What is a friend?

BFFL

Me & A

This is a topic I have been deeply pondering over the past few months.  I’ve wondered if my definition of friendship is parochial in this new, fast paced world I’m living in these days. I’ve always felt that being present, supportive and available is the most sincere indicator. And I think that indicator has been proven valid as that friendship test has been passed, over and over and over again, by my BFFL A. We met as undergrads at MSU; both of us older than most of our classmates, married with kids, and generally just non-traditional students. We bonded almost immediately.  This is a friendship that many feel very unlikely for the following reasons:

Me:

  • 100% conservative Roman Catholic
  • 100% pro-life
  • Mexican-American

A:

  • 100% liberal Methodist
  • 100% pro-choice
  • WASP

She is the only real-life friend I’ve ever had who I can sit down with and have fascinating, in depth conversations about our differences in beliefs with NO judgements, NO insults, NO mockery but with great RESPECT, HONESTY, and OPEN MINDEDNESS share our thoughts on why we believe what we believe.

In the seven years I’ve lived in the Hell Mouth and in the last couple of years living back up in Michigan, our contact has been sporadic due to the busy craziness of our lives. We use to work for the same school district and had many opportunities to chat during the week. But now I work in the medical setting, she is still in the schools and our schedules rarely mesh.

I invited her to my oldest son’s book release party last night. Of course, the invite was via text message and I immediately received a regretful response that her family would be at their vacation home for the long weekend. Imagine my delight when I turned around last night and in strolled A and her too-good-looking husband J (who is frustratingly refusing to age as she and I are so easily doing!) When she had mentioned to J that they were going to miss Jake’s event, his response was “oh hell no! We’re going to support Jake!” and they delayed their get away.

Instantly, the time apart vanished and we laughed, talked, drank as if we had just seen each other yesterday. No awkwardness, no fumbling for words. Just laughter, love and delight.

THAT my dear reader is what a real friendship is all about. A knows my skeletons and hell, she probably has the key to the closet where I hide my most unattractive personality traits. She has never betrayed me with gossip, has never uttered words which would undermine my confidence, and most importantly, she has honestly told me that my current hair style needs a serious update. We may not be able to see each other again for a few months but the bond we have will not tarnish or rust.

BFFL: Best Friends For Life

friendship