Friends: Best friends, good friends, acquaintances, worker friends, long lost pals, buddies, homie, whatever you want to call it…it boils down to one word FRIEND.
What does it mean to you to be a friend?
What does it mean to you to have a friend?
For me to be a friend entails intrinsic honesty, loyalty, and understanding. I give my friends all that I have and more if I could. Being a friend is the next best thing after being a mom. For me to have a friend means someone I can count on (even if I may never run to them), someone I can trust, and someone that even when they don't agree with me will support me till the end. I have been blessed with a bunch of friends.
Friends are better than family. There is no obligation in friendship. There is no shared blood, yet the kindred bond can be ten times stronger. There is no room to take a friendship for granted. Most importantly, you can truly learn the meaning of unconditional love from someone who doesn't have to love you. Friendship is voluntary. Family is mandatory and obligatory. There's no judging and no expectations. You don't get to your choose your family, but you get to pick your friends. I'm glad I have the bunch I picked because man, I don't know what I would do without them.
I have to give a shout out to some friends (which sounds like a great idea as I'm writing this, but I will probably without a doubt regret this, because I will most likely offend those I don't mention…sorry, you know I still love you):
Maylen: I've probably known her the longest of all my friends. She's my pretend cousin. All around school everyone thought we were family. We played up the hype so much that till this day she's still my cousin. And just like family, we barely see each other even though we live 30 minutes away. And just like family, our bond will never die. You're the best cous!
Maude: I've known her my whole life. This one actually is my cousin. She's on this list because my friendship with her means more to me than our blood relation. She could have never been related to me and I would have still picked her as my friend. Her level of understanding, compassion, and sympathy goes beyond any depths I know. We never grew up together and actually never really got close till our older years. Yet, our philosophies in life are so identical and our minds so connected. I would do anything for this girl, anything! Love you Maude!
Brian: I met him on a cruise when I was 15. We've been friends ever since. I love him more than he probably knows or realizes. He's been there with me all the way from losing my virginity to my divorce. I don't get to see him as much as I'd like, but hey we're both busy and crazy kids! Miss you Brian!
Carrie: My college tennis friend. At first, we probably hated each other. We were nothing alike. And now we appreciate our differences, look up to each other for the those differences. We just both get it. We're there for each other the way we know we need each other. Bottom line: she's my person. She's the first person I call to share my good or bad news. "She's my person...If I murdered someone, she's the person I'd call to help me drag the corpse across the living room floor...she's my person!" I love you, man!
Ali: My other college tennis buddy. We lost touch over some of the years, but reunited with a bang. She's my giggling crazy like oh my god valley girl friend! We have grown a movie night tradition that I never want to end, even though she's been living in Spain the last 3 years. Hey at least I have a place to stay when I visit in 2 weeks. This friendship will last forever! te quiero mujer!
Jeff: My College homecoming date (only 'cause I asked). Our friendship started in college, faded, than we worked together (I fired your girlfriend a month before Christmas), lost touch again, reunited on myspace, and now we get drunk together, have deep all night talks, and share way too much personal information. But what can I say, you're awesome! Love you jeffy-poo! P.S. Call me, I need to catch you up on a few things before I leave in two weeks. Or maybe weekday movie night a la casa de sol?
Lauren: She's my silly Italian New Yorker friend! She actually started out as my employee many years ago. She quit on me to move back to New York and well she's back in South Florida (but probably not for long). She is probably the one friend that is most like me in so many ways. We can start a conversation that literally would never end. Us girls can talk and talk! We need time limits…our conversations usually end in mid-thoughts since we don't know how to shut up! Oh and, I love her mom too!!!
Gina: My line dancing partner. I picked her up at a bar and literally (I swear) asked her "come here often?" From there, I later asked for her number and well we've been going line dancing Wednesday nights (and occasional weekends) for several years now. Our friendship doesn't end on the dance floor. We gripe about work, make fun of people, scope out the scenery (at the bar) and she is totally my reality check with a side of crazy! LOL! I'll miss you this Wednesday!
Michelle: 6 years as my employee, but the best of those years have been our growing friendship since our divorces (teehee). You're the one girl that can relate to me most when it comes to the boys! And although our styles are SO different, we are SO like (as much as we both probably don't want to admit it..Haha!) Thanks for listening to me pretty much everyday about my dating life. Thanks for the advice even though I usually never listen. Bare with me while I sift through all the male-drama to find the one man that gets me like you do. I love sharing our dating stories…too bad you are off the market again!
Bridget: I met her through my ex-husband years ago. She works with him in the same city and she's probably the only last mutual friend we have. And she handles it perfectly! You can find the two of us always laughing and at times gossiping. We always have drinks in our hand and now we're both single at the same time…watch out boys!!! I have to add she is the one person in the world that I've personally witness (on many occasions) stop the world to help someone she barely knows, not to mention me! She so has my back! She's also Harley's second mom. Gotta love her!
Denise: I met her in college…and I'd have to say she got on my nerves (more than once). Our friendship actually started after I told her off. For some reason, she found a true friend in me from my honest sincere bitchy words. While our friendship has some big holes over the years, it never diminished the value. Actually, she is what prompted me to write this blog about friendship. Denise, shut up and pester me all you want…you know I'll tell you to fuck off if I can't stand it anymore! Love you, bitch!
To all my other friends, here's your honorable mention (ouch that is so rude, huh? Read on, there's more that might lessen the sting a bit): Dave, Alana, Desiree, Natalie, Myra, Courtney, Sefchen, Greg, Jamie, Camile (my kindred spirit), Andrew, Rich, Jessica, Jim, Jodi, Lori, Martha, John and Parks, Lawrence, Rob, Sylvia, and newly made friends like, Giovanni and Chris…even myspace friends like Derek and Joe.
There are all kinds of friends out there. Some are always there on a daily basis and some are far away but always in your heart. Some you may talk to once a month or even once every 6 months. Some you see only once a blue moon. Either way, it doesn't define you any more or less of a friend. To me, if I call you a friend, you are my friend period! I don't need to call you my best friend or my closest friend. A friend is a friend. I love my friends, cherish them, and will always be there for them! My friends are part of who I am today and I am forever grateful for my friends. I will never take them for granted.
I love you, my beautiful friends!
Before I go, let me leave you with a quote from Voltaire:
"I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."
This quote means so much more to me than what it simply states. This is what being a genuine friend implies…and now in being a mom too!!!
And one last friend quote I love:
"Friends are God's way of apologizing to us for our families."