Don’t you love it how kids have like five or six best friends? The fact their statement is oxymoronic (is that even a word?) is what makes it so cute. It’s the same with my daughter and her favorite color. Pink….and red…..and purple….and…oh yeah, green! The concept of putting one above all else escapes them. Yet it makes you wonder if we, as adults, can do the same. And yes, I am making a huge assumption that adults are reading my blog.
But when it comes to friends, can we really have one friend who trumps and supersedes all? Is it possible to have a best friend? How would you choose? What would be the selection criteria? Isn’t friendship contextual? Can you compare friends across situations, genders, experiences and points in time? We almost need Oscar-like categories for our friends! “And the nominees for the best friend in the ‘Shit, man. I am so wasted. Please don’t let me go home with the ugly chick’ category are………..” As an aside to all our young, male readers out there. You NEVER let your buddy go home ugly. That is, of course, unless he owes you money and you know he will never repay you.
But seriously, how can we pick one friend to hold the title of Best? I look back at friendships past and present and I thank God for making me fortunate enough to have an incredible collection of friends. Like I mention on the home page to this site, I cannot name just one person as the most influential in my life. Similarly, I cannot bestow upon one of my many friends the lofty (or not-so-lofty) title of Best. ……..or can I?
Is my best friend the one who saves me from killer bees after dumping my dirt bike onto their hive? (I swear those bastards were out to get me!). Is my best friend the person who bought new shoes to go with the new dress that was purchased ‘just in case’ I needed a date for a charity event? And yes, I know you women don’t really NEED an excuse to buy shoes. Is my best friend the one who listens to me as I rattle off about this and that, no matter how late in the night it is? Is my best friend the one who meets me for coffee at 1:00 AM after my ‘near-death’ experience? Is my best friend the one whose cats I allow to massage my back? And these are just my ‘been there for me over the last six months’ friends.
I can go back 15 years and list friends who were there for me then. Those who helped shape me into who I am today. The friend who played racquetball with me every Saturday for about 3 hours straight. The friend who first made me realize and understand the concept of what it’s like to truly grow up. And of course, the person who did hold the title of best friend for such a long, long time.
The truth is that they are all vying for second place. They are all jockeying for a place on the list that caps at the number 2 because the number 1 spot is reserved. Like that really cool table at that really cool club, all these friends can do is walk by and admire the little name tent that reads ‘Reserved’. For if I have to differentiate one friend from all the rest, it would have to be the one who knows me best, understands me best, and accepts me the most. And believe me, doing all that in respect to yours truly is no small feat to accomplish.
My kid has several ‘favorite’ colors because she is too young, and has no real reason to differentiate one from all the others. She is not capable of deciding in the context of picking one to be ‘forever’. Similarly, I am not capable of deciding between protecting myself and chasing a dream. All I know is that whatever I do, I can only hope it works out for the best.