll favor you to remember and applies to every single person walking the face of this planet: “It’s cheaper to keep ‘er!” That’s why we say 90% of any effort is getting started. Thinking of your game plan isn’t always easy, but once you’ve got that out of the way, everything just falls into place. Until then, own your frenemism ’til death does the relationship part.
- Quote of the week: “Love is blind. Friendship tries not to notice.”