a: one that is not hostile
Web definition of friend(s). When we got to sixty something in our lifetimes, that’s enough time to acquire what we all roughly call lots of friends. What I’ve found out the last sixty-four years is that not all of the people in our friend list really are friends. Aquaintances are what I like to call them. These are people whom we have been introduced to, and maybe some of us have really done some things with. However, it’s my opinion that some of these people don’t share our enthusiasm about the friendship that we do, or more like it’s fairly lop-sided. One party is more dedicated at the friendship that the other side is. I suppose this is true with most friendships. I have my set of standards that I was brought up with. I’ll tell you what my definition of a friend is, see if you agree.
First of all I think a friend should be honest. Not just in his behavior but with you in general. If he or she says that they will be somewhere or do something then I think they should do it. This isn’t open on a convenience basis. We all have things that come up that prevent get togethers, meetings, date and the like. But to just decide that you didn’t want to do something you set in motion with a friend because you have a better offer is not cool. If your thinking I’ve been on this side of the equation you are right. I don’t like feeling like some people would rather do something else than what they had scheduled with me for whatever reasons. I think that if you don’t want to meet or do something with this friend then don’t offer to or accept an invitation to do it. Just good manners actually and it’s being honest. People who do this to other folks, inadvertently make the other people feel badly, or foolish. It’s a bad thing to do to your friend and something that real friends don’t do to each other. I know many who read this are thinking, this is a given, but it has happened to lots of us. It probably doesn’t happen to people who have lots of money, who are good-looking, that sort of filtered friendship, probably immune from such behavior I’m guessing.
I find it strange to me that I have put up with this sort of behavior from some of the people I thought were friends. I guess it just comes from wisdom, which in turn comes with age perhaps? The last year I have done some examination of acquaintances of this type. I have found that they are energy drains, I like the terms “high entropy.” Chaos in a controlled system. They have the effect of making you feel bad, when actually they are supposed to do just the opposite. Imagine that? I have. So I have crossed these people off the old friendship list. Who needs them? I feel these people will NEVER step up to the plate and be a real friend. Most of these folks are my age some younger but they’ve been on the planet long enough to learn what a real friend is. They have been here long enough to learn how to be this person too and they haven’t done it yet. They just won’t.
The next part; I feel that friends should do for other people. I also feel that the people who are receiving the help should be grateful and not expect it. Being grateful to me is more than just saying “thanks.” I think it means that you should be as good a friend back as the person helping you as they were in helping you in the first place. If that makes any sense. What I’m saying is that it takes some dedication as a friend to help someone. The receiver of this help should have some equal measure of dedication to the other person or not accept the help. I’m not talking about indebtedness. Not the same thing here. If the person being helped is having a bad day, they should still be able to be gracious with the friend no matter their mood. It’s just fucking good manners! One would think most folks understand this, but no.
I know one individual who has actually lied about things he said he did concerning me. He said that he had left messages with me, none of which was true. This other person that told me this believed that I was remiss for not returning his calls until he heard that the other person had indeed left none. Then there’s people who say they have your back , who come on like they’re in your corner all the way, and when money comes around they’ve vanished. Or if things get a bit different from what they thought was gonna happen they just bail on you. It’s the old ME FIRST attitude. Nice guys finish last. Yeah maybe, I’d rather finish last than come in first with the “Shit Head Hat” on. This type of attitude is even prevalent in our schools. I hear all the time parents, teachers telling their children, students, “winning is everything” “there’s no such thing as second place.” What bullshit. It’s a physical law of serial dynamics. There will always be multiple places in any contest. Part of the glory of winning is having lost repeatedly. It makes the win that much better. It’s also a part of life. Humans do not go thru life without disappointments. It’s what living on earth is like. If I have acquaintances with these attitudes they aren’t on my list for long. This is a selfish Me First, attitude, I don’t condone any of it.
Real friends are honest on every aspect of their friendship with you. I have a lady friend that lives in Forest Grove. We have a wonderful friendship. It’s because we tell each other in a polite way if we disagree on something, we also keep the air crystal clear as much as possible. Things go awry in a hurry if misunderstanding creeps in. I say one thing she misinterprets it and thinks sometimes something totally different. If let go will corrupt the fabric of the friendship. We don’t let this happen. She says nothing to me she doesn’t mean 100% and I do the same to her. We kid each other a lot but nothing mean-spirited.
I have been guilty of all of the above fo-pahs with friends. I’m no angel, but I’ve learned some hard life lessons. My parents had lots to do with my initial programming as a human too. They were more than adamant about how to be a real friend. I was made to listen to chapter after chapter of Hugh and Mary’s Real Book on Friends, every day. Sometimes I think there were no “Real Books” in my acquaintances libraries of life. Some of them sure as hell don’t know what being a real friend is all about.