From July 07. Another one of those me defining things in my world kind of things.
Defining what a friend is can be difficult as people all have different ideas of what a friend is and how to be a friend. I guess the simplest definition would be a person who means a lot to you and vice-versa but is not related to you either by birth or marriage. Well, that is not always true as I have sisters and a mother who are amongst my best friend's and, realistically, unless things have gone to hell, your significant other should be amongst your best friends. As someone mostly always single and likely to be, friends are very important to me. More important at this point then any relationship I might find myself in. This could change but I also think it's just what I'm used to as I'd at this point rather spend casual, fun, good times with my friend's then the awkwardness of starting a new whatever. Rather then go on a long boring rant I will use the ever popular list format to define what a friend is to me.
A friend is someone you would do anything for as long as it didn't go against your personal beliefs or morals. (And sometimes even then). To wit, a friend would never ask you to do anything that would compromise your personal beliefs of morals.
A friend is someone you think of during the course of every day somehow. You may not realize it but this is true. Nary a day goes by I don't have a thought, memory, or mind jog that doesn't remind me of one of my friends
Friendship, to me, is earned not just claimed. I've always hated how on Myspace or Facebook you add "friends". To me you add people who may or may not become friends. I'm an easy guy to like and get to know and have an uncanny sense of people's true character but still, you need do more then know me to become my friend. I have people I rarely see who are friend's, people I see all the time who aren't and in a few, rare cases, people I've never met in the flesh (so to speak) who are.
A friend is someone who, no matter how long it's been since you've spoken or seen each other, you are never uncomfortable towards or at a loss of words with.
A friend knows when to talk, when to listen, and when to say nothing at all
A friend is capable of putting you in front of them when it is called for. A person who only needs someone when they are distressed or when it benefits them is a one-way friend. This is something I cannot tolerate. Life is give and take and being a real friend means you are there for your friends when they need you, not only when you need them. I absolutely hate people incapable of adding anything to a friendship
A friend would never lie to you even if it were "for your own good". That's a breach in trust and therefore breaking the friendship
A friend is like a husband or wife in that they are there for better or worse, through sickness and health and all that other marital crap
A friend would never let a relationship ruin a friendship. Period. It may be altered but never ruined.
A friend can say "I love (small L) you" without feeling stupid
Friendship and loyalty go hand in hand (see first statement)
Friends would put themselves in harms way to protect you. I know I always say I'd take a bullet for a friend and while I hope I never have to, I honestly think I would.
You cannot hold a long grudge with someone who is or was a true friend unless they did something completely egregious or physically harmful to you or your family. The way I figure is some small indiscretion, no matter how major it seems at the time, cannot undo what made you friends to start with
A friend knows what you're thinking or what your mood is without even having to ask
I could go on and on but won't. I guess my bottom line is it isn't much work to be a friend but to be a good friend takes some effort. We've all had selfish, one way, shitty friends and have all probably been selfish, one way, shitty friends. I've been blessed with some great friends. I realized this past year people I long considered friends really weren't as looking back over time they never once went out of their way for me and only needed me for their own ends. Fine, seeya, don't let the door hit your ass on the way out. I also had acquaintances become some of my closest friends and have made several new friends. Life is just like that. A wise man once told me high school friends would always be friends by friends you make after would be friends for life. That hasn't been 100% true but has merit. I've come to realize my place in life is to be a friend and I think I do it pretty darn well. I might never be a great boyfriend, lover, husband, or father but to know I'm a good friend, faults and all, I can live with that!
Please excuse the lame...ok, I actually love it for it's lameness... Andrew Gold song in the title