I was out with two friends yesterday – two friends, two different times. Both of them friends that I adore for different reasons. But it was friend #2, over a beer, whilst we were discussing people, that he indicated he was surprised that I was not “friends” with a person we know mutually.
I denied ever being friends with this person. Friend #2’s reaction to this was one of astonishment, and it has had me worried ever since.
Am I the worst friend ever? Do I not recognize friendship when its staring me in the face? Do I define friendship differently than most?
This morning, I’ve had the OED open to the word friend, and compared it to the definition as provided by Mirriam-Webster and the great prophet Scott Adams, etc. For the record:
The OED defines friend:
a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection; typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.
Scott Adams defines a friend as:
1. Someone you have told a secret.
2. Someone who has accepted a favor from you.
One attached to another by affection or esteem.
I asked Michael about this, and he believes the word “friend” has become generic, and that acquaintance has blurred into friendship.
These definitions considered, then I must define friend in my own way. I consider my husband my best friend, but we do get up to some hanky-panky, so in that sense, the OEDs definition doesn’t fit.
I do have great regard and esteem for the people I work with, so they must be my friends according to Mirriam-Webster.
I have 98 “friends” according to Facebook – many of them are or have been close friends, family members, work friends, ex-boyfriends, school friends, acquaintances, neighbours, or those I have never met, but share a common interest – church, politics, Coronation Street, etc.
Of all my friends, I have friends I drink beer with, wine with, eat with, confide with, joke with, write to, talk to, go on walks with. There are those friends I lost touch with, but who are always there in my heart. I have friends who inspire me, who motivate me, who make me laugh. I have friends that make me think, challenge my intelligence, make me learn. I have friends who encourage me and support me and stand behind me. I have friends who are just pure fun, and we roll around laughing until our guts hurt. I have friends that I will cry with and conspire with.
All you people I know…. those who I esteem, have regard for, love, shared a secret, play Scrabble with, and have a bond of mutual affection… I’m happy to have you as my friend and feel privileged to have you in my life.
*sigh* This is just too much emotion for a Saturday morning. I need to kick back and have a cup of tea and watch some footie.