Fickle Friends

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friendPeople get so hurt when they perceive that one of their friends betrays them in some way. I have come to realize that with some exceptions, friends are pretty fickle (marked by lack of steadfastness, constancy, or stability :  given to erratic changeableness). Truth be told, the Fat Man himself would sell out most of his friends for the right reason. Even Best Friend Fat Man would go down the road if he was mean to Mrs. Fat Man, she’s my favorite.

There are different levels of friends. There are fourth string friends,  the people we work or go to school with and like alright enough, but it’s doubtful you would step foot in each others house just to hang out. You don’t really give them much thought unless you happen to be around them. Third string friends, they are the people you party or go to church with. They proclaim there affection for each other fairly readily, and they would definitely hang out at each others house. But they will leave you flat the second a better offer comes along. If you let your annoying nuances come out for ten minutes with the third or fourth stringers,  it’s under the bus for you. The second stringers, best man/brides maid type friends. They will wear a tuxedo or ugly dress for you, but a little thing like financial or professional success, or 500 miles distance can throw a stick into those spokes and send them flying into the friendship black hole with little hope of return. Then there is the first stringers, the varsity squad, they will stick by you no matter what. They ignore your bad breath and give you a peck on the cheek anyway, then give you an Altoid mint. They will bring your wallet down to your work when you forget it, or drive across town to jump start your car. They are genuinely happy when you attain some small, or large success in life, maybe even happier than if it happened to their own selves. They will even die for you without much thought. There are only a handful of these in a persons life. The first stringers, they will be there until you kick the proverbial bucket. They usually share the same DNA as you, or signed a marriage license with you, or wear a crown of thorns for you.

This all sounds so cynical, but it’s not. We’ve all been first, second, third, or fourth stringers to someone. Every one of them adds to the goodness of life, only sometimes it’s just temporary. It seems like if you enter into a friendship with realistic expectations, when and if it comes to an end, it won’t be so hurtful. If you’re lucky, you will end up with a varsity squad you can really count on. And if you can get over yourself a little, you can end up with a varsity squad you can really be on. So quit being all hurt, put your Altoids in your pocket, grab your jumper cables, and take your friend his wallet!



2 Responses

  1. Diane Davis

    Always enjoy your column. This is thoughtful and true. You are very blessed if you have a couple good friends. Your mom is one of mine.

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