There oughta be a Friend’s Day!

10 Aug

Really. There should be one special day, when we say ‘hello, my friend—who is so special to me’ to those in our lives who make everything more meaningful than most we encounter while traveling along life’s byways. Friends are the folks who stay constant, and whose voice on the phone after an absence of ten or so years will be greeted with a smile and an impromptu conversation lasting hours. Do we treasure these folks enough? I’m not sure.

What is a friend?

To be sure, your definition will most likely differ from mine, from someone in the next apartment, or even the next state. Some friends are always there, even when not seen or talked to very often. Sometimes a friend becomes a lover, and that works fine, for a while, but it hardly ever works the other way. Some friends are closer than family. Some friends become your family, especially if you don’t have much family to begin with.

A friend believes in you even though your disbelief in yourself also makes you disbelieve the friend. And when you discover that the friend really did know what he or she was talking about, you start to believe, too. The best part is that your friend never, ever, says “I told you so.”

A friend takes you to the hospital when you can’t take yourself, and waits with you while the doctors figure out what must be done. That true friend then calls what family you have to say where you are, and why.

A friend is a person who, wearing an enigmatic smile, hands you an envelope containing a check for $100, just when you needed that exact amount for the rent.

A friend shares many things with you: books, records, videos, recipes. A friend once suggested I try a salad from a fast-food chain. I did, and haven’t looked back! My eating habits have changed and my health improved. I’ve lost weight (requiring a whole new wardrobe!) and created a bunch of new ‘theme’ salads, all because of that one recommendation!

A friend who replaced his older car with a newer model said, “I want to donate my old car to a charity. Which one do you recommend?” And then, he gave it to me, outright! Just when my own, really ancient, car finally gave up.

A true friend will scold you when you most need it, even if you don’t agree. But if you listen, you’ll know they’re right.

A friend may hold entirely different views from you, about almost everything you hold dear, but you can still be friends. You can bicker without damaging the friendship.

A friend can be any age, color, gender, religion or political persuasion. A friend can be your exact opposite, and still be your friend. You can have just one, or even ten.

So—why don’t we have a “Friend’s Day?” There’s at least one day a year for everything else under the sun, but no one special day to tell that special person how totally you value them and the relationship you share. I’ve looked and looked, but no luck. The ‘Bible’ of days—Chase’s Calendar of Annual Events—doesn’t list such a thing. It just doesn’t exist, which is utterly deplorable.

I cogitated on how to choose that special day/date, and finally put the birthdates of my closest friends in a basket on slips of paper. I drew one. August 10. That’s the date of my long-distance friend in England, with whom I share a raucous, outrageous, totally endearing e-mail (and occasional phone) friendship. Actually, that’s pretty much a good definition of what “Friend’s Day” should celebrate. We’ve only met twice, but we laugh and cry together, commiserate over our respective daughters, cuss our computers, share jokes and confide things we wouldn’t with any other person. What more could one want in a friend?

There. That’s it. I nominate every August 10 as “Friend’s Day”, when you can tell your friend(s) just how much they mean to you, and why you’re so pleased to have them in your life.

I’m going to do it. All in favor, say ‘aye’.

And – HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SANDRA!!! You light up my life. Truly, you do!

Pass it on, eh? Thanks! And, as always, if you have questions or comments, please write to me at bookmechanic@gmail.com

Okay. I’m a day early and way off topic today, but there’s a reason for it. As you read on, you’ll understand it. Okay?

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