Monday, January 03, 2011

The Benefits of Best Friends

Recently, I got a message from a best friend that totally reminded me of why they are one of them. My Best Friends, that is. See, the message they sent was utterly partisan, shamelessly patriotic, and would, in the wrong hands, cause the recipient to burst into flame with indignation. Because the message was one I enjoyed thoroughly, I forwarded it on to some other people, one or two of whom are also Best Friends.

Wait, what?

I could understand your confusion, what with all those Best Friends involved. How can that happen? Simple math would tell us that Best = One, so there should be only One Best Friend available at any one time, right?

Well, no. I don't think so.

Having more than 1 Best Friend seems counterintuitive, I agree, but here's why I believe I (and anyone else could too, for that matter) can have more than one BF: they come in stages. Therefore, you can experience a veritable HERD of Best Friends over time! More to the point, they don't need to supersede one another! You just keep adding them as they happen!

In my case, the first BF I mentioned above is a BF from more than half a lifetime ago, we have almost grown up together. The second BF is one of much more recent vintage and an unfortunately short physical co-location, but who has stuck with me despite geographic separation and reminds me that I am valued in her world which is a charming thing to say and a treasured thing to hear.

There are other Best Friends, of course, who filled that role with panache (and possibly waffles?) over the very long span of time I've been alive. These people have been female and male, of similar age and very dissimilar vintage, of wildly different backgrounds and durations. Some I've known for what seems like forever, others stamped their mark because of the situations under which we became Best Friends, but all have retained a firm place in my life and heart because they served a very special role for me, perhaps without even knowing it.

One thing you should know about me - if I'm your friend once, I believe I'm your friend for life. If we are Best Friends Once, we can also be Best Friends for life, if you understand that there can be more than one.

Sometimes though, a very special BF comes along, and the get promoted to Best Friend EVER. When you find yourself becoming Best Friends EVER with someone, there's normally not a pledge of undying friendship (at least now that most of us are past the backyard clubhouse stage of life and realize the spit-festooned handshakes are just horrible diseases waiting to happen (despite the spit belonging to a potential Best Friend)), but sometimes there is some kind of proclamation of the Best Friendiness. For example, 2 years ago today, in front of a dozen or so other people, I told my Best Friend EVER that I intended to stick with him until the end of time, so there. He said much the same thing back to me, which was nice. Everyone clapped, we exchanged jewelry, and then we had lasagna and cake.

It's wonderful to know that even though he was at that time already my BFE and therefore I figured I knew enough about him to bestow upon him that vaunted title, I've learned a lot about him in the 2 years since we dressed up and got married. Honestly, I already thought he pretty much was the bee's knees, but a few hundred days and many life experiences shared has introduced more depth to my still-developing understanding of who he is. The richness and complexity of his nature is a treasure, the resiliency of his spirit is reason enough to want to know him better, the strong foundation of faith and trust we continue to build is a bedrock against rough times, his cleverly inventive musical talents are a source of fascination, and the humor and honesty with which he approaches life are a clear example of why anyone would be fortunate to be his friend.

But he's MY BFE, and for that I'm eternally grateful.

Thanks Biff - if you couldn't already tell, I think you're utterly awesome.

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