But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
As an only child friendships have always been very important to me. I have been very lucky in my life to always have made really terrific friends. I tend to cultivate these friendships and keep them for many years, four of my very dearest friends have been in my life since I was 8 and 9, my best friends since college. After all if you find people who share your interests, who care for you, who will be there when you need someone, understand when to be silent and when to remind you that you are an ass (my two best friends are so good at all of these) it is worth dedicating the time to be a friend for these people as well. Recently I told someone that I thought the definition of a good marriage is being friends with benefits (and since I am a married woman those FWB of my past shall remain there and not find their way into this blog). I learned so much from my friendships with men (your secrets are still safe with me) and found strength in my female ones (your secrets are also still safe with me). A few years back I finally gave in after some prodding from one of my close friends to try Facebook.
I pooh poohed it at first as "why would I want to write when I am brushing my teeth" and why would I need to connect to people who I have not seen in years? I was at the time, and still am, surrounded by fabulous friends. My two best friends were not yet on Facebook, Elli said "if I did not keep in touch with you it is for a reason" and Julie may have thought of or actually just joined. However, Charlie who told me to check it out, is someone who I have been friends via correspondence with for longer than we were actually friends in person. The other person who sent me a few invites to join was my friend Diana. She is a childhood friend who went away to college in Switzerland and never came back, yet we kept in touch either via mail or email later, since HS graduation. In some ways they were the perfect examples of why a site dedicated to connecting friends who may or may not be near was a place I would want to check out. I set up my account and was overwhelmed by the amount of people who were on there. People who I wished I had kept in touch with because our friendships were part of my defining moments in my life. People who I had shared way too may laughs, too many drinks, too many cigarettes and definitely a lot of tears with. Sometimes all of those within hours. There are also current friends on there who I see regularly as well as people who I was just socially acquainted with but we share a common history and enjoy catching up and chatting with. It has become my means of keeping in touch with people who I cannot see regularly.
Among the people I "found" is a group of girlfriends who are today even more fantastic than they were back in HS and they were pretty amazing then. Our lives took us in many directions and now we are able to share the occasional dinner, though we laugh at how long it takes us now to sync our schedules. I was amazed how easily we could sit down, after so many years and pick up our connection as if only days had passed. I reconnected with a friend whose exquisite taste in books and music just electrifies me. There are my friends from grammar school and those who ones who moved throughout the globe that now are easily accessible and I get to exchange a laugh or an interesting story with. This blog may have not been started or kept up with if it were not for the encouragement I get from friends (most on FB). It is easy to dismiss going on Facebook as just a waste of time but aren't friendships one of the best way to pass the time in this hourglass of life? So to Charlie who once introduced me to a whole new genre of music (check out his music site wellroundedradio.com) and who to this is day is still my favorite Friday night movie friend (though that has not happened since the last millennium and I believe we both now have traded indie/foreign flicks for animated movies with our kids) I thank you and Diana for pushing me to be part of the social networking phenomena. For now my status is "Friendship, friendship, just the perfect friendship..when all the others have been forgot ours will still be hot".
Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.
C. S. Lewis