What is the first thing that comes to mind when you see or hear the word, “Friends?” For my younger son it would undoubtedly be the TV-series that aired for a decade on NBC, because he loves it so. For others, it might be that Bette Midler song. Maybe it would be something from Sesame Street? Friends enrich our lives. And, like that famous saying, “We don’t choose our family, but we do choose our friends,” we actually have some control over who is our friend.

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I Miss My Best Friend

Do you have a best friend?  I’ve grown apart from my closest friend while, at the same time, renewed contact with my oldest friend (since age 4 or 5).  I believe it’s an important ingredient in having a balanced social life, whether you’re single or married.  Some people think that their spouse should be their best friend.  I don’t.

My history of friendship has always included having a best friend–a guy, though I had many close female friends later in my life   Having opposite gender friends is another topic altogether and maybe even a bit controversial.  My first close friend was the previously mentioned friend that I made in nursery school, which is what pre-school was called in my day.

Our parents were friends and neighbors and “D.J.” and I became close friends all the way through high school.  Later, in junior high school I had a best friend who my mom really didn’t like.  He wasn’t a “good kid,” according to her.  She was right.  He liked to do things like get cherry bombs and firecrackers and blow up stuff.  His mother was divorced–a stigma in those days.
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There Are No Perfect Friends

I remember that one of my mother’s many sayings, when I was growing up, related to friends and went something like, “If you want perfect friends, you won’t have any.”  This was often in response to my irritation at what a particular friend had done.  Later, more often than not, if my mom asked me if that particular thing my friend had done was resolved, I’d have forgotten what it was altogether.

As with so many things our parents say to us, their advice often goes unheeded but comes back later in life to haunt us because of their truth. We could have saved ourselves much pain and embarrassment had we paid heed originally.  My mom is probably laughing, somewhere high above, since her death two years ago, at the “fun” I’m living with thanks to my two teenagers.  As she may have said, “What goes around comes around.”
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