Too much of friendship, I suppose, can be stifling. Too many friends may well stretch a person so thin that no one of them can really matter and none of them quite fill the bill. If you hang out too often together, life starts to feel like a gated fortress.
How we define friends is almost entirely personal. Women define them in slightly different ways than men, I think, but no one chooses them quite the same way--a friend is a go-to guy; a friend is the guy I fish with. Fill in the blank___________________________.
Strangely, if you've got a half dozen, it's likely that not all of them are alike. In fact, if they are xerox copies, they're probably not real. The more I think about it, the more I believe you don't choose 'em at all, and they don't choose you--you just somehow end up together, you know, predestined.
Friendship isn't something you grow into. Generally--I may be wrong--people know fairly quickly whether that guy over there with the smirk is going to be one of them. Somewhere it just registers that the one that doesn't say much or that one, the one with the glasses--you know, he just strikes me someone I'd like to know.
Friends are there, but they're not cloying. They're not constantly at your back door--or front; but if you need 'em, you can be confident that they'll show, often half-clothed because they're regularly giving you the shirts off their backs.
You don't necessarily think alike, don't necessarily not argue, don't always agree; but when you do come to blows, you part as friends, most often at least, because to be enemies is unthinkable. A friend, some smart guy once said, is someone who knows all about you and still likes you. Here's C. S. Lewis: “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art.... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”
Here's what my wife says--a friend is someone to whom you can tell your deepest, most personal secrets. Not that you do--that's not the point. But that you could. And you know it. And so does she. That's the point. That's a friend.
This morning I'm thankful for friends.