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Monday, February 13th 2012

4:37 AM

‘Cause you gotta have friends . . .

Thank you Bette for those lyrics.  So how far back do friendships go?  I’m more of an acquaintance person.  I have a few close friends and while only one dates back to childhood – elementary school, the rest have true staying power.

Most of my friendships are about 20+ years.  I treasure every one of them.  They are my confidants, my sisters, my sounding boards, my shoulders to cry on, the people I celebrate with when things go well and the people I turn to when things go south.

I think I lost touch with childhood friends when I went away to college.  Now we’re Christmas card buddies.  Once a year we catch up on each other’s lives but that’s about it.  Sad, I know, but reality none the less.

To me, the most important part of a great friendship is the ability to get through thick and thin.  My oldest and dearest friend and I have had words over the years but we always find a way to come back to our friendship.  Now that’s a true friend.  I can only think of one person I’ve cut out of my life in the last 20 years.  Sometimes you gotta dump the negativity or you get the life sucked out of you.  But that doesn’t mean it’s an easy decision.  Nor is it one I take lightly.  I’m a pretty forgiving person but some things just can’t be forgiven.

If I’m bad about maintaining old friendships, I’m equally bad at forging new ones. Let’s face it; I have an odd sense of humor so I always look for that in others.  I don’t want to have to couch every comment in a PC fashion.  I want to be able to speak freely. 

Do I wish I had kept in better touch with childhood friends?  Not really.  I’m at a different place in my life and I can’t imagine I’d have much in common with someone I haven’t spoken to for 30-40 years (and yes, I just dated myself).  I wish them nothing but good things.  My only regret is not keeping in touch with the two friends who were part of my wedding party.  One returned to the UK and the other went through a nasty divorce and went off to places unknown.  I would love the chance to talk to them again.

But I will celebrate the people currently in my life.  I know I can turn to one or more or all of them in good times and in bad.  Those are true friends.

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