Friendship is a funny thing. You meet a stranger, think to yourself, “I like this one” and just start doing things with them. But what makes a good friend? What is the difference between a friend and an acquaintance. And what is the difference between a friend and a best friend?
Friendships have been on my mind a good bit lately. The phone call I received this morning is what prompted this post though. One of my very best friends has been a phone call/letter friend only for the last 6 years. It’s been almost 7 years since I’ve actually seen him. It’s no secret, why. He’s been in jail, in Missouri. He screwed up, make no mistake. I don’t think that his screw up, and the amount of remorse he feels for it, deserves 8 and a half years in jail, but that was not my decision to make. Since he was locked up, I get a few phone calls a month, and I do my best to write him regularly. I’m not pretending I’m the best at this, life gets in the way. But I always answer my phone if at all possible, and I truly cherish every time we get to catch up. He is one of my best friends in the entire world, and he hasn’t even met my husband. The situation seriously breaks my heart.
The underlying reason he has been in jail for the last 6 years (only 2ish left!) is because he has a serious problem with alcohol. Being in prison has forced him to be sober, and to see the error in his ways. He has made the decision, for himself, to stay sober. And he is making the responsible decisions to keep himself from changing his mind. I’m incredibly proud of him, and even though these decisions are going to keep distance between us (stupid Missouri), I think it is the best decision he could make.
The reasoning I say that staying in Missouri is the right decision, is because of the people he would encounter back home. Our “friends” in our hometown are wonderful people. They’re fun, and I trust them with my life. I trust them because I am who I am, and I know that they accept that. They know that when we get together, I am going to be the babysitter for their drunk selves (I make the decision not to drink alcohol). They don’t try to pressure me into having a drink, or changing my mind. I wish they would extend this courtesy to our best friend.
Because he used to party with them, they expect him to fall back in line when he gets home. “We’re gonna throw you a huge party when you get here!” I have a problem with this statement for 2 reasons. #1: He made the decision to stay sober, because alcohol quite literally ruined his life. He doesn’t want to go back down that road. Why can’t you respect that, guys? #2. Why would you throw a huge party for all of your “friends”, when NONE of these people have kept in contact with him?! There are 3 people from home that has kept in contact with him, and that includes me and the 2 trying to throw the massive party. Friends don’t flake out when life is hard. Friends aren’t only friends when it is convenient.
It makes me incredibly angry that none of these people have been there for him, and yet every time his name is mentioned they’re all “oh, I miss him so much!” If you missed him, write a freaking letter. I have the address right here! Hypocrisy makes me crazy.
So the original questions for this post. What makes a friend? I think a friend is someone you can get together with, and have fun. That you trust to keep your confidences. and won’t let you get kidnapped. Someone that is there for you, regardless of what is happening in your life.
A best friend is the one that helps you bury the bodies. They’re the ones that know the innermost details of your life, and that you can call in the middle of the night. A best friend is loyal, no matter what, and never lies.
I’m lucky, and I have quite a few best friends. This is a change from high school, where I graduated with a grand total of 3, and they all graduated before me! Below are pictures of my best friends. I’m incredibly lucky to have them.
These are them. The best friends. Notice a pattern? (They all live a quadrillion miles away! Erica lives in Oklahoma for the moment, and Kara lives in Georgia permanently.) These people are amazing, and I know they would be there with no hesitation if I ever needed anything. This doesn’t even include my family, or my husband. I am an incredibly lucky person to call so many people in my life friends and family.
(Disclaimer, I have quite a few more friends, that are wonderful and amazing people. Friends that I do in fact know would come through if I ever needed them. But this post can only be so long.)